APO resource visit counts have been improved. For more information, see our Policies & Guidelines


HC3.1 Homeless population [estimates]

Report from OECD Affordable Housing Database

21 Feb 2017

This report from the OECD Affordable Housing Database compiles comparative country data on homelessness. Presents available data at national level on the number of people reported by public authorities as homeless. Data are mainly taken from the 2016 OECD Questionnaire on Affordable and Social Housing (QuASH 2016). Overall, 29 out of 35 reporting countries provided data on the number of homeless (See Table HC 3.1.1 in Annex I below).

There is no internationally agreed definition of homelessness. Therefore, this indicator presents a collection of available statistics on homelessness in OECD and EU countries in line with definitions used in national surveys (comparability issues on the data are discussed below). Some countries have different official definitions of homeless: they may use a definition for the purpose of data collection but use another one or several definitions for policy purposes, i.e. in the framework of policy measures aimed at tackling homelessness. In this indicator we refer only to the statistical definition used for data collection purposes.

Key findings

  • Homelessness counts in most countries include rough sleepers, people living in accommodation for the homeless and in emergency temporary accommodation, but definitions of homelessness vary across countries.
  • In all countries less than 1% of the population is reported as homeless.
  • Homelessness has increased in recent years in Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and New Zealand, but fallen in Finland and the United States
Publication Details
License Type: 
All Rights Reserved
Published year only: 
Subject Areas
Geographic Coverage