Raw Data: The Homeless Rate in Big Cities

The number of homeless rose to 59,000 in Los Angeles County this year. We don’t yet have estimates for all cities, but here’s how a selection of big cities did last year. Note that these are actually the homeless rates for the counties which contain each city (i.e., Phoenix is actually Maricopa County, Chicago is Cook County, etc.):

What surprises me is the huge difference across cities. In New York and Washington DC, nearly 1 percent of the population is homeless. In Chicago the number is 0.02 percent. That’s a difference of almost 50x. What kinds of policies can possibly account for such a vast disparity? Or is it mostly a statistical artifact of how the counts are conducted in each city? Or the inevitable result of high homeless rates following high housing prices?

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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