How Many People Are Homeless in the World


Title: How Many People Are Homeless in the World: A Global Crisis


Homelessness is a critical issue that affects millions of people worldwide, stripping them of their basic human rights, safety, and dignity. This article aims to shed light on the staggering number of individuals experiencing homelessness on a global scale. Additionally, it will address frequently asked questions surrounding this complex problem.

I. The Global Homelessness Crisis:

1. Defining homelessness:
Homelessness refers to the state of lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. It encompasses those living on the streets, in temporary shelters, or in inadequate housing conditions.

2. Estimating global homelessness:
Accurately quantifying the number of homeless individuals worldwide is challenging due to various factors, including regional differences, lack of data, and the transient nature of homelessness. However, several organizations and reports provide valuable insights into the scale of the crisis.

3. Regional breakdown:
a) North America: In the United States, roughly 553,000 individuals experienced homelessness on any given night in 2020, with 65% staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing. Canada reported approximately 35,000 people experiencing homelessness in 2018.

b) Europe: Homelessness rates vary across European countries. In 2018, the European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) estimated that over 700,000 people were homeless on any given night in the European Union.

c) Asia: Estimates for Asian countries are harder to obtain due to limited data. However, rapid urbanization and economic inequalities contribute to homelessness in countries like India, China, and the Philippines.

d) Africa: Homelessness remains a significant issue in many African nations, particularly in urban areas. Data is scarce, but organizations like the United Nations estimate that millions of people are homeless across the continent.

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e) Oceania: In Australia, around 116,000 people experienced homelessness on any given night in 2020, with approximately 60% staying in temporary accommodation or with friends and relatives.

4. Causes of homelessness:
Homelessness is often the result of a combination of factors, including poverty, unemployment, lack of affordable housing, mental health issues, substance abuse, domestic violence, and systemic social inequalities.

II. Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Are homeless individuals only found in urban areas?
While homelessness is more visible in urban centers due to the concentration of services and resources, it is not limited to cities. Rural areas also grapple with homelessness, albeit with different challenges and fewer resources.

2. What assistance is available to homeless individuals?
Governments, non-governmental organizations, and charities provide various forms of assistance, including emergency shelters, transitional housing, healthcare services, employment support, and social welfare programs. However, these resources often fall short of meeting the demand.

3. Can homelessness be eradicated?
While it may be challenging to completely eradicate homelessness, significant progress can be made by addressing its root causes. This includes increasing access to affordable housing, funding mental health and substance abuse programs, and implementing comprehensive social welfare policies.

4. How can individuals help combat homelessness?
Supporting local organizations that provide assistance to homeless individuals, volunteering at shelters, advocating for affordable housing policies, and donating resources are some ways individuals can contribute to the cause.


The global homelessness crisis remains a pressing issue that demands urgent attention from governments, communities, and individuals worldwide. Recognizing the scale of the problem and understanding its causes is crucial in developing effective strategies to address and alleviate the suffering of millions of homeless individuals. By working together, we can strive towards a world where everyone has access to safe and stable housing, regardless of their circumstances.

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