There seems to be a lot of attention towards unemployed/homeless military veterans in the USA. Are there any statistics or studies to show that this is some sort of pandemic, or at least unemployment/homelessness is more of a problem for ex-military than people with other careers who have lost their jobs?

According to the article Vets Will Face Increased Challenges if Support Programs Are Cut:

Nearly one in seven homeless adults are veterans, as of December 2011.

however the link to the source doesn't work for me.

  • It seems to me the question you are trying to ask is "Are a disproportionate number of homeless US people ex-military?" but the music video claim is about the absolute number of veteran suicides, the Quora site doesn't suggest it is disproportionate, and the reddit questyion isn't notable. Can we find a notable claim?
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 16, 2016 at 7:43
  • Here are some potential claims: 11% of the homeless adult population are veterans/20% of the male homeless population are veterans
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 16, 2016 at 7:47
  • 1
    Here is an article with the claim "Nearly one in seven homeless adults are veterans, as of December 2011." though the link to the citation is broken. americanprogress.org/issues/security/news/2012/03/06/11201/…
    – Celeritas
    Feb 16, 2016 at 7:50
  • The fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs is such a thing, seems to suggest people think that veterans are in need of job assistance.
    – Celeritas
    Feb 16, 2016 at 7:52
  • 5
    Shouldn't someone ask what percentage of adults are veterans? A quick pass through Google says anywhere from 1 in 4 to 1 in 6, so at first glance it appears veterans are less likely to be homeless than the general population.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 16, 2016 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


From 2015 AHAR: Part 1 - PIT Estimates of Homelessness in the U.S.

More than one in ten homeless adults was a veteran, 47,725 homeless veterans or 11 percent of 436,921 homeless adults.

According to the US census bureau:

There are 21.8 million veterans in the United States

And the total number of adults is 242 million.

So 9% of adults are veterans.

So looking at all adults, veterans are more often homeless than the general population.

However, the overrepresentation of veterans among homeless is explained by overrepresentation of males (339,075) among homeless people and veterans (over 90%).

  • Good answer. It would also be interesting to look at homelessness as a function of time since separation from the military. It could be (as it was with me) that many vets just don't want to settle in one place for a while after leaving the regimented military life.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 17, 2016 at 3:54
  • @jamesqf I had to change the answer a lot, because I wasn't limiting to "adults" originally.
    – DavePhD
    Feb 17, 2016 at 12:56

As of 2014, the veteran homeless count stands at 11% of US Homeless Adult population. The source is mentioned here as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, PART 1 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, October 2014.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .