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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-20310: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 3 December 2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many people died with no known fixed address in each of the last five years, also broken down by local authority area.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 11 December 2018

It is not currently possible to identify the number of deaths of people who had no known fixed address. The deceased’s usual address is recorded on the death certificate when the death is registered, but there are many reasons why this may not have been recorded, which would not indicate that the deceased was homeless.

In a very small number of cases “no fixed abode” or “no known address” is recorded on the death certificate, but it is felt that this would be an undercount of the true number of people who have died while homeless. A homeless shelter or hostel may be recorded as the deceased’s usual address in some cases, and a methodology needs to be developed to allow these deaths to be included in any estimates of homeless deaths.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has developed a methodology to estimate the number of deaths of homeless people and is due to publish experimental statistics for England and Wales on 20 December 2018. National Records of Scotland are working closely with colleagues in ONS to see whether this methodology can be applied in Scotland to produce similar estimates for Scotland in the new year.