Homeless Youth in Minnesota

Since 1991, Wilder Research has conducted a statewide survey every three years to better understand the causes, circumstances and effects of homelessness.
The most recent study, conducted on October 25, 2012, found nearly half (46%) of the homeless are age 21 and younger, of which 3,546 were children with their parents. The study also counted 1,151 youth on their own, including 146 youth age 17 and younger and 1,005 age 18 through 21.
However, we know the count underrepresents the total youth homeless population since many homeless people outside the shelter system are not found on the day of the study, especially youth. They are among the least visible and most vulnerable homeless people. On any given night, we estimate there are at least 4,000 Minnesota youth experiencing homelessness.
View statewide counts of homeless people 2012 (includes youth)

Characteristics and Background of Homeless Youth


2012 data tables - statewide youth


2009 data tables - statewide youth


2006 data tables - statewide youth

Led by Wilder Research, a collaborative of organizations serving homeless youth and Minnesota tpt created a documentary to explore the issues of youth homelessness and to share the personal stories of six young adults who experienced homelessness as teens. Their stories reveal lives of instability, abuse and neglect, as well as the challenges of "couch-hopping," and living on the streets. But they also show hope and strong determination to get their lives back on track.

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