How many homeless people sleep rough?
Homeless takes different forms – the most severe and visible is rough sleeping. People who sleep rough are often called street homeless.
It’s very difficult to work out the number of people sleeping rough for a number of reasons - people bed down at different times, move about, and can be hidden away in derelict buildings. However, each year every local authority in England gives an estimate of people sleeping rough in their area.
London and the south east account for nearly half of all rough sleepers with central London, specifically the Borough of Westminster, accounting for about 1 in 13 of all rough sleepers in England.
Rough Sleeping Statistics for Autumn 2022
The latest data shows there were 2,900 people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in September 2022 – up 452 people, or 18%, since the previous quarter June 2022, and up 491, or 20% since the same period last year.
There were 6,631 people estimated to be sleeping rough over the course of September 2022 – up 1,063 people or 19% since June 2022 and up 1,344 people or 25% since the same period last year. This is more than double the number of people seen sleeping rough on a single night, illustrating that the flow of people onto and off the street over the course of a month is significantly higher than those seen on any given night due to the dynamic nature of rough sleeping.
Males count for the majority of people sleeping in England (approx. 86%) and aged over 26 years old (87%).
Source: Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)