Around 250 people died while experiencing homelessness last year

Around 250 people died while experiencing homelessness last  year

An estimated 250 people died while experiencing homelessness in Scotland in 2021, according to new figures published by National Records of Scotland.

The figure is at a similar level to last year.

Midlothian, Glasgow City, and the City of Edinburgh had the highest rates of homeless deaths within Scotland, whilst Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, and Stirling council areas recorded none.

81% of those who died were male and 60% were aged under 45.

Head of vital events, Julie Ramsay, said: “Drug-misuse deaths of people experiencing homelessness fell in the past year for the first time, from 151 to 127, but it was still the cause of over half of all deaths for people experiencing homelessness in 2021.

“As in previous years, the death rate of males is much higher than that of females. 81% of deaths in 2021 were male and 19% were female. The age profile of females was younger, with 72% of those who died being under the age of 45.”

There were two deaths where the underlying cause was Covid-19.

While these figures are similar to last year’s, the estimated number of people dying while experiencing homelessness is higher than in 2017, the first year that NRS collected this data.

Housing secretary Shona Robison said: “Behind every statistic is a human story and this year’s report provides heartbreaking reading. We know that experience of multiple forms of extreme disadvantage, including homelessness, poor mental health and opioid dependence, is linked to higher rates of ill health and premature death. We are committed to doing all we can to address disadvantage and prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.”

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