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Local Poverty Rates & Student Homelessness

Poverty data can be a useful tool for districts in estimating the approximate number of students who may experience homelessness. According to the Urban Institute (2001 report available here), approximately ten percent of children living in poverty will experience homelessness in a given year. Poverty data can be accessed through the U.S. Census Bureau.

Please note that there are many factors outside of poverty that contribute to homelessness (for example, natural disasters, house fires, domestic violence) that may affect the reported number of homeless students. These data should not be viewed as quotas but as rough guidelines to assist school staff and service providers in thinking about the possible prevalence of homelessness in a community.

This spreadsheet includes data broken down for each NYS school district with the following information:

  • Estimated number of children ages 5-17 (school-age children) living in poverty (2019 data)

  • 10% of children ages 5-17 living in poverty

  • Total number of students identified as homeless by the district (2019-20 data)

  • Number of students possibly under-identified as homeless

The poverty data come from the U.S. Census Bureau. The homeless data come from the State Education Department. The number of students possibly under-identified was calculated by subtracting the homeless data from the 10% of children living in poverty data.

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