Recent NCIS Data Reveals the Demographics of Missing Persons in 2020


The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) works alongside federal, tribal, and local agencies to maintain a digital database of crime data in the United States. This database is meant to help criminal justice agencies access important information easily. Statista, a provider of market and consumer data recently went through the missing person cases filed by the NCIC in 2020 and came up with some facts which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

321,859 cases reported the race of the missing person as White. That same year, 18,260 cases were filed where the race of the missing person was unknown. 182,548 persons were black, 10776 were Asian and 9575 were Indian. Hispanic missing persons were also categorized as White. Statista observed that mainstream media is more likely to follow a missing person’s story or case if the missing person is White and less likely to do so if the missing person is a person of color.

Other key information about the demographics of missing persons in 2020 also came to light. Last year, there were more missing person cases where the victim was under the age of 21. 209,375 women under 21 were reported missing and 59,369 females over the age of 21 were reported missing. However, there were more men over 21 reported missing (a total of 95,096) than women.  A missing person is defined as a person whose location is unknown. Some missing persons may leave their homes and environments of their own will, but they are still counted in the category. Fortunately, the number of missing persons in the United States has been on the decline since 1998. We could attribute this to the advancement in communication networking and technology like smartphones which have built-in AMBER alerts. These alerts put out information relevant to the missing person case so that the wider community stays vigilant and works with the authorities to close the case.