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New York, California, And Hawaii: North America’s Homeless Capitals

We finally found an economic category where blue states soundly outcompete red states: in attracting homeless people. The surge in homelessness in these states is a result of a lack of jobs and housing policies, such as rent control and land use zoning restrictions, that limits the building of affordable housing.

It’s telling that the three states – NY, Hawaii, and Calif. – with homeless rates (as % of state population) that are almost quadruple the national average are the most Democratic. We thought these were supposed to be the most progressive and “compassionate” states.

The southern states, despite having lower per capita incomes generally, tend to have the most effective policies to combat lowest homeless rates.

New York City deserves special mention. NYC has an estimated 65,000 homeless people (which is the size of a medium city) and yet the city spends $3 billion a year to combat homelessness. They are going a great job of it.

States with Lowest Homeless Rates
Homeless Population per 10,000 residents

Mississippi 4
North Dakota 7
Louisiana 7
Alabama 7
Virginia 7
West va 8
Arkansas 8
Wisconsin 8
Connecticut 8
Illinois 8

States with Highest Homeless Populations

Colorado 17
Vermont 18
Nevada 22
Massachusetts 26
Alaska 27
Washington. 30
Oregon 35
California 41
Hawaii 46
New York 47

Source: Wall Street 247 based on data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

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