While 800,000 missing kids seems like a daunting number at first, upon closer inspection, it’s not as scary as it seems. Of those 800,000, about 99 percent of them end up being found and returned! However, on any level, having just one child go missing is scary. Let’s see a breakdown of these numbers to ensure our fear isn’t too misguided.
The ways children go missing can be broken down into three main categories: family abductions (203,900), nonfamily abductions (58,200), and “stereotypical kidnappings” (115), which is defined by one study as "a nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger in which a child is detained overnight, transported at least 50 miles, held for ransom or abducted with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed." But even “family abductions” can be a bit confusing. Overstaying a visit with another parent could be considered a family abduction. A good number of missing children have merely been products of divorced couples with a lack of custodial-communication skills. Adrenaline pinching for sure, but certainly not tragic. And 90 percent of those 115 kids who were abducted by strangers are located, and returned home safely.
While these statistics can be alarming, the most important step in keeping your child safe is being prepared. With the McGruff Safe Kit, you can record DNA samples and keep track of your child’s fingerprints. There are also helpful lessons tailored for children to teach them about safety. Request your kit today!
According to the FBI, an average of 460,000 kids were reported missing in the United States in 2015 and 2016. Taking the population of the United States (approximately 320 million), and dividing that by 460,000, the likelihood of a child going missing is 1 in 700. So, by taking any city’s population and dividing it by 700, it would give you an idea of how many estimated children go missing in your local area.
Every city has different levels of crime, however, impacting its likelihood of having a child go missing. By factoring in the local crime rate (which is compared against the national average), once can estimate the annual number of abductions within each city’s metro area. Below is a table of some the top metro areas in the US and Canada, along with the number of missing children in that area using this method:
Keep in mind that these numbers aren’t as high as they seem. Let’s take Salt Lake City, for example. Regarding the previously mentioned national statistics, of the 6,709 missing kids, 99 percent of them are eventually found and returned. Therefore, when it comes down to kidnappings in Salt Lake City, you can count the number of abductions on one hand.
Hopefully this gives you a clear idea about how these numbers affect you locally. And with this analytical approach, it is a lot less scary upon closer inspection.
Simply understanding these numbers is one thing, but actively protecting your child is another. For a convenient way to store your child’s DNA, fingerprints, and photo, the McGruff Safe Kit is here to make your life a little less scary.