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U.S. Cities with the Most Homeless People

Name the U.S. cities that have the most people living on the streets, in cars, or in tents.
  • Based on one-night counts of unsheltered homeless people from 2015 and 2016
  • Quiz idea: Joez
  • By city proper, not metro area
  • Quiz by Quizmaster - Dec 09, 2016
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#
City
21,338
4,358
2,942
2,810
2,794
2,745
#
City
2,345
≈ 2,000
1,711
1,243
1,005
Answer Stats
#
City
% Correct
Your %
This quiz uses the one-night counts of homeless populations performed by the various cities and counties. There is no single accurate source for this data, so I had to compile it manually. The number for Las Vegas is an estimate based on the 3,916 people living unsheltered in Clark County.
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Dec 9, 2016
Also Oakland might make the list too, but I'm not sure. There were 2,337 unsheltered people in 2013 in Alameda County. Not sure what the numbers are for Oakland.
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Dec 10, 2016
(67)
Why does LA have the same number of homeless as the rest of this list combined?
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Dec 9, 2016
(72)
Climate perhaps?
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Dec 9, 2016
(67)
Huge city + high cost of living + lots of drugs + warm all year = a lot of people on the streets.
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Dec 13, 2016
(21)
I don't agree with the warm all year part. It is not too warm here right now. Also, in the coastal area (except for Venice beach), there aren't many drugs. The only big drug here is weed, and the others are mostly in downtown and poor areas.
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Apr 18, 2017
(41)
@amarsh1213 you realise that warm is relative right? It's almost never below freezing in LA. Compare that to NYC where the is a chance of it being below freezing for at least 3 months out of the year.
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Apr 18, 2017
(63)
The west coast is well-represented on this list
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Dec 9, 2016
(67)
I was surprised not to see Miami on the list. There were homeless people everywhere when I was there last and they were hit hardest by the real estate bubble.
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Dec 13, 2016
(64)
The West Coast is where it's possible to live outside all year without dying. Also, 17% of the population of the U.S live in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Hawaii.
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Apr 18, 2017
(63)
Sad facts...
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Dec 9, 2016
(55)
NYC? Quite shocked...
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Dec 10, 2016
(76)
Why? Have you never been there? Or seen it represented in film or on television? There's a very good reason 98% get it right, you know.
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Dec 10, 2016
(67)
2,794 homeless in such a massive city seems impressively low to me. I'd think the number would be way higher.
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Dec 13, 2016
(50)
I think he was being sarcastic.
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Apr 18, 2017
(67)
I'm sure a lot of the West Coast is because of the mild climate, not very cold in the winter and not too hot in the summer . . . except Las Vegas.
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Dec 11, 2016
(61)
Thanks for the reference. My figures seem much higher, especially for New York.
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Mar 17, 2017
(27)
Interesting the areas in The United States that have the highest cost of living and the most homeless people are the most liberal parts of the country. People who supposedly support the poor and minorities.....
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Apr 18, 2017
(69)
Yeah because there are so many giant cities in Kansas and Nebraska. Wow you're a genius.
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Apr 18, 2017
(60)
In say in a lot of those places there's a certain amount of choice, if you know the right people it's probably not such a bad life. I know in the major Australian cities there's vast numbers of young people living on the streets as a life style, holding down jobs etc. If the weathers good enough you can do without a roof.
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Apr 18, 2017
(59)
I noticed it too. There are plenty of large cities in more conservative states as well, but I don't see Houston, Dallas, Austin, Ft. Worth, Phoenix, Birmingham, Montgomery, New Orleans, Nashville, etc. on the list. Of course, given Quizmaster's statement about how he had to compile the data himself, it could be the numbers are skewed because some cities don't have as accurate of a count, or don't bother to make the information available. I wouldn't take this quiz as an indication of anything one way or the other.
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Apr 18, 2017
(62)
Because a lot of these cities crack down on homelessness and either imprison or harass them into leaving town.
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Apr 19, 2017
(41)
Hey, there's a good liberal chiming in!! Free speech unless you disagree. Let's resort to personal comments because we don't like what someone says. Thankfully, God's gift to this website chimes in again! See, I'm slowing becoming more like you. Awesome!
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Apr 20, 2017
(41)
Nothing RowdyTommy said warrants that. Are not the cities on the list in the most liberal parts of the country? Do liberals not promote their adoration for helping those less fortunate through government programs rather than private entities. Thanks again for your constructive comments.
