More on Homelessness


Did you know:

  • There were 105,237 people classified as being homeless in Australia on Census night in 2011 (up from 89,728 in 2006).
  • The homelessness rate rose by 20% or more in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.
  • 42% of homeless people in 2011 were aged under 25 years.
  • While supported accommodation accounts for 20% of the homeless in 2011, it accounts for 31% of homeless children aged less than 12 years, and 28% of youth aged 12 to 18 years.
  • Most of the homeless youth aged 12–18 years in 2011 were in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings (56%) or in supported accommodation for the homeless (28%).
  • While 8% of homeless people aged 12–18 years were staying temporarily with other households, this proportion increases to 14% for youth aged 19–24 years (ABS Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2011, Cat. no. 2049.0).
  • Research shows that young people who first experience homelessness before the age of 18 are more likely to experience persistent homelessness in adulthood (Homeless Person’s Week 2013 – The Hidden Homeless)
  • Females, aged 12 to 18, experiencing homelessness, outnumber males in the same age group. 56% of homeless young people between the age of 12 to 18 are female, 44% are male (Youth Homelessness Facts and Figures – Yfoundations)
  • Young people from refugee backgrounds are 6-10 times more likely to be at risk of homelessness than Australian born young people.
  • Young people who are experiencing homelessness are significantly more likely to experience anxiety and depression than those who are stably housed.
  • The longer a person experiences homelessness, the more likely it is that they will develop severe and persistent states of mental illness.
  • Depression and distress are two to eight times more likely to occur in people who are homeless, and homelessness may exacerbate these existing or underlying symptoms of mental illness.
  • While alcohol and other drug use by Australian young people has declined in recent years, use amongst young people who are homeless has increased (National Youth Commission, Australia’s Homeless Youth: A report of the National Youth Commission Inquiry into Youth Homelessness, 2008).


Want to know more?  Visit Homelessness Australia for a collection of fact sheets.