Scotland has worst record on homeless deaths in Britain

Almost 200 Scots died experiencing homelessness in 2018 new figures today show - the worst rate in the UK.

Scotland has worst record on homeless deaths in Britain
Scotland has worst record on homeless deaths in Britain

The 195 deaths among vulnerable people north of the border marks a rise of 19% on 2017, according to new "experimental figures" produced by the National Records of Scotland.

Scotland had the highest rate of homeless deaths of all British countries in 2018 with a rate of 35.9 per million population compared to 16.8 in England and 14.5 in Wales, according to figures published by

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Glasgow has the highest rate with 100 deaths per million , while in Aberdeen the figure was 67. Shetland islands had a homeless death rate of 111.8 per million population but this was based on a very small number of deaths so should be interpreted with caution.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “This report shows that of the number of people who died while experiencing homelessness, 53% were drug related deaths. This reflects the wider public health emergency Scotland is facing over drug deaths.

"The next meeting of the Homelessness Prevention and Strategy Group will have a specific focus on public health and addiction issues and both myself and the Public Health Minister will be attending.

“One person being made homeless is one too many and that is why the Scottish Government are working in partnership to transform services to ensure our system supports those at risk."

The figures cover those in temporary accommodation at the time of their death as well as those who were sleeping rough.

Paul Lowe, the Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland and Registrar General for Scotland, said are experimental statistics and we will continue to work with users and stakeholders to assess their suitability and quality, as we continue to develop our methodology in future years”