Child Abduction Statistics


About 260,000 children are abducted every year in the United States of America. Of these child abduction only about 115 result in very serious consequences, like injury or death.

The number of children reported missing in the U.S is about 800,000 every year. But this figure can be misleading, as it includes many trivial incidents like overstaying with a parent.

Break up of child abduction statistics

  • 800,000 children are reported missing every year. That is about two children every day.
  • Of the children reported missing, 350,000 are family abductions. That is, they are taken away by family members in violation of custody agreements.
  • Non – family abductions amount to 204,000. These include kidnappers who are acquaintances or complete strangers to the victims.
  • Only 115 of non-family abductions are stereotypical abductions, defined as those in which a child is detained overnight, transported atleast 50 miles, held for ransom or intended to be kept permanently or killed.
  • The rest of the 800,000 missing cases include runaways, throwaways, or lost children.

Family child abductions

  • In 16% of family abductions, the child experiences severe mental harm.
  • 8% of the children experience physical harm.
  • 7% of the children are sexually abused.
  • Mothers take the child away 46% of the time.
  • Fathers take the child away 54% of the time.

Non-Family child abductions

  • More than 65% of the children abducted by non-family members are girls.
  • 46% of children are sexually abused.
  • 31% of the children are physically abused.
  • 32% of abductions take place in a street or a car and 25% take place in a park or a wooded area.
  • The top 3 places an abductor imprisons the child are – a car, the abductor’s home and the abductor’s building.
  • Most abductions are carried out within a quarter of a mile of the child’s home.
  • 75% of the abductors are male.
  • 67% of them are below 29 years of age.

Stereotypical kidnappings

  • 40% of children in stereotypical kidnappings are killed.
  • 4% of children are never found.
  • 79% kidnappings are carried out by strangers and 21% by acquaintances.

Nearly 75% of the parents in U.S fear that their children might become victims of abduction.


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