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Missing Persons Statistics 2020

A detailed look at the numbers of missing persons in the United States.

Thousands of people are reported missing every year in the U.S. and while not every case will get widespread media attention, the coverage of white and minority victims is far from proportionate. Take a look at this infographic, created by BAMFI, detailing the disparity.

BLACK & MISSING IN AMERICA

A LOOK AT DISPARITIES IN MISSING PERSONS CASES

2020 STATISTICS FOR THE UNITED STATES *

* SOURCE: 2020 NCIC MISSING PERSON AND UNIDENTIFIED PERSON STATISTICS (2/4/2021)

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PERSONS REPORTED MISSING IN 2020

59%

WHITE (INCLUDES HISPANIC)

37%

MINORITY

3% WERE 'UNKNOWN'

NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF MISSING PERSONS ARE PERSONS OF COLOR, YET, AFRICAN-AMERICANS MAKE UP ONLY 13 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION.

(SOURCE: CENSUS.GOV)

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ARE REPORTED MISSING EVERY YEAR IN THE U.S. AND WHILE NOT EVERY CASE WILL GET WIDESPREAD MEDIA ATTENTION, THE COVERAGE OF WHITE AND MINORITY VICTIMS IS FAR FROM PROPORTIONATE.

WHY THE DISPARITY IN MEDIA COVERAGE?

RUNAWAYS

A LOT OF MINORITY CHILDREN ARE INITIALLY CLASSIFIED AS RUNAWAYS, AND AS A RESULT DO NOT RECEIVE THE AMBERT ALERT.

CRIMINALS

MISSING MINORITY ADULTS ARE LABELED AS ASSOCIATED WITH CRIMINAL INVOLVEMENT, GANGS AND DRUGS.

DENSENSITIZATION

IT IS BELIEVED THAT MISSING MINORITIES LIVE IN IMPOVERISHED CONDITIONS AND CRIME IS A REGULAR PART OF THEIR LIVES.

MISSING PERSONS REPORTED BY GENDER (ALL RACES)

50%

FEMALE (268,884)

50%

MALE (274,057)

77 INDIVIDUALS WERE LISTED AS 'UNKNOWN'

BREAKDOWN BASED ON AGE AND RACE (UNDER 18)

WHITE (INCLUDES HISPANIC)

AFRICAN-AMERICAN

ASIAN & INDIAN

3% WERE 'UNKNOWN'

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TOTAL NUMBER OF MISSING PERSONS OF COLOR UNDER THE AGE OF 18

(INCLUDES AFRICAN-AMERICAN, ASIAN, & INDIAN)

IN 2020 - 202,899 PERSONS OF COLOR WERE REPORTED MISSING. OF THAT GROUP, 145,467 WERE UNDER THE AGE OF 18. YET, MISSING MINORITY CHILDREN ARE GROSSLY UNDERREPORTED IN THE NEWS.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD?

MORE DIVERSITY IN THE NEWSROOM

ACCORDING TO THE 2018 DIVERSITY SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEWS EDITORS, NEWSROOMS TEND TO BE WHITE AND MALE. A DIVERSE STAFF MEANS A WIDE RANGE OF STORIES CAN BE TOLD.

#DIVERSITYMATTERS

LESS IS MORE

BALANCE THE SCALES AND SHOW LESS OF ONE GROUP AND MORE OF EVERYONE.

SEE VALUE IN BLACK & BROWN LIVES

THIS IS AN AMERICAN ISSUE AND IT AFFECTS US ALL.

BE VIGILANT

WE ALL, LAW ENFORCEMENT, THE MEDIA AND OUR COMMUNITIES, SHOULD BE VIGILANT IN FINDING OUR MISSING.

"I remember when I first sought your help and thought to myself, "How can one company cover so many states and be efficient?" I took a leap of faith and in less than an hour you reached out and spoke to ME, A STRANGER... like a sister, like a best friend. I wholeheartedly appreciated that!! Avenues through my search came to a standstill, but you use your platform (FREE OF CHARGE) to help me and many others like me. My heart and my hat goes off to you and your crew. As I have learned first hand (regardless of how or why my daughter went missing), I saw how much I had to push to be heard, but also how after pushing only a small ripple was made. I know you are very humble, but for a small company – YOU ARE ON A ROLL!! Thank you for caring, listening, and guiding me. Thank you for using your company's voice as a platform!!"

---- SHERYL LOSEIL (MOTHER OF MISSING CHILD)

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