Office for National Statistics (ONS) is currently producing experimental data on the deaths of homeless people in England and Wales, which it plans to publish later this year.

The figures will act as a measure for the number of rough sleepers and night shelter and hostel users  that die each year and will improve understanding of how and why homeless people die.

The work is a reflection of our strategic commitment to produce helpful analyses on a wide range of important public policy issues, to aid decision-makers.

ONS Deputy Director for Health Analysis and Life Events, Ben Humberstone, said:

“In order to produce new data, we look at other sources of information from a variety of organisations, government departments and stakeholders.

“In this case, we have looked at a crowdsourced database set up by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism in partnership with Channel 4 News and compared that information with our own figures, collected from death registrations. This is to find out whether it would be possible to produce accurate estimates of the deaths of homeless people, their characteristics and what they have died of.

“Information gathered by outside organisations like these is not used for our official statistics, but it helps us develop the most accurate method of identifying all the deaths that should be counted.

“Although this is a new area of data collection, we have a responsibility to ensure it meets the same high standards of quality, accuracy, confidentiality and security as the rest of our work.”