According to a survey conducted by Istat as part of a research project about the conditions of people living in extreme poverty -under an agreement between Istat, the Italian Ministry of Employment and Social Policy, the Italian Federation of Associations for the Homeless (fio.PSD) and the Italian Caritas organisation- in November and December 2011 an estimated 47,648 homeless people used a canteen or night-time accommodation service at least once in the 158 Italian municipalities in which the survey was conducted. This estimate is based on a sample survey, and is subject to error due to observing only part of a population, rather than the whole: therefore the confidence interval within which the number of homeless people may vary, with a probability of 95%, is of between 43,425 and 51,872 people.
The estimated number of homeless people corresponds to approximately 0.2% of the population regularly registered in the municipalities covered by the survey. However, it should be noted that this group includes individuals that are not registered by town halls or who are officially resident in municipalities other than those where they actually live. The proportion of homeless people out of the total number of residents was highest in the North-west , where homeless people corresponded to approximately 0.35% of the resident population, followed by the North-east with 0.27%, the Centre with 0.20%, the Italian islands (0.21%) and the South and the Islands (0.10%).