L.A. County Has the Second Highest Homeless Population in the United States

Los Angeles County has the second highest homeless population in the nation, just behind New York City. But here’s the difference: 95% of New York’s homeless individuals are in shelters. In L.A., that figure is just 25%.

The latest statistics come from the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The HUD survey should not be confused with the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which has received criticism. As County News reported last month, a new study has called into question the accuracy of L.A.’s annual count. Interestingly, the HUD findings are pretty similar to those of the survey: 55,188 homeless individuals (HUD) vs. 57,794 (homeless count). Critics say the HUD survey is also undercounting the number of people on the streets. 

The latest figures show an increase in homelessness nationwide. But that too was partly driven by L.A.’s abysmal numbers, with L.A. accounting for 60% of the increase 2016 and 2017.

As HUD notes, homelessness increases were worst among affluent communities with high housing prices. Below is a list of the 10 cities/counties with the highest homeless populations in the U.S.

1. New York, NY

2. Los Angeles City & County

3. Seattle-King County, WA

4. San Diego City & County

5. Washington, D.C.

6. San Jose/Santa Clara

7. San Francisco City & County 

8. Las Vegas/Clark County, NV

9. Boston, MA

10. Philadelphia, PA


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