How Many People are Homeless in the UK?

Exact numbers are hard to find, However the following statistics from 2014-2016, although likely to be an underestimate, provide an idea of magnitude.

  • The number of homeless families as measured by official government statistics for September 2016 was 74,630, up 9% on the previous year[1].
  • The number of sofa surfers in a 2014 study by Centrepoint[2] was estimated to be 300,000 people.
  • The number of rough sleepers across the whole country on any one night estimated by the same study[2] was calculated at 2,744 people.

  • Together these data provide a conservative estimate of 400,000 homeless people in the UK.

    How Many Homeless People are Registered to Vote?

    Again the is not much data available for this, however one FOI[3] from 2011 shows that only 546 people who were NFA were registered to vote. That would put the percentage of homeless people registered to vote at less than 0.2%.

    How Does This Compare to Young Voters?

    The League of Young Voters[4] put the percentage of 18-24 year olds registered to vote in 2015 general election at 44%. So the proportion of young voters registered is over 2,000 times greater than the proportion of homeless people. That is clearly not "A Democracy That Works For Everyone".[5]

    More Reading...

    Here is a great article giving more information on how the government prioritise their voter registration resources. Here and here are two articles on the matter of homeless voter registration.


    1 - Department For Communities and Local Government, Housing Statistical Release, December 2016.

    2 - Church Housing Trust, How To Help Homeless People, May 2016.

    3 - Electoral Commission, Freedom of Information Request, January 2011.

    4 - The League of Young Voters Statistics, Retrieved May 2017.

    5 - A Democracy That Works for Everyone: Chris Skidmore MP Speech, October 2016.

    To get involved and help give the homeless a voice click here or contact us at We need your help to make this campaign a success. you can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

    Created by Apptivists.