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U.S. States with the Most Homeless People

Name the 10 U.S. states that have the most people living on the streets, in cars, or in tents.
For 2017. Source
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedJune 10, 2018
Last updatedJune 10, 2018
Times taken11,198
Rating4.09
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#
State
91,642
California
15,079
Florida
8,591
Washington
8,493
Texas
7,967
Oregon
#
State
4,578
Nevada
4,555
New York
3,859
Colorado
3,800
Hawaii
3,523
Georgia
+8
level ∞
Jun 10, 2018
Since 2007, rates of homelessness have fallen by 16%. Rates of unsheltered homelessness have fallen by 25%.
+6
level 63
Jun 11, 2018
Except in California, Oregon, and Washington, where the rate of homelessness increased by 23% in the past two years.
+3
level 60
Aug 15, 2018
JWC1202 - Probably because all the homeless from other states moved to those three states that you mentioned.
+11
level 72
Jun 11, 2018
These people would be the hardest to find and to count, so I'm not sure how accurate this is.
+2
level 73
Jun 11, 2018
Not the absolute numbers, but presumably they are similarly hard to find in all states.
+1
level 68
Aug 13, 2018
At least all the data is coming from one source this time. Quizmaster had to compile it from various sources himself for older versions of this quiz. He did a great job, but with data coming from all over it was hard to know if it was all collected with similar degrees of accuracy.
+1
level 56
Aug 14, 2018
On designated days, volunteers in California go out street by street to count homeless people.
+2
level 70
Jun 11, 2018
Only one I missed was Georgia. The rest were pretty obvious.
+7
level 52
Jun 25, 2018
How are they obvious?
+3
level 63
Aug 13, 2018
The three biggest factors by far are going to be state population, cost of living, and weather. Any list of raw numbers per state is going to include CA, TX, FL, and NY based on population alone. All of the other states are fairly large and have lots of people in parts that don't freeze over the winter (and the northernmost of those states have high COL).
+2
level 69
Aug 13, 2018
The rest are pretty inaccurate. Take one look around Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan.
+4
level 61
Aug 14, 2018
How things are perceived are often very different from the facts.
+1
level 53
Mar 22, 2019
Go look around literally any city. Baltimore or Memphis or New Orleans or any other. This quiz was about states, anyhow.
+3
level 70
Jul 13, 2018
Interesting how it is mainly liberal states that have higher homeless populations. I assume it is because it is the high cost of living in those areas.
+21
level ∞
Jul 13, 2018
Liberal states also provide more services to homeless people and are generally more tolerant of people living on the streets or camping. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a large amount of migration from conservative states to liberal ones.
+12
level 52
Jul 17, 2018
Good old liberal Florida and Texas.
+2
level 65
Jul 30, 2018
Florida is a swing state, like Colorado. Texas has a warm climate, so it is easier to be homeless as opposed to somewhere like New York, Colorado or Washington.
+1
level 55
Aug 13, 2018
I was surprised how high the Democratic vote is in Texas so it could be it's more "liberal" than other states.
+2
level 68
Aug 13, 2018
The Austin area is pretty liberal, isn't it?
+8
level 76
Aug 13, 2018
Highers costs (and standards) of living has little to do with it. Climate matters only a little. All of these states have large urban centers, including Texas, Florida, and Georgia. And as QM points out, someone living in a tent in California, Hawaii, or Massachusetts probably has better access to healthcare than someone living in a dilapidated $500 trailer (and therefore not technically homeless) in Arkansas or Mississippi.
+2
level 75
Aug 13, 2018
I lived for a few years in Arkansas and I saw no more "dilapidated trailers" there than in any of the other 41 states I've been in. That sounded very disdainful, Kalba. No one has pointed out that half of these are the states with the highest populations. Unless the figures are per capita, then one would expect those numbers to be higher. One would also expect the numbers to be higher in warmer climates. That only leaves WA, OR, and CO, and I have no idea why their numbers are higher.
+3
level 76
Aug 13, 2018
Really? I drove through Arkansas and was shocked at just how true the stereotypes seemed to be. Kept passing by houses with rusted out trucks trucks sawed in half sitting out on the lawn and other assorted things you might expect to see. But anyway I wasn't saying everyone in Arkansas lives in a dilapidated trailer (any more than I would say that everyone in California is homeless). I was saying, or implying, that it's cheaper to find some (barely liveable) form of shelter in some places, that in those places you are very likely to be at or near the bottom of the list of US states that provide adequate public services or any kind of reasonable healthcare (even though it is also in those states that more people are likely to need or rely upon those services), but that doesn't show up on this quiz because if your domicile is a mansion or a shed in your brother's back yard you still don't count as homeless.
+2
level 76
Aug 13, 2018
re: population yes I thought that was pretty obvious. I did mention large urban centers. States with high populations tend to have big cities in them, too.
+3
level 76
Aug 13, 2018
Percent of Housing Units That Are Mobile Homes

Mississippi is at 13.8%. Arkansas is at 12.8%. Hawaii is at 0.2%. I don't think honesty is a form of disrespect.
+2
level 46
Aug 13, 2018
The quiz asks for the highest number, not highest percentage. So it's probably population, rather than politics, that give New York and California the top spots.
+1
level 61
Aug 13, 2018
I'm sure cost of living is partly related, but there are other liberal states with substantial populations and high costs of living (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland) that aren't on this list. I'm wondering why it is the northwest states seem to have higher rates of homelessness.
+3
level 44
Aug 13, 2018
Great quiz! Interesting idea as well. However, I think another minute would be better for the quiz.
+1
level 58
Aug 13, 2018
Suppose Hawaii high on the list due to its climate!
+1
level 79
Aug 13, 2018
Other states actually fly their homeless people to Hawaii on one-way tickets. The state has the highest number of homeless people as a percentage of the population. The cost of living is also outrageous, and real estate prices are insane (the median single-family home on Oahu goes for $795,000). Or as everyone who's never had to make ends meet there calls it, paradise.
+1
level 35
Aug 13, 2018
Is Nevada there because people lose even their homes in Las Vegas casinos?
+3
level 69
Aug 13, 2018
All the squatters in windowless abandoned buildings with nowhere else to sleep in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, etc. are now considered housed apparently. Good job, America! 3 degrees of lies: Lies, damnable lies and statistics.
+1
level 61
Aug 14, 2018
Just because Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio didn't make the list doesn't automatically mean that people living in abandoned buildings in those states aren't considered to be homeless. Again, perception and fact are very different things.
+1
level 53
Mar 22, 2019
It also doesn't mean some people living in Arkanas, Idaho, or Alaska aren't homeless either.
+1
level 30
Aug 26, 2018
California has the most street poop too. San Francisco is the street poop capital of the US by far.
+1
level 53
Mar 22, 2019
Yeah it's a horrible place to live, which is why nobody lives there and housing is so incredibly cheap.
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