40+ Horrific & Chilling Kidnapping Statistics [2021] – Safe At Last

Parents’ worst nightmare is their child not coming back from school. Unfortunately, kidnapping statistics show that this nightmare turned into reality for many families, as they suffered such a worse-than-death fate not to see their beloved kid ever again.

The sole thought of the possibility to have their child abducted keeps most parents up at night. Every time your child is late from school, doesn’t answer the phone, or a stranger looks at them funny, your heart skips a beat. After all, how easy would it be to snatch a child away from the safety of their parents?

And it’s not just children either. Young women looking for work opportunities, disgruntled teenagers, or men who owe money to the wrong people have fallen victim to kidnappers.

Top Kidnapping Stats and Facts (Editor’s Pick)

General Abduction Statistics

40+ Horrific & Chilling Kidnapping Statistics 1

Kidnapping is undoubtedly among the most atrocious crimes. It means seizing a person and keeping them in captivity. Abduction is an issue that impacts all countries globally, regardless of their level of development.

The stats and facts on kidnapping are disheartening. Has it ever occurred to you that abducted people in the great majority of cases end up killed shortly after the abduction? Did you know that unemployment, poverty, and bad political status may trigger offenders to commit such a horrible crime?

However, with government participation such offenses could be diminished.

1. 600,000 people go missing every year in the US.

(Source: National Missing and Unidentified Persons System)

According to the NamUs missing persons statistics, hundreds of thousands of minors and adults go missing each year. In most cases, the disappearances are not attributed to kidnapping, and a person is found alive and well.

However, tens of thousands never come back, and the authorities are often unable to determine what happened.

Kidnappings are most commonly motivated by money. However, in other cases, kidnapers are inspired by politics, religion, custody disputes, human trafficking, or even premeditated murder.

Especially for elderly people, and that’s why it’s advisable to arm your elders with the best GPS tracking products for seniors.

2. 4,400 unidentified bodies are found each year in the US.

(Source: NMUPS)

According to the National Institute of Justice, around 1,000 of those bodies remain unidentified after one year. Statistics on kidnapping and missing persons show that there’s a whole host of bodies that remain anonymous for an extended period.

In such cases, time is a bitter enemy. The longer a body remains unidentified, the more difficult it is to recover any actual information about the person’s identity.

3. 647,435 people went missing in 2016. 465,676 of them were children.

(Source: Patch)

Annual child abduction statistics show that kids are the most frequent target for kidnappers. While most of the children who went missing in 2016 were later found alive and well, the numbers show an alarming fact — kidnappers tend to go after those who are most vulnerable.

4. Human trafficking wasn’t a federal crime in the US until 2000.

(Source: Business Insider)

Only when the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton did human trafficking become a federal crime. Afterward, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations have reauthorized the law.

Stats on kidnapping remind that, in addition to US citizens, this law also protects undocumented immigrants who are victims of severe forms of trafficking.

However, anyone seeking protection under this law is required to become a part of the prosecution against the trafficker.

This further implies they have to cooperate with law enforcement agencies or even testify at court. But in most kidnapping cases, victims are often too frightened to take action against perpetrators.

5. The United States, Mexico, and the Philippines were the three worst countries for human trafficking in 2018.

(Source: US Department of State)

Human trafficking, frequently referred to as modern slavery, is a profitable industry in the US, Mexico, and the Philippines. Statistics about kidnapping show that the US is still a hub for human trafficking.

This epidemic is one of the fastest-growing transnational criminal activities in the world, and US government agencies, with the help of NGOs, are working hard to address the issue.

Having knowledge of the most dangerous cities in the US may aid in decreasing these crime rates, as locations play a huge role when it comes to kidnapping.

Places like illicit massage parlors are the most frequent venue for sex trafficking, and according to USA Today, the number of these businesses is growing daily.

6. According to estimates, between 18,000 and 20,000 victims are trafficked into the US every single year.

(Source: Business Insider)

The United States kidnapping statistics aren’t clear on how many people are trafficked into the country every year — the number is impossible to determine.

A lot of cases go unreported, and a lot of victims fall through the cracks. It doesn’t help that many victims are undocumented immigrants, which means government agencies simply have no record of them.

Trafficking is covert and organized. Obtaining any kind of data about this illicit activity is difficult and requires a lot of resources.

