The last time a global survey was attempted – by the United Nations in 2005 – an estimated 100 million people were homeless worldwide. As many as 1.6 billion people lacked adequate housing (Habitat, 2015).
Getting an accurate picture of global homelessness is extremely
challenging. Definitions of homelessness vary from country to country.
Census data is typically collected based on household and, while most
census data takes into account those living in shelters and receiving
government aid, census takers struggle to count the “hidden homeless” –
those who may be residing in inadequate settlements such as slums,
squatting in structures not intended for housing, couch surfing with
friends and family, and those who relocate frequently.