Comparing Unsheltered Youth Count: 2016 And 2017

August 15, 2017

Youth Count: Estimates with Margins of Error 

The Youth Count is a survey-based count that is used to estimate unsheltered Transition Age Youth (individuals age 18 – 24), Young Family Members (members of families with a head of household between 18-24), and unaccompanied minors (members of households where all members are under 18). The Youth Count method involves the use of a targeted survey sample to produce an estimate for the total unsheltered youth population. Unlike the Street Count, which is a full enumeration of all unsheltered households with at least one member over the age of 24, the Youth Count involves statistical extrapolation to uncounted areas. Statistical extrapolation produces a range of estimated population, rather than an exact number. The mid point of the range is the "statistical sample mean" (or average), which is what LAHSA publishes as an estimate. The lower and upper bound of the range from the mid point is "margin of error."
For example, the total unsheltered youth population for 2017 was estimated to be between 3,569 and 5,333. The mid-point of the range is 4,451. Margin of error is 882 (4,451-3,569=882).

Comparing Estimates from 2016 and 2017

The material below includes total number of unsheltered youth from 2016 and 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count (GLAHC), along with their margins of error. The material also includes a column noting whether the difference in the estimates between the two years is statistically significant. If the answer is "Yes," it means that the change between the two estimates is a real change since the ranges of the estimates do not overlap.