7. Human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide.

(Source: Polaris)

Exploiting people is a very profitable business. FBI statistics disclose that, out of those $150 billion, it is estimated that $99 billion is earned from sexual exploitation.

While prostitution is often called a victimless crime, a lot of the time, this simply isn’t the case.

Victims of human trafficking, including underage girls and boys, are often forced to work in brothels, massage parlors, escort services, and pornography through manipulation, debt bondage, or other coercion types.

All this happens within US borders. Rather than worrying only about Mexican kidnapping statistics and human trafficking in Colombia, Americans need to be aware of human trafficking victims at home. The great majority of such victims in the US are American citizens who legally reside in the country.

If they want to fight the human trafficking business successfully, authorities need to grasp how traffickers employ legal services and channels for their misdeeds. The private sector was among the first to start fighting against this hideous crime.

Child Kidnapping Statistics

40+ Horrific & Chilling Kidnapping Statistics 2

Child abduction might be classified into three categories according to the perpetrator’s identity: family, acquaintance, and stranger kidnapping. Parents carry out family abduction.

Acquaintance abduction is done mainly by juvenile offenders, and victims are typically women and teenagers.

The last, stranger kidnapping is carried out outdoors and is linked with sexual assaults or robberies. What do you think is the most frequent?

8. Over 460,000 children go missing each year. Around 5,000 of those missing children are kidnapped.

(Source: FBI)

For kidnappers, kids are the easiest target. They are susceptible and defenseless. Most can be lured away by the mere promise of candy or a toy.
The FBI missing persons page shows many faces of small children who are missing and presumed kidnapped.

This is why it’s so important for your child to be familiar with the “stranger danger” phase. If children are made aware of the potential dangers that surround them, they are more likely to call for help, run away, or simply refuse to comply with a request.

Another good thing to do is equip your child with a GPS tracker for kids in case, god forbids, your kid goes missing for longer.

9. In 2015, only 0.1% of missing children cases were the result of stranger abductions.

(Source: FBI)

In 2015, this represented about 325 cases. Movies and television might be to blame for instilling the notion that all kidnappings are perpetrated by men in dusty coats and with deranged looks in their eyes.

However, missing children statistics show us that reality is quite different. Few abductions are done by non-family members, which still doesn’t necessarily mean that complete strangers perpetrate them.

Kidnappers tend to target children they’ve met before, and they observe them before making a move.

10. In 2015, 0.7% of missing children cases were the result of family abductions.

(Source: FBI)

In 2015, this represented about 2,260 cases. Once again, it’s not the movie villain strangers we have to worry about. In practice, most child kidnapping cases are linked to family members.

Children from low-income households and children with divorced, estranged, or separated parents are at greater risk of being kidnapped.

The police are sometimes slow to respond because such kidnappings are reported as family disputes. That’s why the best security cameras can help provide ample proof about these types of wrongdoings.

However, simply because a parent or a relative took the child doesn’t mean that they’re safe. Abusive ex-spouses, drug-addicted parents, or resentful family members can end up putting the child in great danger.

11. Kids aged 12 and above are kidnapping victims in around 80% of all cases involving minors.

(Source: Patch)

Teens are the most common victims of kidnapping, according to child abduction statistics. In most cases, police officials take into account teen behavior before considering abduction. To be fair, this is usually the reason teenagers disappear.

Running away from home or staying over at a friend’s house without letting their parents know are common reasons behind brief disappearances. If a child under 12 goes missing, the police usually react quicker.

12. Girls aged 12–17 are the most common victims of abduction.

(Source: Patch)

One of the more recent cases involves 13-year-old Jayme Closs. In October 2018, Jake Thomas Patterson abducted Jayme from her home in Wisconsin after killing her parents. She escaped after 88 days, but countless more girls never escaped their kidnappers.

Teenage abduction statistics reveal that young girls are the most common victims, whereas the most typical perpetrators are middle-aged men, usually without a job.

Which leads us to believe that it might be a good option to consider buying pepper spray and teaching your daught how to use it to avoid these types of scenarios.

13. In 2011, this was the stereotypical profile of a perpetrator in stranger abductions: male, aged 18–35, unemployed, drug or alcohol problems.

