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Briefing Document

It is surprising just how few member states collect data on the extent of homelessness and the profile of homeless people on a regular basis. FEANTSA had hoped that the 2011 European census, which obliged member states to cover homeless people for the first time, would produce comparable data on the extent and nature of homelessness for all EU member states. We asked the European Observatory on Homelessness to look into the way the census was carried out, and to analyse to what extent and how homelessness was covered. The result of this analysis is this research. It demonstrates that we were overly optimistic. Regrettably, the census will not allow for reliable comparisons between EU member states on the extent of homelessness, and in several countries the quality of the homeless data remains questionable. On a positive note, for some countries, the census was used to produce reliable statistics on homelessness for the first time ever.