The purpose of this project is to investigate the connection between the social and statistical findings regarding the issue of homelessness in the United States. Because of the inconsistencies with how homelessness is tracked, two government-provided sources were used. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness provides general data of homelessness, while the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development data shows the reported usage of homeless by the programs themselves. In addition, I also investigate the social impact and experiences of this issue to provide a more dynamic view of the problem of homelessness in the states. It was found that several factors are related to the increasing homeless rate in both the general homeless population as well as the chronically homeless nationwide. States with densely populated cities were found to most frequently have a higher homeless population. Investigating prominent identities of this population showed that K-12 students had the highest population, showing to be 14 times larger than that of the chronically homeless population. When looking at the historical political affiliation of states, Democratic states were found to have the highest number of homeless people, while Republican states had the highest homeless proportion. When considering the social implications of this issue, it was found that there is a general mistrust among shelter service workers and the homeless population, minority students are more likely to experience homelessness than their white counterparts, and substance abuse in Missouri is a high contributor to the states 15% homeless rate. Homelessness is difficult to track but investigating the statistical and social implications allows us to better grasp the underlying factors of this timeworn issue.


Morrison, Jillian


Statistical and Data Sciences


Place and Environment | Sociology


homelessness, social statistics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar


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