ABS Reveals Over 9,700 More People Living in Severely Crowded Dwellings Since 2011

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released homelessness findings from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing Wednesday afternoon. The rate of homelessness in Australia increased 4.6 per cent over the last five years.

People living in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings, defined as requiring four or more extra bedrooms to accommodate the people who usually live there, was the greatest contributor to the national increase in homelessness.

“In 2016, this group accounted for 51,088 people, up from 41,370 in 2011,” Dr Paul Jelfs, General Manager of Population and Social Statistics revealed. “One quarter of all people experiencing homelessness in 2016 was aged between 20 and 30 years.”

There were six categories defining homelessness comprising the 116,427 homeless on census night in 2016:

  • Persons living in improvised dwellings, tents, or sleeping out: 8,200
  • Persons in supported accommodation for the homeless: 21,235
  • Persons staying temporarily with other households: 17,725
  • Persons living in boarding houses: 17,503
  • Persons in other temporary lodging: 678
  • Persons living in ‘severely’ crowded dwellings: 51,088

The ABS also acknowledged the census was likely an inaccurate representation of youth homelessness.

“ABS has not yet been able to establish any reliable way, with existing data sources, of estimating homelessness among youth staying with other households and for whom a usual address is reported in the Census. Service providers and researchers have indicated that the estimates of homeless youth derivable from Census data do not concord with their knowledge about youth homelessness.”

To view the entire Estimating Homelessness report and findings from the ABS, please click here.