25 Cities With Extremely High Homeless Populations

Posted by , Updated on November 23, 2023

According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, there is an estimated 100 million homeless people worldwide. This is a startling statistic when you consider how affluent some parts of the world are. Here is but a short glimpse at this social travesty within these 25 cities with extremely high homeless populations.


Lisbon, Portugal


Most of the homeless people in Portugal are concentrated in the cities of Lisbon and Porto. Reports say that around 300 homeless people sleep on the streets of Lisbon every night. Today, members of the Comunidade Vida e Paz are persuading the homeless population of Lisbon to take part in rehabilitation programs in order to improve the quality of their lives.


Denver, Colorado


According to the 2012 Point in Time report from Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, Denver saw an increase in it’s homeless population from 411 to 964 between the years of 2011 and 2012.


Indianapolis, Indiana


There are as many as 2,200 homeless people every night in the city of Indianapolis, which is equivalent to around 15,000 over the course of a year. Thought this city is known for its faith-based shelters, there’s just not enough shelters to provide a place for the entire homeless population.


Dublin, Ireland


In a recent study shows that about seven people per day become homeless in Dublin. In 2013, there were about 2,366 people that were reported to be sleeping on the streets of Dublin every night. The government’s failure to increase the stock of social housing is said to be the root cause of this social problem.


Rio De Janeiro, Brazil


Rio De Janeiro is known for having a high homelessness rate with over 2,500 homeless people as of last year.


Baltimore, Maryland


According to a 2011 study, there are about 4,088 homeless individuals in Baltimore, Maryland, many of which are families with children. Today, the city government is making strides towards putting an end to this social problem by creating projects aimed at providing affordable housing and health care.


Tokyo, Japan


A 2013 study shows an estimated homeless population of 5,000 living in Tokyo. This number was a significant increase from the 3,800 homeless individuals recorded in 2008.


Chicago, Illinois


As of July 2013, analysis by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless found that 116,042 Chicagoans were homeless in the course of the 2012-13 school year. This is a 10% increase from last year’s homeless population.


Washington, D.C.


According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of homeless people living in Washington in 2013 was around 6,865. Last year, the city government began to provide shelter to its homeless population whenever temperature levels droped below freezing point. Those who do not want to stay in temporary shelters are provided with a budget to stay in hotels.


Rome, Italy


Out of the 17,000 homeless people in Italy, 7,000 are from Rome.


Tampa, Florida


Lack of affordable housing and homeless shelters has contributed to the alarming number of 7,419 homeless people who call the streets of Tampa their home each night.


San Diego, California


The second largest city in the State of California with a population of 1,345,895, San Diego is home to 8,879 homeless people.


Athens, Greece


Homelessness statistics show that out of the 20,000 homeless people in Greece, 9,000 are from Athens. The number of homeless people in Athens has continued to grow since the economic crisis of 2009.


Seattle, Washington


According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, Seattle is home to a total homeless population of 9,106.


San Francisco, U.S.A.


Around 7,000 to 10,000 people in San Francisco, U.S.A. are homeless, 3,000 to 5,000 of which refuse to live in temporary shelters provided by the government.


Sao Paulo, Brazil


Based on a study conducted recently, around 10,000 people are homeless in the center of Sao Paulo Brazil. Most sleep in old abandoned buildings and hotels.


Budapest, Hungary


In Budapest alone, there are about 10,000 homeless people. Recently, the Hungarian government passed a law that criminalizes homelessness, forcing those who do not want to stay in government-provided shelters to have their own homes. As of today, around 6,000 of the homeless population live in Budapest shelters.


Buenos Aires, Argentina


The Homeless are said to be the phantoms of Buenos Aires streets. As of today, there are about 15,000 homeless people residing in the filthy streets of the city and with the city’s public refuges hosting 1,700 beds for the homeless, this is a scenario that is not going to change any time soon.


Mumbai, India


In 2003, there were about 23 million homeless people in India. Since then, the number has gone up despite the programs implemented by the government to reduce its homelessness rate. In Mumbai alone, there are about 25,000 people who sleep on the streets every night.


Jakarta, Indonesia


According to the 2000 census, around 28,364 people are homeless in Jakarta, Indonesia. However, due to recent natural calamities such as floods and storms the homeless population has grown significantly.


Mexico City, Mexico


40% of the total population of Mexico is living in poverty and according to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) the number of people on the streets of the Mexican capital stands to be between 15,000 and 30,000.


Moscow, Russia

Homeless citizen of St. Petersburg, Russia

There are about 5 million homeless people in Russia and of that number, 1 million are children. Studies show that Moscow has the largest share of homeless people in the country, accounting for 10,000 – 50,000 (depending on the source of information). Despite the ever growing number, there remains no social approach to the problem.


Los Angeles, U.S.A.


The city of Los Angeles has one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the United States. Currently, it houses about 57,737 homeless people (second only to New York city).


New York City


As of 2013, the number of homeless people sleeping each night in the New York City shelter system was already over 60,000, 22,000 of which were children. The homelessness crisis in New York is brought by the lack of housing assistance initiatives provided by local authorities to individuals and families who lack housing.


Manila, Philippines


According to Homeless International, around 22.8 million reside in slums. And according to a Philippine government report, 1.2 million are children who live either by peddling or begging on the streets; 70,000 of which come from Metro Manila alone.

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