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Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence." The legal definition of "homeless" varies from country to country, or among different entities or institutions in the same country or region. The term homeless may also include people whose primary night-time residence is in a homeless shelter, a warming center, a domestic violence shelter, cardboard boxes or other ad hoc housing situations. American Government homeless enumeration studies also include persons who sleep in a public or private place not designed for use as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. An estimated 100 million people worldwide were homeless in 2005. In western countries, the large majority of homeless are men, with single males particularly overrepresented. In the USA, LGBT people are over-represented among homeless youth, at 40%. Modern homelessness started as a result of economic stresses in society and reductions in the availability of affordable housing. In the United States, in the 1970s, the deinstitutionalisation of patients from state psychiatric hospitals was a precipitating factor in urban areas. By the mid-1980s, there was also a dramatic increase in family homelessness. Tied into this was an increasing number of impoverished and runaway children, teenagers, and young adults, which created more street children or street youth. (via Freebase)