Americans’ Awareness of Youth Homelessness

Ipsos Poll on Behalf of The National Network for Youth

Americans’ Awareness of Youth Homelessness

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, March 11, 2019 – In support of the Street Child World Cup, Ipsos has partnered with the National Network for Youth and Street Child United to raise awareness of youth homelessness and for the event in which street children from around the globe represent their countries in a soccer tournament.

According to the survey results, Americans generally underestimate the number of young homeless adults in the country. When asked to approximate the number of homeless young adults between ages 18 and 25, only 13% correctly answered with an estimation between 3 and 4 million. 48% estimated a lower population and only 14% overestimated the population. 

Americans also seem disconnected on problems facing young homeless people. “Couch surfers,” those without a permanent home, but who can often find shelter with a friend, are considered to be homeless. However, when asked whether they consider this type of person to be homeless, just 39% of those surveyed agreed these people face homelessness. Furthermore, Americans continue to view substance abuse and mental health issues as causes of homelessness, rather than symptoms. When asked if they believe the majority of homeless people with substance abuse or mental health problems had these issues before experiencing homelessness, 70% (substance abuse) and 73% (mental health) wrongly assumed that these problems existed before becoming homeless. 

Despite these results, Americans overwhelmingly support legislation to combat homelessness among the young population. 88% agree that the success of our young people will directly impact the success of their communities, and more than eight in ten support prioritizing funding for programs that help young homeless people achieve their GEDs at both the federal (83%) and state level (84%). 

About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted February 2-February 4, 2018. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. 

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education. 

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,005, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5.0). 

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, U.S.
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
chris.jackson@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. Through our media partnerships, Ipsos Public Affairs is a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and internationally. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.
With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,749.5 million in 2018.

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs

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