Statewide Homeless Study Results

On October 25, 2012, Wilder's statewide study counted 10,214 homeless adults, youth, and children -- a 6 percent increase over the 2009 study.
Initial findings show that nearly half (46%) ​of all homeless people are age 21 and younger, of which 3,546 were children with their parents. The one-day study also counted 1,151 youth on their own, including 146 youth age 17 and younger and 1,005 age 18 through 21. ​Most of the increase was in the number of people using emergency shelters, which was up 27 percent from 2009.
The graph below, compiled for the Minnesota Compass project, provides a number of breakdowns by age, gender, and race for regions in the state (which align with Continuum of Care (COC) housing planning regions). To see additional data, change the VIEW dropdown from Graph to Data & notes.
Additional findings include:
  • Young people are most at risk for homelessness. Children and youth age 21 and younger make up 46 percent of Minnesota’s homeless population. According to the census, they make up just 30 percent of its overall population.
  • There was a slight increase (4%) in the total number of families experiencing homelessness, but a 22 percent increase in the number of two parent homeless families.
  • Older adults had the largest percent increase in homelessness since 2009. Statewide, 777 homeless adults age 55 and older were counted in the 2012 study, up from 526 in 2009 – a 48 percent increase. However, adults age 55 and older represent only 8 percent of the homeless population, and 26 percent of Minnesota’s total population.
  • In greater Minnesota, the number of people found outside the shelter system increased while the number in the Twin Cities area was down. Greater Minnesota also saw an increase in homeless families not using shelter and a near doubling of the number of homeless adults age 55 and older.
  • Increases in the metro area occurred almost exclusively in emergency shelters, including a 44 percent increase in the number of children in emergency shelters.

View publications for the 2012 homeless study

Publications from our previous studies
View publications from the 2006 homeless study

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 2012 Homeless Study Reports