Number of homeless in the Netherlands has risen

Number of homeless in the Netherlands has risen

Homelessness has increased for three consecutive years. Early 2012, more than 27 thousand people were homeless according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands. Half of them have a foreign background and 40 percent have a non-western background. Nearly half of all homeless are found in Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Rotterdam.

Homeless people have no fixed abode and sleep in homeless shelters, rough on the streets or in public buildings, but also on an irregular basis with relatives or friends. The number of homeless has risen in recent years. Last year, there were more than 27 thousand, versus more than 23 thousand in 2010. Four in every five homeless are men, one in five are women. Homeless women are relatively young: 30 percent are aged between 18 and 30. More than 20 percent of homeless men are in this age category.

Many homeless have a non-western background. There are more men than women among homeless with a non-western background. Six in every ten homeless with a foreign background are found in the major cities versus nearly one in three native Dutch homeless. On average, homeless people with a foreign background are younger than their native Dutch counterparts: 27 percent are younger than 30, nearly 20 percent are aged between 50 and 65.

In the Dutch population as a whole, the average age of people with a foreign background is also lower than the average age in the native Dutch population. With a share of 20 percent, there are fewer young people among native Dutch homeless and more older people (25 percent).

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