Prevalence and Correlates of Youth Homelessness in the United States, Matthew H. Morton, Ph.D. et. al., Journal of Adolescent Health 62: 14-21 (2018)

Research and Journal Articles

Based on a nationally representative survey, researchers found a twelve-month household prevalence of homelessness of 4.3% for households with 13-17-year-olds and 12.5% for households with 18-25-year-olds, as well as a population prevalence of 9.7% among all youth aged eighteen to twenty-five. The relative risk of experiencing homelessness was significantly greater for youth reporting the following characteristics: unmarried with children of their own; LGBT-identified; Black; lack of a high school or general education diploma (“GED”); and annual household income of less than $24,000. 

Young Latinxs also had higher risks of experiencing homelessness, but the correlation lessened when controlling for the education and parenthood variables. This may suggest interaction between these three variables; future research that adopts an intersectional approach may be able to address this and other race-based phenomena.

The survey was based on over 26,000 respondents and followed-up with a subsample of 150 participants to gather additional information on youth experiences. Among the reasons for the study are the myriad problems facing youth experiencing homelessness, including physical and mental health problems, violence, early pregnancy, and early death.