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?

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate