Theme: Secure
Dimension: Having financial security and access to housing


Rate of people who are experiencing homelessness

Why does this matter

Homelessness can be defined as when a person does not have secure access to adequate housing. This includes people who:

  • are not in a dwelling
  • in a dwelling that is inadequate or has uncertain tenure
  • living in a house that is severely crowded
  • or living in temporary lodging.1

Has there been progress

There has been little change in the rate of homelessness in Australia since 2006. The homelessness rate in 2006 was 45 per 10,000 people compared to 48 per 10,000 people in 2021.

How does this differ across cohorts 

While men are more likely to experience homelessness (accounting for 56 per cent of the homelessness population with a rate of 55 per 10,000 in 2021), the rate of homelessness for women has been increasing overtime, from 38 per 10,000 in 2006 to 42 per 10,000 in 2021.

Both youth aged 12-24 years and First Nations people have a higher rate of homelessness compared to the national average.

The most common form of homelessness is living in severely crowded dwellings — with nearly two in five (39 per cent) people experiencing homelessness in 2021 living in these conditions. 52 per cent of men and 49 per cent of women aged 12-24 years who experience homelessness, live in severely crowded dwellings.2

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2021) Estimating homelessness census methodology, accessed 28 June 2023.

2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2021) Estimating Homelessness: Census, accessed 13 June 2023.

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