Rough sleeping population

The Government also collects data on rough sleepers through annual rough sleeper count. Rough sleepers are defined for the purposes of rough sleeping counts and estimates as:

  • people sleeping, about to bed down (sitting on/in or standing next to their bedding) or actually bedded down in the open air (such as on the streets, in tents, doorways, parks, bus shelters or encampments)
  • people in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as stairwells, barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations, or ‘bashes’).

The definition does not include people in hostels or shelters, people in campsites or other sites used for recreational purposes or organised protest, squatters or travellers.

Bedded down is taken to mean either lying down or sleeping. About to bed down includes those who are sitting in/on or near a sleeping bag or other bedding.

Over the last few years the number of rough sleepers identified through the count in Birmingham has fluctuated with a big increase in 2018 and then a fall in 2019:

Table showing rough sleeper count by year

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rough sleeper count 7 8 14 20 36 55 57 91 52


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