(Source: US Department of Justice)

To discover what a typical perpetrator looks like, we should pay attention to child abductions by strangers statistics.

About 70% of the kidnappers are unemployed, while about 50% are fudging with drugs or alcohol.

The great majority of them are male, aged between 18 and 35. The race wasn’t a crucial factor here as all perpetrators were generally white or black in equal proportions.

14. In 2011, three out of five victims of stranger kidnappings were sexually assaulted, abused, or exploited.

(Source: US Department of Justice)

While child kidnapping statistics show us that a lot of stereotypical kidnappings end up hurting the victim, most perpetrators are not violent at first contact. About 70% of victims are lured in through deception or non-threatening pretexts.

The worst thing that could happen is if this type of crime occurs within the victims home. Acquiring the best door locks can aid in securing a home so that no unauthorized individual can enter.

15. In 1997, only 57% of children abducted by strangers made it home alive. In 2011, it was 92%.

(Source: US Department of Justice)

Police methods have come a very long way since 1997. While stranger kidnapping statistics are always grim, significant progress has been made to find children and return them home safely.

Still, nearly 20% of non-family kidnapping victims reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are found dead.

But as law enforcement agencies are advancing in locating abduction victims, only 1 out of 10,000 missing kids isn’t found alive. In addition to a more detailed missing children list, the police are now quicker to respond to threats and have learned how to deal with kidnappers.

The fact that cellphone usage is so widespread and the availability of useful tools such as GPS tracking devices makes it a lot easier to keep children safe.

16. 60% of child sex trafficking victims have a history with social services or foster care.

(Source: National Foster Youth Institute)

Without a good family to keep them safe, many children in foster care end up being victims of sex trafficking. As human trafficking statistics suggest, traffickers tend to send one girl into a foster home to lure other girls into leaving it. The girls are then taken away and trafficked into prostitution.

17. Nearly 90% of missing children cases do not involve abductions. The children are either lost, ran away, or failed to contact their parents.

(Source: Polly Klaas Foundation)

We’re not here to raise panic. While the stats are scary, not all missing children cases involve abductions. Missing kids are found eventually, and the reasons for their absence were relatively harmless.

The majority of children were lost, decided to run away from home, or simply forgot to let their family know where they were going.

18. About half of the children who are abducted by strangers manage to get back home safely.

(Source: Polly Klaas Foundation)

Stranger abductions are the things you hear about on TV. Missing children’s pictures are slapped across every screen and milk carton, and these scary cases are every parent’s worst nightmare.

However, as the stats showed before, most children who go missing haven’t been kidnapped. A non-custodial parent or relative usually takes those who have been abducted. There are very few cases of stranger abductions, but only about half of children who are abducted by a stranger return home safe.

19. As of September 2019, 967 children have been rescued thanks to AMBER Alert.

(Source: US Department of Justice)

According to state kidnapping statistics, the AMBER Alert remains one of the most helpful tools in locating lost or abducted children.

AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was named after Amber Hagerman, a 9-year old girl who disappeared in Arlington, Texas, in 1996. Amber disappeared on October 1 while she was riding her bike and was found dead in a creek four days later with laceration wounds on her neck.

Adult and Child Kidnapping Statistics Worldwide

40+ Horrific & Chilling Kidnapping Statistics

Unfortunately, not all countries are equally safe. As opposed to Western and developed countries, the majority of Asian, African, and Latin American countries have an immensely high abduction rate. If you’re visiting those places as a tourist, it’s highly advisable to stay away from risky and notorious locations for kidnapping.

20. There were 18,363 kidnappings in Pakistan in 2017.

(Source: Knoema | United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

In 2017, Pakistan topped the list of countries with the highest number of kidnappings. There, kidnapping victims are sometimes blamed more than perpetrators. The following example proves that kidnapping statistics in the world are just as grim as those in the US.

Namely, in December 2019, a woman called Dua Mangi was abducted from an affluent neighborhood in Karachi, and her disappearance caused a storm on social media.

But rather than condemning the kidnappers, the BBC reported that a lot of the comments were more focused on Mangi’s outfit. Apparently, a sleeveless top is reason enough for someone to get kidnapped justifiably. Fortunately, the young woman soon returned home.

