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Homelessness: Homelessness estimates (OECD)

Homelessness estimates (OECD)

The Affordable Housing Database published by the OECD summarises findings from the OECD Questionnaire on Affordable and Social Housing (QuASH). This questionnaire collects data on housing supply and demand as well as information on specific housing policy measures. Responses are provided by governments of 36 EU and OECD member countries, including Homeless Population Estimates which are used as an indicator of housing affordability. The estimates are collected using available data published by public authorities at the national level on the number of individuals reported to be experiencing homelessness. 

Definitions of homelessness vary greatly across and within countries, as well as across years. Variations in definitions include but are not limited to measuring those living rough, staying in emergency accommodation, living in accommodation for the homeless, living in institutions, living in non-conventional dwellings, living temporarily in conventional housing with family and friends. Australia’s definition additionally includes those living in overcrowding dwellings. These variations in definitions may partially explain large differences in the incidence of homelessness. Cross-country or temporal comparisons should be undertaken with care.

OECD data are also used in the following dashboard menu options: Social rental housing stock (OECD), Household tenure (OECD), Home ownership (OECD), Housing prices (OECD), Housing costs (OECD) and Housing stock and construction (OECD). See the OECD Affordable Housing Database ( and HC3.1. Homeless Population ( for further information about the OECD's homeless population estimates, including definitions, methods, commentary and analysis, in particular data and comparability issues.

Source reference: Affordable Housing Database, tables HC3.1.1a and HC3.1.A1