The ONS today released new statistics detailing the number of deaths of people experiencing homelessness for the calendar year of 2021. The key statistics are as follows:
- There were 741 reported deaths of people experiencing homelessness – an increase of 7.7% since 2020
- 13.4% of estimated deaths were due to suicide, an annual increase of 34%
- The estimated number of deaths among homeless people has increased by 54% since records began in 2013
- Since 2013 the rate of death has increased in every region
- London and the North West had the highest numbers of deaths registered in 2021, with 154 (20.8% of the total number) and 114 (15.4% of the total number) estimated deaths of homeless people respectively.
Responding to these statistics, Rick Henderson, chief executive of Homeless Link, the national membership charity for front line homelessness organisations in England, comments:
“The rise in the number of homeless deaths last year is shameful. Each and every death of a person experiencing homelessness is a tragedy, and a clear sign that they have been failed by the systems that are designed to support them. It is important that each death is investigated with a safeguarding adult review so that we can learn lessons and address mistakes made to prevent people from prematurely losing their lives in future.
“We know from our Unhealthy State of Homelessness research that people experiencing homelessness face significant and growing health inequalities, and this has simply got to change. We should not and cannot accept poorer health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. These ONS stats are damning indictment of what happens if we do. Furthermore, we should redouble our efforts to ensure we are preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place.”