Homelessness/Poverty Fact Sheet

  • The three most cited reasons for family homelessness are: 1) Lack of affordable housing, 2) unemployment, and 3) poverty.


  • 2.5 million children will experience homelessness this year in America.


  • 1 in 30 children in the United States experience homelessness annually.


  • Nearly 1.4 million school children were homeless in school year 2016-17.


  • Students experiencing homelessness are up to nine times more likely than their non-homeless peers to repeat a grade.


  • 51% of homeless children are under age 6 and, therefore, too young for school and are not counted.


  • 35% of all homeless persons nationwide are families with children.


  • Homeless families are often hidden from our view—they are living in shelters, cars, campgrounds, or doubled up in overcrowded apartments.


  • Nearly 40 million people (1 in 8) in the U.S. live below the poverty line.


  • More than 1 in 5 (15 million) U.S. children under age 18 live in poverty.


  • In 2018, 16.2 percent of children (11.9 million) were living in poverty. (Source)


  •  The official poverty line for a family of four with two children is $25,465 per year. (Source)


  • The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour. It has not been raised since 2009.


  • A worker needs to earn $12.73/hour to reach the poverty level for a family of four.


  • A renter needs to earn $22.96/hour to afford a two-bedroom rental in the U.S.


  • In only 28 counties in the country (out of 3,007) can a worker making the federal minimum wage afford a Fair Market Rent one-bedroom apartment.


  • Median rent in the U.S. rose 61% between 1960 to 2016, while median renter income rose only 5%.


  • 11 million households now pay more than 50% of their income for housing–an increase of 4.3 million households since 2001.


  • Only 25% of those considered eligible for federal housing assistance receive help, due to lack of funding.


  • For every 100 extremely low-income households, there are only 37 affordable rentals available on the market.


  • The U.S. has a shortage of more than 7.2 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income rental households.


  • In America, nearly 13 million children live in food-insecure households (where they may not have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life).



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