This publication presents estimates of the prevalence of homelessness from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing together with selected estimates from 2001, 2006 and 2011 published for comparison. More detailed estimates for 2011 were published in Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2011 (cat. no. 2049.0), and more detailed estimates for 2001 and 2006 were published in Census of Population and Housing: Estimating Homelessness, 2006 (cat. no. 2049.0).
Estimates of homelessness from the 2016 Census use the same methodology as previously applied in compiling the 2001, 2006 and 2011 estimates. An overview of the methodology applied is presented in 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication. For more information, see the Information Paper - Methodology for Estimating Homelessness from the Census of Population and Housing, 2012 (cat. no. 2049.0.55.001).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) definition of homelessness is explained in 'Appendix 1: Definition of Homelessness', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication. For more information on the definition see the Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness, 2012 (cat. no. 4922.0).
The ABS would like to acknowledge and give thanks to the following stakeholders who assisted in peer reviewing the homelessness estimates, and to the members of the Homelessness Statistics Reference Group (HSRG) for their contributions and commitment to the process of analysing, understanding and reporting on homelessness in Australia.
- Anglicare WA
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
- Barwon South West Homelessness Network
- Council to Homeless Persons
- Department of Communities (Government of Western Australia)
- Department of Family & Community Services (New South Wales Government)
- Department of Housing and Community Development (Northern Territory Government)
- Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria State Government)
- Department of Health and Human Services (Tasmanian Government)
- Department of Housing and Public Works (Queensland Government)
- Department of Social Services (Australian Government)
- Housing ACT (ACT Government)
- Housing SA (Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, Government of South Australia)
- Micah Projects Ltd
- Mission Australia
- North & West Homelessness Networks, Victoria
- NT Shelter Inc.
- RMIT University (Unison Housing Research Laboratory)
- Sera's Women's Shelter Inc.
- Shelter Tasmania Inc.
- Swinburne University of Technology (Department of Social Science)
The HSRG have endorsed the 2016 Census homelessness estimates. The HRSG also acknowledge that whilst the Census homelessness estimates provide the most comprehensive count of people experiencing homelessness across Australia, there are methodological limitations. The HSRG supports the ABS' continuing efforts to evaluate and improve the accuracy of Census homelessness estimates.