Australia leads here in percentage of homelessness. The homeless rate in the United States is similar to that of the Netherlands and France.


GreenRanked first for statistic
RedRanked last for statistic
Rooms per Person% Own Home Outright, 2020Estimated Number of HomelessYearHomeless % of Population
Netherlands1.9939,300 20180.23%
United Kingdom1.939347,977*20201.3%*
United States2.426580,46620200.18%


Rooms per person: OECD Better Life Index, 2020

Number of rooms (excluding kitchenette, scullery/utility room, bathroom, toilet, garage, consulting rooms, office, shop) in a dwelling divided by the number of persons living in the dwelling.

Percent own home outright, 2020: OECD Affordable Housing

Homelessness: OECD Affordable Housing Database

Numbers are estimates for 2020 or latest year available. Official number of homeless in Japan as reported by Japan’s government. According to non-profits, the actual number may be two or three times higher.*Data for United Kingdom refer to household instead of individuals.


Worldwide average cost of living comparisons
Worldwide square footage comparisons
“Owning Your Own Home Doesn’t Make You Rich. Owning Somebody Else’s Does.”

Andrew Van Dam, October 30, 2018
Washington Post. A study by Pirmin Fessler and Martin Schürz compared household wealth across the U.S. and European countries, dividing households into renters, homeowners and business owners/landlords. The biggest gaps are often present between business owners/landlords and customers/tenants, with the U.S. and Austria taking the lead. Looking at the past decade up until 2018 shows that, while the number of renters has been growing steadily, home ownership is the U.S. has seen little growth.

“Four Homelessness Trends from 2018 and What They Could Mean for 2019”

Oriya Cohen, January 9, 2019
From 2017 to 2018, there was a 2 percent increase in unsheltered homelessness in the U.S. with California alone accounting for 49 percent of the total number of unsheltered homeless persons. Family and veteran homelessness declined significantly. Family homelessness has decreased a total of 23 percent from 2007 to 2018 and decreased 2 percent from 2017 to 2018. Veteran homelessness decreased 5 percent from 2017 to 2018. The number of African Americans who are homeless decreased in 2018 but this group is still largely over-represented, accounting for 13 percent of the total U.S. population but 40 percent of the homeless population.

Page updated 11/19/2022.