To demonstrate that clearly, we here at the Movoto Real Estate Blog have looked at homelessness state by state over the last five years, examining each place in depth. We also ranked each state to show which had the lowest homeless population per 100,000 people, as you can see in the maps below throughout this article.
For more information on how we created these maps, you can read about our methodology in the section at the bottom.
We’ll also take a closer look at some interesting points and trends in our findings in the next few sections.
Trends And Facts
One thing you might notice is that colder states generally have a higher number of sheltered homeless compared to unsheltered homeless in 2014, such as Maine and Alaska. This makes sense, considering that living outdoors would be much harder in these states, thus making shelters a more desirable option.
It’s also worth noting that warmer states like Hawaii and California tended to have more homeless people per capita, yet again a fact that makes sense. After all, with more livable outdoor environments it becomes easier to find a temporary shelter or sleeping area.
First The Good News
There were a few states in particular which definitely are headed in the right direction. For example, over the past five years, Alabama has gone from the 21st lowest homeless population per 100,000 people to the fourth lowest. And this wasn’t the only state doing things right.
The biggest success story is probably Louisiana, which went from having the 42nd lowest homelessness per 100,000 people in the nation to the eighth lowest over the span of just five years. It just goes to show that things are quickly getting better.
Where There Are Highs, There Are Lows
Of course, there were a few states that didn’t exactly fare so well. Nevada consistently had a high homeless population, as did Hawaii and New York. However, there were some places that were in a bit of a slide.
South Dakota had the second lowest homelessness in 2010, but the 24th lowest just four short years later. South Carolina had a similar trend, and Wyoming went from the eighth lowest to the 36th lowest in just one short year between 2010 and 2011.
Kansas has also been trending towards having more homeless people, but those numbers are still very low, far lower than most of the rest of the nation.
Homelessness In America
No matter how you look at it, homelessness in America has been a serious issue for quite some time. But as more shelters open and new opportunities arise, many states are making a change for the better, and we hope they continue to improve in the future.
If you’re looking for a new home that’s improving every day, feel free to let us know. We sell houses when we’re not making informative maps like these, and we know some places where improvement is ever on the rise.
How We Created These Maps
In order to get these different maps, we turned to the past five years’ PIT data, also known as point in time data. This data from the HUD Exchange allowed us to examine statewide homelessness statistics in the following areas:
- Total Homeless Population
- Sheltered Homeless Population
- Unsheltered Homeless Population
We ranked each state for the past five years specifically in terms of total homeless population per 100,000 people. We also looked at the sheltered homeless population vs. the unsheltered homeless population in the year 2014, just for comparison. From there, we color coded the maps to show which places had the biggest and smallest homeless population per 100,000 people each year, to see what trends were visible.