21. There were 5,455 kidnappings in South Africa in 2017.

(Source: Knoema, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

South Africa took second place with 5,455 kidnappings. In 2019, the kidnappings seemed to be on the rise as eNCA reported that their number had increased by 139% in the last decade.

22. There were 4,625 kidnappings in Germany in 2017.

(Source: Knoema, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

Germany’s kidnapping statistics spiked in the last few years. In 2017, the country ranked third concerning the number of kidnappings worldwide.

Ever since the migrant crisis, Germany has fought with rising abduction rates because immigrants are easy targets for kidnappers and human traffickers.

23. In 2017, 43% of all global kidnappings for ransom happened in Asia.

(Source: NYA International)

Asia has struggled with high kidnapping rates for many years. In 2017, nearly half of the global kidnappings for ransom took place on this continent.

Aside from Pakistan, Afghanistan’s kidnapping statistics also show that this country was another hotspot for this criminal industry, particularly if we consider the country’s development level and the general status of women in it.
India also had many incidents, with the local female population being the most common target of abductions.

The Philippines are another problem area with very high abduction rates. The Philippines’ kidnapping statistics show that the country continues to be plagued by a considerable number of abductions. Due to poor development and bad economic status, most Asian countries have a rather high kidnapping rate.

24. Over 6,235 kidnappings for ransom have been reported in Mexico between 2012 and 2017.

(Source: NYA International)

Mexico’s kidnapping statistics show that abductions continue to be a prevailing concern in the country.

Thousands of Mexicans are kidnapped each year, and kidnappings for ransom are on the rise. It has become a very profitable business and one that dominates organized crime activities in this country.

According to Mexican drug cartel kidnapping statistics, cartels often carry abductions because criminal organizations such as these have the necessary means to pull this off frequently.

Throughout the nineties, criminal groups were focused on high-profile victims. But the publicity and the level of police involvement meant that the risks outweigh the rewards.

In the last decade, the groups have focused on low and middle-class citizens as an easier way of obtaining money.

25. Columbia’s kidnapping for ransom rate decreased by 94% between 2000 and 2017.

(Source: NYA International)

Columbia’s kidnapping statistics are positive. The country that has always been a kidnapping hotspot has reduced its kidnappings by a whopping 94%.
Guerillas used kidnapping as a way to finance their war effort and exert pressure on the government.

Since the beginning of peace negotiations between the FARC guerillas and Bogota’s government, the number of incidents has decreased gradually. Thus, Latin America’s kidnapping statistics also show slight progress in other parts of the region.

26. In 2017, Nigeria had the highest number of kidnappings for ransom in Africa.

(Source: NYA International)

General poverty, corruption, and increased organized crime make Nigeria a very dangerous place for both locals and foreign nationals. Besides, Boko Haram, the paramilitary organization in several African countries, makes the whole bad situation even worse.

Therefore, kidnapping in Nigeria statistics shows that the country still struggles to keep abduction for ransom under control.

27. In Australia, around 20,000 children go missing each year.

(Source: International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children)

Abduction has become such a widespread crime that even developed countries aren’t safe anymore.

Though it’s somewhat isolated, Australia also fudges with the grievous issue. While the figures on how many of the cases were abductions aren’t clear, kidnapping statistics about Australia reveal a moderately high number of missing persons for the population of that size.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Australia also had a high incidence rate of kidnapped mixed-race children of Aboriginal women and white men.
Most of them were taken from their families by Australia’s federal and state governments to assimilate them into the white society.

28. In Canada, around 45,288 children go missing each year.

(Source: International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children)

Kidnapping statistics about Canada show that there is a high rate of missing children in this country. In 2018, 8,185 girls and 10,868 boys went missing without a trace, and the authorities aren’t sure what happened to them.

29. In the UK, around 112,853 children go missing each year.

(Source: International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children | Statista)

This is a very high number of missing persons. Kidnapping statistics about the UK show that the last few years have seen a significant increase in child abductions, with 1,268 cases recorded in 2018/19.

Finding precise abduction stats about the UK is difficult because of the country’s policies about crime. For example, child abduction is not categorized under kidnapping but the “violence against the person” section.

30. In China, around 70,000 children are kidnapped every year.

(Source: Foreign Policy)

China’s kidnapping statistics show an exceptionally high number of abductions. Although data shows that the number goes up to 70,000, the Chinese government reports that the average is only 10,000 cases per year.

