Census 2016: Figures reveal three in four homeless people in Ireland live in Dublin

Nearly three in every four homeless people in Ireland are living in Dublin, according to the latest release of data from Census 2016 by the Central Statistics Office ( CSO ).

The figures showed that there were 6,906 people sleeping rough across the country on the night the Census was carried out in April last year, 5,009 (73%) of whom were based in Dublin.

The majority of people (58%) who identified as homeless across the country were male, although there was a lower proportion of homeless men (55%) in the capital.

In total, 2,887 people (42%) were in Private Emergency Accommodation on the night the Census was carried out, while 2,681 were in Supported Temporary Accommodation.

A further 1,144 persons were in Temporary Emergency Accommodation, while 123 people were sleeping rough on Census night, 102 of whom were based in Dublin.

The data also showed that 1,846 homeless people - or more than one in four - counted for the Census were younger than 17 years-old, the vast majority of whom (1,594) were children in family units.

The average age of a homeless person was 31, which compared to the average age of 37 among the general population.

Meanwhile, 2,968 people (43%) of those in homelessness at the time of the Census were in one of 896 families.

This figure included 326 families with one child, 261 families with two children, 131 families with three children, and 111 families with four children or more.

Separately, non-Irish nationals accounted for 14% of the homeless population, compared with 11.6% of the general population.

As with the general population, people from Poland and the UK were the largest groups of non-Irish nationals who were identified as homeless.

Commenting on the figures, Deirdre Cullen, Senior Statistician with the CSO, said the figures would improve understanding of homelessness by providing data on the circumstances of Ireland's homeless population.

But Niamh Randall of homeless charity Simon Communities said the figures were only a snapshot of the lives of people who availed of homeless services on Census night.

She said: "What these figures really show us is that people who are homeless, like the rest of the population, do not have a singular experience of homelessness.

"They represent a wide range of experiences and a broad spectrum of people; single people, families, women, young people and drug/alcohol users who are homeless."

Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen added that the Census data helped to break down a number of preconceptions many people have about Ireland’s homeless population.

He said: "It shows that people who are homeless look very much like everyone else in the population.

"This demonstrates the extent to which homelessness is linked to the wider housing crisis that impacts on all sections of society."

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