PopWire: Veterans Are More Likely to Be Homeless Than Other Civilians

(November 2007) U.S. veterans tend to be better off economically than nonveterans. They enjoy higher median incomes and a lower unemployment rate than their nonveteran peers. Yet they are more likely to be homeless than the total civilian population ages 18 and older. In fact, 26 percent of homeless people are veterans, although they make up just 11 percent of the adult population.

In 2006, nearly 196,000 veterans were homeless on any given night. In addition, an estimated 930,000, or 4 percent of all veterans, spend more than half of their income on monthly housing costs, whether owned or rented. Among veterans, those with a disability; females; and those who are not married, separated, divorced, or widowed, are more likely to report spending more than half their income on housing.

Based on data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Census Bureau, the report, Vital Mission: Ending Homelessness Among Veterans, can be found at

Sandra Yin, PRB Associate Editor