ARE YOU HOMELESS, SOFA SURFING OR AT RISK?

Teenage boy looks out of window

The Story Behind The Databank

To tackle and ultimately end youth homelessness, we must improve our understanding of how many people experience homelessness across the country and what happens to them once they seek help. This project aims raise awareness of youth homelessness through open and easily-accessible data, and in doing so, help communicate a more realistic image of youth homelessness than official data sources currently provide.  

Introduction to The Databank

The Youth Homelessness Databank brings together information from local and national governments across the UK to explore the true picture of youth homelessness in the UK. It is open for anyone to use.

A Centrepoint member of staff works with a homeless young person.

Using the Youth Homelessness Databank

The Youth Homelessness Databank displays the number of young people aged 16 to 24 who presented as homeless or at risk of homelessness to their local authority. The subsequent support that a young person can expect to receive does vary by nation; you’ll see that the data varies. In England, the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act also changes the data collected from 2018 onwards.

As well as looking up data by either local authority, region or nation, you can also explore by different years. You can also compare data in the following ways:

  • Compare two locations in the same year, though only locations which are the same category (e.g. local authority vs local authority)
  • Compare one location with multiple financial years

You can download the data from the site to an excel file, for you to conduct your own analysis.

A homeless young person receiving support from a Centrepoint volunteer. Centrepoint has volunteering opportunities available in London, Barnsley, Bradford and Sunderland.

Understanding national differences

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have different homelessness policies so the data not directly comparable. In Scotland, for example, the proportion of young people who are accepted and owed a housing duty will be far higher than in England as those presenting in Scotland do not need to meet the 'priority need' criteria that young people in England do.

More details on these differences can be found in the Parliamentary Briefing below.

This also means that some of the data across the devolved nations appears incomplete. In Scotland, for example, prevention and relief is not part of the support plan and, as such, there is no data on this. Furthermore, as across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all young people seeking help should be given an assessment, the data collected on these reflects this.

Read our Parliamentary Briefing

Young woman has a chat with a Centrepoint member of staff.

Data quality and completeness

Data for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales was obtained from their respective central government departments. English data was obtained through Freedom of Information requests sent to all local authorities in England, as the data by age is not currently published by central government. If the data is missing for a particular

As the data is published exactly as it was provided by the local authorities, there may be some cases where the number of young people presenting, and their subsequent pathways, does not add up. We have tried to challenge any instances of this with councils, but where it was not possible to receive correction or clarification we have published as we received it.

Where we receive data that doesn’t look quite right, we will query this with local authorities. It is worth noting that some councils struggled with the new data collection duties within the Homelessness Reduction Act. With this in mind, the information in the Youth Homelessness Databank should be taken as an estimate.

Read our research reports

Using the data for yourself

The Youth Homelessness Databank data is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. This license allows you to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon our work, as long as Centrepoint and the Youth Homelessness Databank are credited for the original creation. If you have any questions about the data, email us by clicking the link below.

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Data Protection

The Youth Homelessness Databank has been created and is hosted, administered and maintained in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. All data on this site is aggregated and values under 5 have been suppressed to prevent identification. For further details on how we manage the data on this site, see our Terms & Conditions.

Terms & Conditions