Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Lifetime Prevalence of Homelessness in the United States

Homelessness in the United States is often examined using cross-sectional, point-in-time samples. Any experience of homelessness is a risk factor for adverse outcomes, so it is also useful to understand the incidence of homelessness over longer periods. In this report, researchers explore the impact of race and ethnicity on the lifetime prevalence of homelessness among the baby-boomer cohort in the United States.

Results point to significant disparities along racial and ethnic lines, information which is helpful for program and service development. They estimate the lifetime prevalence of homelessness among members of the Baby Boom cohort (n = 6,545) using the 2012 and 2014 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative survey of older Americans. The analysis indicates that 6.2% of respondents had a period of homelessness at some point in their lives.

Publication Date: 
Springer US
Journal Name: 
Demography Journal
United States