The number of people sleeping rough has increased for the sixth year in a row with a rise of 16% between 2015 and 2016, the latest statistics from the Department for Communities & Local Government show.
While there has been a slight increase (3%) in the number of rough sleepers counted on London’s streets, the number of people sleeping rough across the rest of England has increased by a fifth (21%) – from 2,629 in 2015 to 3,170 in 2016.
Overall there were 4,134 people either counted or estimated to be sleeping rough in England on a single autumn night last year. That was up 565 from autumn 2015’s total of 3,569.
In 2010 there were 1,768 rough sleepers. The latest statistic represents an increase of 134% since the start of the decade.
London had 964 rough sleepers in 2016 and accounts for almost a quarter (23%) of England’s total, although that is slightly down from the capital representing 26% of England’s overall figure in 2015.
The latest report included for the first time some basic demographic information about those found to be sleeping rough.
Of the 4,134 rough sleepers, 509 (12%) were women while 288 (7%) were under the age of 25. Fewer than a fifth (17%) were EU nationals from outside the UK, while 194 (5%) were from outside the EU. The demographics of every rough sleeper was not confirmed as councils can either conduct counts or provide estimates.
While all 326 local authorities in England submitted a rough sleeping figure, just 47 had conducted a count. Those who conducted a count reported 1,137 rough sleepers, 28% of the total, while those who compiled an estimate reported 2,997 rough sleepers - 72% of the total.
|Top ten highest local authority rough sleeping counts and estimates, England, autumn 2016|
|Local authority||Total count or estimate|
|Brighton and Hove||144|