Missing Persons Statistics and Case Figures

"Missing person active entries as of 1/1/2008 - 105,229."
FBI National Crime Information Center (NCIC)


The missing persons statistics surrounding the mysterious unsolved cases from around the world are absolutely astounding. Based on figures obtained from reports of missing persons and police reports, it has been established that the number of cases has increased nearly seven times what it was in the past two and a half decades. In the year 1980, for example, there were less than two hundred thousand cases of people that seemingly disappeared without a trace. In today’s world, this figure has risen to include nearly one million individual cases. Many believe that the growing population coupled with the lack of law enforcement personnel to handle the cases has everything to do with the increase of cases.

Missing Person Flyers outside NYU's Greenberg Hall
Photo: commons.wikimedia.org
Keith Tyler
Each and every single day in the United States, an estimated twenty-five hundred individuals are reported missing to law enforcement agencies. This figure includes children, teenagers, and adults combined. According to law enforcement professionals, most of these missing persons statistics cases are not related to those that have been abducted or even kidnapped. Many of the cases are reported runaways and others involve adults that simply stray away from all that they know for one reason or another. As a matter of fact, most of the cases involve individuals that are less than eighteen years of age. More than half of the remaining missing people are men. It has been estimated that black males are most commonly reported missing, followed by white males, and males that are Latino.

In many of the cases involving people that come up missing, it has been established that a relatively large percentage of the cases involve those that suffer from a psychiatric condition. Many also suffer from addictions to alcohol, prescription pills, and drug addictions. Many of the cases reported involve adults that are considered to be elderly. Many of the older individuals suffer from conditions such as psychiatric condition, neurological conditions such as dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Older individuals with these problems often leave their home to tend to task or suffer from sundown syndrome. Once they are away from their familiar surroundings, they may simply lose their way until they are tracked down by officials or loved ones.

In many missing people’s cases, the statistics indicate that a family abduction accounts for a large percentage of cases. These often involve a dispute that directly involves custody or a dispute that results from a domestic complication within the family. Several hundred cases that are reported annually are believed to be abductions or kidnappings. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials will often review a case and determine the severity before placing a lot of effort into the search for those that are missing. If an individual is considered “endangered” in any way whatsoever, search efforts are organized and a large scale investigation initiates. The same holds true for a case that officials feel is one that was “involuntary”. This is why we have placed this section on Greatest Unsolved Mysteries. Hundreds of thousands of people are reported missing yearly. There is simply not enough man power in police departments and sheriff’s offices to devote many hours to search efforts. Here, you will be introduced to several missing persons statistics cases. Perhaps you will be able to solve a case or you may be able to contribute information pertaining to the case.

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