Many people go missing every year, with the U.S. reporting the highest number. According to the NCIC, 521,705 were reported missing in 2021. Although this is the lowest number of missing persons recorded in U.S. history, it’s pretty substantial compared to other countries worldwide.
A large percentage of missing persons includes children who go missing through kidnapping. According to Child Find of America, 2,300 children are reported missing every day in the U.S. Here’s a detailed overview of missing persons statistics by country.
Who are Missing Persons?
These are people who have disappeared and whose location, status (alive or dead), and condition are unknown. People may go missing voluntarily through an accident, crime, death, kidnapping, or criminal abductions.
The country has a worrying number of cases of missing persons. Statistics show that 88 women, kids, and men go missing by the hour, 2,130 people go missing every day, and 64,851 people every month. According to India’s NCRB data, West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madha Pradesh, and Rajasthan provinces have the highest number of missing persons.
The United Kingdom
Statistics show about 180,000 people go missing in the UK every year. The number is believed to be a significant underestimate as 353,000 files of missing persons are opened every year. A majority of the missing persons comprise children, but 80% of them are found within 24 hours of filing a missing persons report.
Syria is one country known for conflict and war; many of its citizens have disappeared. Armed opposition groups detain some while others have been subjected to enforced disappearance. In 2019, Syria recorded the highest number of missing persons (100,000) due to the conflict.
Dubbed the Kidnap Capital, Colombia has a pretty high number of missing persons. The problem can be traced to early 2009, when drug cartels and guerrilla groups like the M-19 used kidnapping to extort money from victims. Eleven years later, the country is still wrought with conflict as armed groups kidnap people to develop fear among civilians in a bid to maintain control. According to the Department of Arauca, 2020 had the highest number of missing persons. A person would be reported missing every three days.
According to Mexico’s national register, more than 100,000 people have been reported missing over the last two years (2020-2022). Many missing persons comprise men who are victims of violence associated with organized crime. Most abductions go unreported because victims fear the repercussions if they involve the authorities.
The country is known as a kidnapping hotspot. In the first half of 2021, 3,000 people went missing; in January 2022 alone, 571 people had been kidnapped. The high number of missing persons is associated with banditry practices in the country. Militants and bandits kidnap people for ransom, a practice that has evolved over the years in Northern Nigeria. Cultists and ritual killers in the western and eastern parts of Nigeria also kidnap people for other reasons.