Kids Mostly Homeless Due to Poverty, Global Study Finds

A recent study of global youth homelessness points to poverty, not delinquency, as the major factor leading to “street involvement.” The study, published online by JAMA Pediatrics, concludes that homeless children “require support and protection” and calls on governments worldwide to address social and economic inequities as a way to combat homelessness.

The study’s lead researcher, Paula Braitstein, of the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said in a Toronto Star article, “If we want to help these kids, policy-makers need to understand why they take to the streets. Given our study’s findings, criminalizing youth or instituting policies that assume they are thieves, delinquents or drug addicts, won’t help.”

Researchers found that poverty accounted for 39 percent of youth homelessness, followed by family conflict at 32 percent and abuse at 25 percent. The team gathered data from 49 studies conducted between 1990 and 2013 to examine reasons children and youth under 24 gave for their situation.

Braitstein, in a University of Toronto website post, estimates that there are tens to hundreds of millions of children homeless or connected to the streets worldwide.

“Street youth have rights … and they often find themselves in situations that violate their basic human rights,” she said.


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top