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Homeless Children in the US


Child on street


  • More than one-third of U.S. homeless population is made up of children.

  • Fifty percent of homeless teens age 16 and older drop out of school.

  • An estimated 1.6 million to 2.8 million teens and young people through age 22 are on our streets. Many have been subjected to physical and sexual abuse by a parent or guardian; are abandoned due to substance abuse in the home; and/or suffered extreme family conflict.

  • Almost 1 million children enrolled in our schools were homeless in the Fall 2008 school year, a jump of more than 41% from the 2006-2007, according to the Department of Education, which notes that these numbers do not cover every school district.

  • Homeless children/teens are twice as likely to have a learning disability, repeat a grade, or be suspended from school.

  • A quarter of homeless children have witnessed violence and 22% have been separated from their families.

  • Many homeless youth engage in risky sexual behaviors.

  • 97% of homeless kids move at least once a year, interrupting their education and making academic achievement more difficult.

  • More than 50% of homeless youth suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and/or substance abuse problems.

  • Among the 21 most affluent nations, the United States has the highest percentage of poor children. In fact, our rate is twice that of the country next in line.

  • About 15 million children -- one out of every four -- live below the official poverty line.

  • 22% of Americans under the age of 18 -- and 25% under age 12 -- are hungry or at the risk of being hungry.



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