The Missing Persons Problem is significant at the local and national level.
This data is provided annually by the Texas Department of Public Safety Missing Persons Clearinghouse and
the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
Missing Children Numbers
- For 2021, of the 521,705 new missing persons reports entered into NCIC, 317,869 missing persons were
under the age of 18.
- In Texas alone, there were 46,581 missing persons reports in 2021 with 33,774 of those children.
- In 2021, 6,816 new missing child cases were filed in Harris County and 8,869 in the 14-county Houston-Galveston Region.
Missing Children Categories
- Runaways: 80-85% — Just because the child ran away does not mean he/she is safe!
- Family Abductions: 10-15% — Just because the child is with family does not mean he/she is safe!
- Non-Family Abductions: 3-4% — These are the 2nd-most serious cases where bodily injury and death are most likely.
- Stranger Abductions: <1% — These are the most serious cases where bodily injury and death are most likely.
Missing Adult Numbers
- For 2021, of the 521,705 new missing persons reports entered into NCIC, 203,836 missing persons were over the age of 18.
- In Texas alone, there were 46,581 missing persons reports in 2021 with 12,807 of those adults.
- In 2021, 3,292 new missing adult cases were filed in Harris County and 4,143 in the 14-county Houston-Galveston Region.
Limited Resources Making Huge Impact
Law Enforcement partners in our area work tirelessly to serve our communities, especially searching families. However, overwhelming numbers make this work incredibly challenging. For example, the 2 largest agencies serving our region, in 2021 alone:
- Worked over 12,000 missing persons cases
- With just 15 investigators!
- Despite the odds, the vast majority of missing persons are recovered through collaboration and dedication.
Texas Center for the Missing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or age in the delivery of any services.