More homeless people died in Greater Manchester than in any other city region outside of London last year, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics while across the North West as a whole, those dying have increased at the fastest rate.
The statistics are the first time that the ONS have attempted to record deaths in this way nationally,previous UK research on deaths of homeless people has focused mainly on London or other specific cities, and has used a variety of methods.
There were an estimated 597 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales in 2017, a figure that has increased by 24% over the last five years while men made up 84% of the total.
The mean age at death of homeless people was 44 years for men, 42 years for women and 44 years for all persons between 2013 and 2017; in comparison, in the general population of England and Wales in 2017, the mean age at death was 76 years for men and 81 years for women.Over half of all deaths of homeless people in 2017 were due to drug poisoning, liver disease or suicide; drug poisoning alone made up 32% of the total.
These figures are produced as Experimental Statistics, which are in the testing phase and not yet fully developed.
Rough sleeping statistics for England are produced annually by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The latest rough sleeping statistics were published on 25 January 2018. The publication provides information on the single night snapshot of rough sleeping that is taken annually in England using street counts and intelligence-driven estimates.
Ben Humberstone, Head of Health and Life Events, Office for National Statistics said:
“Every year hundreds of people die while homeless. These are some of the most vulnerable members of our society so it was vital that we produced estimates of sufficient quality to properly shine a light on this critical issue. Today we have been able to do just that. We estimate that in 2017 there were 597 deaths of homeless people in England and Wales, a rise of 24% since 2013.
“Our findings show a pattern of deaths among homeless people that is strikingly different from the general population. For example, homeless people tend to die younger and from different causes. The average age of death last year was 44 years, with 84% of all deaths being men. More than half were related to drug poisoning, suicide, or alcohol, causes that made up only 3% of overall deaths last year.”