Survey about homeless

Paru le :Paru le24/02/2024

The main objectives of the survey Homeless are:

  • to describe the characteristics of the homeless people and the people without a fixed residence: the aim is notably to compare the homeless with the population living in an ordinary housing on topics such as health, employment, living standards;
  • to describe the difficulties of access to housing and the life trajectories that led people to the situation of being homeless in order to identify the processes of exclusion;
  • to estimate the number of homeless people.

The 2001 survey was first conducted in Europe. The 2001 methodology was based on the analysis of experiments in the United States since the 80s ( Urban Institute (1987), Research Triangle Institute (1991), Board of the Census (1996)) and in France by INED (in 1995, 1997 and 1998). The principle is to sample locations likely to host homeless and, in these places, to sample users (these are not necessarily homeless, and the questionnaire must establish their housing (or non-housing) status).

A second edition with the same principles took place in 2012, jointly conducted by Insee and INED, with some new features introduced. New services have been added (breakfasts, night shelters, and places where people are temporarily accommodated when it's very cold), and the non-French-speaking population has been included in the survey thanks to the addition of self-administered questionnaires on paper available in 14 languages. The 2012 survey provided an estimate of 143,000 individuals, up 50% on the previous survey in 2001.

The third edition of the Sans Domicile survey foreseen in 2025 is part of the continuity, this time under the direction of Insee and the Direction de la recherche, des études, de l'évaluation et des statistiques (Drees). The sample survey was carried out among people using accommodation and meal distribution services. This third edition seeks to extend the scope of the survey to include marauding services, shelters for asylum seekers, and improved data collection among non-French speakers (through computerization).

Documentation par millésimes


Punctual or aperiodic

Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies