An estimated 244 people died while homeless in Scotland in 2022, according to new figures from National Records of Scotland.
The Homeless Deaths 2022 report shows that while the total figure is similar to the previous year, the number of deaths attributed to drug misuse among those experiencing homelessness fell from 127 to 89.
Almost three quarters of those who died were male. The number of deaths among females returned to levels seen in previous years after a drop between 2020 and 2021.
Beth Watson, senior assistant statistician, said: “Our estimate shows a small drop in the number of deaths among people experiencing homelessness between 2021 and 2022 but this change is not statistically significant.
“Our figures go back to 2017 when there were 164 deaths. While the year on year change is small, the number is still significantly higher than it was five years ago.”
Homelessness services run by local authorities provide temporary accommodation for those without a settled home and these figures cover this much larger group as well as the minority who were sleeping rough.
Almost half of the people who died while homeless in Scotland in 2022 were under 45 years old. Drug-misuse accounted for 36% of all deaths among people experiencing homelessness. Half of all deaths were classed as “external causes” which include most drug misuse deaths, accidents, suicide and assault.
The figures come from a report classed as Official Statistics in Development because they use a new and evolving methodology which has not yet been assessed against the rigorous quality standards of National Statistics.