Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saturday Stats: Santa Clara County has the 5th Largest Homeless Population in the US

Homelessness is one of the key issues our area is facing more and more each day. A federal survey has come out saying homelessness has declined overall, but Santa Clara County has the 5th largest homeless population in the US. This is not adjusted on a per capita basis (like the map below), but raw numbers.

Homeless Populations

  • New York City: 64,060
  • Los Angeles city and county: 53,798
  • Seattle/King County: 9,106
  • San Diego city and county: 8,879
  • San Jose/Santa Clara County: 7,631

I am a little bit skeptical about the data given SF is not on the top 5, but Santa Clara County does have more than double the population of SF County. On a per capita basis I would expect Santa Clara County to be lower on the list.

The real bad news is that they are not mostly transients that are flocking to the South Bay for awesome weather and a liberal environment. 85% of the homeless here had their last permanent residency within the county. This isn't something that we can easily sweep under the rug, most of these people were former neighbors at one point.

Source: Anonymous Poster, The Merc


  1. SF's homeless population is probably 7,630...

  2. San Francisco homeless population: 6,436

    According to this:

  3. Yup, someone messed up on the heat map. SF county should be in darker purple at almost double the number per 10k residents (78 vs. SClara county's 41.5). Wonder why they left it brighter than Fresno or NOLA??

  4. Santa Clara County also has significantly more services for homeless services. We have more shelters (EHC Lifebuilders, InnVision), transitional living facilities for chronic homeless, especially families, and more mental health non-profits that serve the homeless population. Gilroy in particular has seen a spike in recent years because of the services located there. The city is trying to figure out how to deal with the influx. (I work with the low-income population in the area of housing law, and this is common knowledge in my work world)

  5. I wonder if this is tied to the higher rents we've been seeing the last 3 years, the unemployment rate has dropped quickly from around 11% to 5.8% so it doesn't seem to be the economy at this point. Maybe people with lower incomes are having trouble keeping up with the rents, reducing their ability to save and how long their savings last in the case of job loss?