Homelessness Equalities Statistics

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released further breakdowns of homelessness data by age, gender and ethnicity.

Findings for 2019-20 show:

  • compared to the Scottish population, those assessed as homeless are more likely to be: male (55% vs 48%); single adult and single parent households (88% vs 59%); in the 16-49 age range (86% vs 52%); and non-White (14% vs 5%)
  • women are more likely to become homeless as a result of a violent household dispute – 23% compared to 5% of men
  • ‘other’ ethnic group households are much more likely to become homeless from supported accommodation, likely due to the large number of applications from households granted refugee status or leave to remain in the UK status in this group
  • drug/alcohol dependency is most common amongst those aged 35-49 (17% vs 11% for all those assessed as homeless) and men (15% vs 6% for women)
  • female single adult and single parent households were more likely to report a mental health need (34% and 22% respectively) than male single adult and single parent households (27% and 18% respectively)
  • 19% of 16-17 year olds had three or more temporary accommodation placements, compared to 12% of all those assessed as homeless
  • 81% of instances where households were not offered temporary accommodation were single males and 11% single females. This is in breach of the local authorities’ statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation. 25-49 year olds were most likely not to be offered temporary accommodation, with 77% of the 4,595 recorded instances in this age group
  • those with ‘other’ or ‘unknown’ ethnicity had disproportionately high levels of not being offered temporary accommodation (13% and 11% respectively of the 4,595 recorded instances). There were also a disproportionately high number of breaches for non-White ethnicities (around 200 out of 495), with the exception of White Irish


The full statistical publication provides a much wider set of analysis and breakdowns and is available online.

The Homelessness in Scotland: Equalities Breakdown publication extends previously published annual homelessness data on applications, assessments, use of temporary accommodation and outcomes. The most recent data available covers the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

Given the figures in this publication report data up until 31 March 2020, this only crosses over with around a week of coronavirus restrictions and changes in practices being in place. Therefore, changes in trends in homeless data as a result of coronavirus will be extremely minimal over this reporting period.

This publication includes analysis of age, gender and ethnicity characteristics only, as these are the equalities strands for which data is currently collected via homelessness applications. A review of the current homelessness collections is being undertaken, and as part of this consideration will be given to the feasibility of collecting more equalities characteristics in the future.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland is available online.  


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