How Does Washington’s Homeless Population Rank With Other States
Washington State is in the top 10 in the U.S. for the number of unsheltered homeless individuals, or those living on the street. But The Center Square also reports the Evergreen state ranks in the top 5 in total homeless figures as of 2022 and has more homelessness than states with much larger populations like Ohio, Texas and Michigan.
Some 25,211 people were counted as homeless in Washington last January (2022) with just over half estimated estimated as unsheltered. That percentage 50.2% ranked Washington as ninth highest percentage of homeless among the 50 states.
Homelessness in Washington increased by 10.0% since 2020 and is up by 10.2% since 2010. See the chart below for the top 10 state rankings and a link to the full 50 state comparisons.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimated 582,462 people were homeless either with or without shelter when a census was taken one night in January 2022, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agency said that figure was increased by only 0.3% from 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic in part because of rental assistance and eviction prevention mandates from the government.
HUD is also reporting a drop of 8.6%, or 54,615 in the total number of homeless since 2010, but more of those individuals are living without shelter. Two out of every five people without a home were living in an unsheltered setting in 2022. Simply, HUD figures show the increase in the number of unsheltered homeless individuals is rising faster than the decrease in the amount of homeless people with a place to shelter at night.
All data is from the Office of Policy Development and Research.