100% stacked bar chart of homeless by age, gender, race, ethnicity, location, and sheltered status, based on data from HUD.

Profile of America’s Homeless

While the 553,000 homeless in the US are more likely to be over 24, male, and on their own, one third of the homeless are members of families with children, as shown in this 100% stacked bar chart.  Data from the 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress released by Department of Housing and Urban Development are based on surveys conducted in January 2018. The data show that 2/3 of the homeless are individuals and 1/3 are homeless families with children.  The homeless are 60% male and 39% female.  African Americans account for 40% of the homeless, which is a much greater than their percentage of the US population. California and New York has the most homeless with 24% and 17%, respectively.  Over half of the homeless were in urban areas, 25% in suburbs and 17% in rural areas.  2/3 were in shelters on the January nights when the survey was conducted and 1/3 were unsheltered.

Profile of America's Homeless in 100% Stacked Bar Chart

100% stacked bar chart of homeless by age, gender, race, ethnicity, location, and sheltered status, based on data from HUD.

How I Made This 100% Stacked Bar Chart

The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress  showed the data in a series of charts and tables across a 100 page report.  I wanted to summarize the key demographic data in a single slide.  The 100% stacked bar chart allows me to show how the population is divided across many categories in one chart.  You can view this as a one chart dashboard. The data for this chart was extracted from tables in the report.  I summarized data in a few of the categories, collapsing smaller segments into larger ones or into "other" to improve readability without losing too much information.  The data have to be laid out so that each bar (column) has a different group of series (rows) associated with it.  The groupings for each category are different.  You can see the data below: Image of Mekko Graphics Data Editor for chart profiling America's homeless Here are the steps to make this 100% stacked bar:
  • enter the data as described above into the Mekko Graphics Data Editor
  • add a row add the top of the spreadsheet to contain total number of homeless, to be used for calculations when needed
  • use formulas with total row to compute "Other" data as needed
  • apply a custom sort to the bars so that they are laid out in a 'logical' order, grouping related bars together
  • apply a custom sort to some series to layout the bar segments in a 'logical' order
  • hide the bar totals and show the labels and percentages in each segment
  • color each segment to provide shades of color in each bar moving from dark to light
  • adjust the internal chart margins

Take This Chart and Make It Your Own

Download this chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics. See more bar charts in our chart gallery. Here are some other charts that may be of interest