Political kidnappings have a history that dates back to the Xia Dynasty (2070 BCE–1600 BCE), but modern problems are centered around newborns and small children. Some children are sold into adoption overseas because adoption agencies in China receive sizable donations from parents. Sometimes these donations go up to $5,000.

31. In 2015, Mexico, Haiti, Brazil, the Philippines, India, Columbia, and Venezuela were seven countries where you were most likely to get kidnapped.

(Source: Thrillist)

According to world kidnapping stats, these seven countries have the highest risk of abduction. Haiti kidnapping statistics are much lower than they were in the mid 2000s, but tourists still get kidnapped fairly often, as the country still faces problems with organized crime and abductions for ransom.

In India, child abductions are a huge problem, and in Venezuela, middle-class and upper-class citizens and foreign nationals get snatched frequently.

Venezuela is considered one of the most dangerous countries in Latin America. Meanwhile, kidnapping in Brazil statistics shows that wealthy businessmen and their family members are the most commonly targeted groups.

Human Trafficking Stats and Facts

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32. There are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking around the world, according to the International Labor Organization.

(Source: International Labour Organization)

Out of those 40.4 million, 24.9 million are trapped in forced labor, and 15.4 million are forced into marriage. Human trafficking is a global problem. It happens in Uganda, Mexico, Russia, Japan, Canada, and most certainly happens in the US.

33. Globally, 25% of human trafficking victims are children.

(Source: International Labour Organization)

Out of all people getting kidnapped, 25% of them are children. Children are easier to traffic than adults because they are more susceptible to manipulation and brainwashing. Children from foster families are at greater risk of being stolen and trafficked.

34. Globally, 75% of human trafficking victims are women and girls.

(Source: International Labour Organization)

Women are disproportionately more affected by human trafficking than men. Most of the victims are young women or little girls from poorer countries.

35. 99% of sex trafficking victims around the world are female.

(Source: International Labour Organization)

International female abduction statistics show that the vast majority of sex trafficking victims are women and girls. In the sectors that don’t involve sex work, 58% of victims are also female.

However, this doesn’t mean that men are unaffected. There is also very little data on trans and intersex victims.

For these reasons, law enforcement agents advise the use of the best stun guns for personal protection.

36. Among the 23,500 runaway children reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in 2018, one out of seven was probably a sex trafficking victim.

(Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

Runaways that don’t get found quickly are at enormous risk of falling victim to sex traffickers. According to FBI kidnapping statistics, the majority of prostituted women have been runaways. Some experts believe that most adolescents who run away are likely to be approached and forced to participate in prostitution or another form of commercial sexual exploitation within 48 hours of running away.

37. Over 49,000 human trafficking cases have been reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the last 10 years.

(Source: Polaris)

Adult kidnapping in the US is becoming a cause of growing concern because it often results in human trafficking.

As a nation, we’re currently attempting to resolve this problem because the US is still one of the countries with the biggest number of victims, along with Mexico and the Philippines.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is one of the steps in the right direction — it connects victims and survivors of trafficking with social services and agents that can help them.

38. The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives approximately 150 calls daily.

(Source: Polaris)

This only serves to underscore the severity of US kidnapping statistics. Adult, child, and teen exploitation cases are on the rise in this 150 billion dollar industry.

Luckily, both people and businesses are becoming more aware of the crime severity. They are now more likely to report human trafficking cases than they were a decade ago.

39. 10,949 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018.

(Source: Polaris)

According to kidnapping statistics in California, this state reported 1,656 human trafficking cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline — the highest number in the country. Texas was second with 1,000 cases, and Florida was third with 767 cases.

40. With 7,859 cases reported in 2018, sex trafficking is the most frequent.

(Source: Polaris)

Sexual slavery and prostitution are the most common types of human trafficking in the US, with most victims trapped in situations where they have no escape.

Many are threatened, manipulated, and forced to perform sexual services, making it difficult to get away and start over. Many victims who do get away end up right back where they started because they simply have nowhere to go.

41. Illicit massage/spa businesses are the most common venue for sex trafficking, with 861 cases reported through the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018.