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Apr 20, 2017
(68)
I would say it's more to do with climate - hard to survive too many winters while homeless in somewhere like Detroit or Minneapolis - but am surprised that places like Miami and New Orleans are not here
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Apr 18, 2017
(70)
It might make a difference whether the counts were made in summer or winter. Some of them move with the seasons.
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Apr 18, 2017
(55)
The most liberal parts are also the most populous, broadly speaking, so would usually be expected to produce higher raw numbers - and of course, it's not surprising that the people who care are the people who have more experience of it. But really, there are so many chains of reasoning that connect political ideology and homelessness, whether it's saying one causes the other or some shared circumstance brings about both, that trying to 'explain it' is pointless. There are always correlations like this when you consider almost any two social statistics, but even if you already had a good idea that there was a specific reason for a connection between the two and it's borne out in the data... it's probably only vaguely right as a generalisation, if at all - sometimes it turns out that it was just a longstanding misconception about how the world works and how people behave. The best way to find out the truth is to experiment, which one must do via policy... and that works out... sometimes.
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Apr 18, 2017
(59)
True, but there are plenty of large cities in conservative areas that did not make the list (Houston, New Orleans, Phoenix, etc.). Though as I mentioned in my reply to kalbahamut, that doesn't necessarily mean anything because of how scattered the data was that Quizmaster had to compile.
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Apr 18, 2017
(53)
Rowdy that is one of the more ignorant comments I have ever read in my life. If you understood some very basic tenets about economics, housing, cost of living...or really, just taking 15 seconds to consider how inane what you said is, you wouldn't have said it. And yet...
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Apr 18, 2017
(62)
I can tell you exactly why there are more homeless people in more liberal cities ... they migrate there because they can at least survive. Conservative cities "solve" homelessness by chasing the homeless out of town. It's easy and it makes the problem go elsewhere. As a San Francisco resident, I can say that we bear a significant portion of our entire nations burden when it comes to actually attempting to help the homeless. We certainly haven't figured it out, but most other cities don't even try. I do agree with some of the other comments about climate. If I had to be on the street, I would at least try to be somewhere I wouldn't freeze to death.
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Apr 19, 2017
(48)
All cities in Democrat States.
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Apr 18, 2017
Not surprising at all. People are free to migrate wherever they like within the U.S.. Cities like Seattle are very tolerant towards homeless people, and spend a large amount of money on services directed towards them. The relative lack of homeless people in the conservative areas is probably a reflection of the lack of services. Generally speaking, cities on the West Coast are doing the rest of the country a service by shouldering a greater amount of the burden.
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Apr 18, 2017
(51)
New Orleans? I know they've had great success reducing the numbers since Katrina, but surely they have more than Honolulu...
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Apr 18, 2017
(24)
They are similar is population size, but it's a lot harder to leave Honolulu and start anew than it is to leave New Orleans. I imagine there are a lot of lifetime homeless folks in Hawaii.
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Apr 19, 2017
(55)
I truly am surprised that the majority of the cities are on teh West Coast.
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Apr 18, 2017
(64)
Having lived in both downtown Seattle + San Francisco, I feel like these numbers are an undercount, but that's probably totally skewed by perspective.
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Apr 18, 2017
(59)
It's worth pointing out that these numbers aren't necessarily an indication of anything, politically speaking. Quizmaster mentioned that there is no single accurate source for this data, so he had to compile it from all over. That means you're looking at numbers compiled by dozens if not hundreds of different people, using god only knows how many different methods. Also, one-night counts aren't a particularly reliable way to measure either, because we have no way of knowing 1) if those numbers were the same a day later, a week later, a month later; 2) what days or times of year these numbers were collected; 3) whether they were even reported honestly. In short, it's an interesting quiz, but it would be a mistake to take it as indicative of anything at all.
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Apr 18, 2017
I think the data is good enough. It's certainly better than anything else that exists.
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Apr 18, 2017
(59)
I didn't mean to impugn your data collection, merely to point out that it isn't necessarily a 100% apples-to-apples comparison, and therefore people should be careful about drawing any sort of political conclusions from it.
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Apr 19, 2017
(43)
No one asking why Los Angeles is WAAAAAAY off the charts???
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Apr 18, 2017
(45)
Combining what others have said: third largest city in America, year-round survivable climate, social services in place = zero surprise.
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Apr 18, 2017
(46)
Not a good source
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Apr 18, 2017
(68)
For some reason I have the urge to type in Detroit every time a quiz about US cities in a negative light is featured. Sometimes it works, other times not so much.
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Apr 18, 2017
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