Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2021

This statistics bulletin provides information on homelessness in Scotland in the 6 month period from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021, alongside historical data.


Key Points

  • Indications of a return to pre-pandemic levels for age and gender profiles of main applicants as well as household types.
  • Decrease in the proportion of White main applicants and an increase for those of Asian ethnicity.

In 2021, 9,529 (68%) homeless households are single people. This compares to 71% in 2020, with the decrease in proportion driven by single male households which experienced a drop from 50% to 46%. There has been an increase in the proportion of households with children from 24% to 27%, which is still lower than the 30% pre-pandemic.

Chart 6: 2021 indicates a return to pre-pandemic proportions Bar chart showing a breakdown of homeless households by household type

55% of main applications were male and 45% female in 2021. There have been increases in the proportion of those aged 50 and over compared to the previous year (12% to 14%). Consistent with other findings, there have been some movements in the age and gender profiles in 2021, bringing these back in line with proportions similar to 2019.

85% of main applicants in 2021 stated they were of White ethnicity – a decrease from 90% in 2020, and lower than 87% in 2019. There has been an increase in proportion from 1% to 2% in main applicants of Asian ethnicity, although it should be noted this relates to just over 100 households and caution should be applied when considering changes based on small numbers.


Email: homelessness_statistics_inbox@gov.scot

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