By Rani Molla, Wall Street Journal Blog : America’s Missing Persons by Age, Race and Gender
Children and blacks make up a disproportionate percentage of missing persons reported each year. In 2013, people under 18 made up nearly three-quarters of missing persons reported, but only made up 23% of the population. Blacks, while accounting for 13% of the population last year, comprised 35% of the missing, according to Wall Street Journal analysis of the FBI data and Census population estimates.
Children are far more likely to be reported missing because there’s more of an impetus to report them and because children are more vulnerable to victimization, according to Bob Lowery, vice president of the Missing Children’s Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
“There is federal legislation requiring the immediate reporting of people under 18 who are missing to law enforcement,” Mr. Lowery said. “There’s no such law for adults because anyone over 18 certainly has the right to not be found.”