America's Youngest Outcasts

The National Center on Family Homelessness has released a new report, America's Youngest Outcasts 2010, which ranks the 50 states on how they are addressing child homelessness from best (1) to worst (50), and offers specific policy solutions. The report finds that more than 1.6 million children, or one in 45, are homeless annually in America. This represents an increase of 38% during the years impacted by the economic recession (2007 to 2010). 

This report, which updates a previous study by The National Center, looks at trends in child homelessness from 2006 to 2010 using data and research on the extent of child homelessness, child well-being, risk for homelessness, and state policy and planning efforts.  

  • 1.6 million American children, or one in 45, are homeless each year.
  • This equates to more than 30,000 children each week, and more than 4,400 every day.
  • Children experiencing homelessness suffer from hunger, poor physical and emotional health, and missed educational opportunities.
  • A majority of these children have limited proficiency in math and reading.
  • The risks for child homelessness - such as extreme poverty and worst case housing needs - have worsened with the economic recession, even though the total housing capacity for families increased by more than 15,000 units in the past four years, primarily due to the federal Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).
  • Planning and policy activities to support these vulnerable children remain limited. Sixteen states have done no planning related to child homelessness, and only seven states have extensive plans.  

To learn more about America's Youngest Outcasts 2010 and find out where your state ranks, please visit