Homelessness has decreased more in California than any other state

LOS ANGELES — This week, Los Angeles County officials were stunned to learn the area’s homeless population soared by almost 60,000 in the past year.

But statewide, California actually had the biggest overall decrease in the number of homeless people of any state from 2017 to 2018.

It’s difficult to compare how cities nationwide rank in homelessness because some cities use very different methods for counting or reporting.

And while the US Department of Housing and Urban Development publishes statistics on homelessness, some experts say the data might drastically undercount its true scope.

But HUD’s most recent Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress gives a glimpse into which states have seen the most drastic changes in the number of homeless people between 2017 and 2018:

States with the largest overall increase in homelessness

Massachusetts: 2,503 (an increase of about 14%)

New York: 2,394 (an increase of about 3%)

Texas: 1,762 (an increase of about 7%)

Washington: 1,192 (an increase of about 6%)

Arizona: 918 (an increase of about 10%)

States with the biggest overall decrease in homelessness

California: -1,560 (a decrease of about 1%)

Florida: -1,160 (a decrease of about 4%)

Michigan: -700 (a decrease of about 8%)

Hawaii: -690 (a decrease of about 10%)

Georgia: -675 (a decrease of about 7%)

States with the largest increases in homeless veterans

Massachusetts: 132 (an increase of about 16%)

Oregon: 112 (an increase of 9%)

Alabama: 70 (an increase of 26%)

Mississippi: 45 (an increase of 79%)

New Mexico: 42 (an increase of about 17%)

States with the biggest decreases in homeless veterans

California: -600 (a decrease of about 5%)

Washington: -457 (a decrease of about 22%)

Florida: -274 (a decrease of about 10%)

Texas: -265 (a decrease of 12%)

Kentucky: -120 (a decrease of about 25%)

States with the largest increases in homeless people in families with children

Massachusetts: 1,959 (an increase of about 17%)

Connecticut: 516 (an increase of about 44%)

New Jersey: 246 (an increase of 8%)

Florida: 165 (an increase of about 2%)

Arizona: 147 (an increase of 6%)

Places with the biggest decreases in homeless people in families with children

District of Columbia: -756 (a decrease of about 19%)

Texas: -729 (a decrease of about 11%)

Minnesota: -519 (a decrease of about 14%)

Pennsylvania: -518 (a decrease of about 9%)

Washington: -451 (a decrease of about 7%)

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