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Brief 4 Homelessness: Number and percentage of homeless students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools, by selected school and student characteristics, 2015–16

excel icon Brief4 Excel Table

Characteristic Number Percent of all students Percentage distribution of homeless children
Total 1,360,156 2.8 100.0
Primary nighttime residencea
Doubled up or shared housingb 994,858 73.1
Hotels or motels 85,070 6.3
Shelters, transitional housing, or awaiting foster care placement 210,152 15.5
Unshelteredc 45,575 3.4
School locale
City 623,963 4.0 45.9
Suburban 432,674 2.1 31.8
Town 143,242 2.7 10.5
Rural 160,277 2.5 11.8
School district average poverty rate of children ages 5–17d
0 to 10.0 percent 101,455 1.0 7.5
10.1 to 20.0 percent 381,788 2.3 28.1
20.1 to 25.0 percent 260,847 3.4 19.2
More than 25.0 percent 514,215 3.9 37.8
† Not applicable.
a Does not sum to the total number of homeless students because of missing data on primary nighttime residence.
b Refers to temporarily sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.
c Includes living in cars, parks, campgrounds, temporary trailers—including Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailers—or abandoned buildings.
d A family is in poverty if its income falls below the Census Bureau's poverty threshold, which is a dollar amount that varies depending on a family's size and composition and is updated annually to account for inflation. To create the school district categories, public school districts were ranked and divided into quarters based on the family poverty rate of their population ages 15 to 17; the cut points between the four quarters were chosen so that, at the national level, each quarter contains approximately the same number of students.
NOTE: Homeless students are defined as children/youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. For more information, see "C118 - Homeless Students Enrolled" at https://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/edfacts/sy-15-16-nonxml.html. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and missing data on primary nighttime residence.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, EDFacts Data Warehouse (internal U.S. Department of Education source); and Common Core of Data. U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Program.