(Source: Polaris)

Massage and spa businesses that are just a cover for prostitution rings are common across the US. Kidnapping statistics by year disclose that, in 2012, there were 374 reported cases, while 2018 saw 861 cases. Sadly, this difference in numbers indicates that the crime rate showed consistent growth over time.

42. In 2018, there were 7,126 reported cases of female trafficking, compared to 1,137 male trafficking cases.

(Source: Polaris)

Women are more affected by trafficking in most countries, and the US is no exception. Human trafficking in the United States statistics uncover that, in 2012, there were 2,571 reported cases, and in 2018 there were 7,126 cases.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that more people are being trafficked. It could simply mean that national awareness about this issue is growing with each passing year and that people are more likely to report it.

43. In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline recorded 78 cases of human trafficking where the victims were sexual minorities.

(Source: Polaris)

Human sex trafficking statistics for sexual minorities are difficult to find. Most research data is based on the gender binary standard, and cases involving trans, intersex, and otherwise gender non-conforming people are often underreported.

The data pool for gender non-conforming victims is still small, and these types of cases must continue to be reported so the authorities can devise more anti-trafficking strategies.

44. The second most common type of human trafficking is labor trafficking, with 1,249 cases reported through the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018.

(Source: Polaris)

Kidnapping stats show that labor trafficking is another form of human slavery that people are frequently subjected to.

The most common industry for labor trafficking is domestic work, with 214 case reports through the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018. The second most common venue for labor trafficking involves the traveling sales industry.

45. There were 5,070 cases of adult human trafficking and 2,378 cases of child human trafficking reported through the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018.

(Source: Polaris)

Child trafficking statistics are disheartening. Over 2,000 cases were reported in 2018, and child trafficking has been present in every single state in the US.
Anyone can be subject to trafficking regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, race, or nationality.

According to national crime stats, children will often be forced into labor trafficking because parents cannot support the family alone and harmful social norms can put children at greater risk of becoming victims.

46. In 2018, the National Human Trafficking Hotline found 1,499 reported cases where the human trafficking victim was a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident.

(Source: Polaris)

Immigrants are not the only ones getting trafficked, in 2018, most of the reported cases involved US citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Kidnapping rates in the US show that our citizens are at great risk of modern slavery. In comparison, there were 1,237 cases involving the trafficking of foreign nationals. For a lot of cases, there is no demographic data in the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

47. The number one way people contacted the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2018 was via the internet.

(Source: Polaris)

Kidnapping in America and human trafficking can be reduced by making help easily accessible to victims. The rise of the internet and online services means that assistance is more widely available.

The Bottom Line of Abduction Statistics: We’ve Still Got a Long Way to Go

America has made great strides in containing the human trafficking industry and helping kidnapping victims.

However, we’re nowhere near done as kidnapping for ransom and trafficking are profitable industries that are keeping themselves alive through corruption and neglect.

To continue helping those that need us most and to keep our children safe, we cannot keep turning our heads. Once we stop being passive observers and start acting, we can make a difference and gradually change human trafficking and kidnapping statistics.

If you are a human trafficking victim or know someone who could be a victim of human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Phone Line: 1 (888) 373-7888
Textline: Text “BeFree” (233733)
Online Chat: Link

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Kidnapping definition

Kidnapping means taking someone against their will and holding them captive, usually for purposes of ransom.

Kidnapping is also frequently done by family members. Child kidnapping stats show that non-custodial parents and relatives often take children, especially in households where two parents are divorced, estranged, or separated. Missing kids are usually found and brought back home safely.

Human trafficking definition

Human trafficking means trading a person away for commercial gain or exploitation. Human trafficking often starts with a kidnapping, and targets are mostly young women and girls. The most common form of human trafficking is sex trafficking.

What percentage of kidnappings are by strangers?

Despite what is commonly believed, when a child is missing, family members are usually the ones who have committed child abduction.

Out of all missing children cases in 2015, only 0.1% were perpetrated by actual strangers. In many stranger abductions, missing kids are found and brought back home, but a small number of them remain missing. The great majority, over 95%, managed to run away.

What state has the most kidnappings?

The number of abductions may vary from year to year. A recent report has revealed that Alaska has the greatest number of missing people (almost 41.8 individuals per 100.000 residents). Washington follows Alaska with 643 missing cases (8.7 individuals per 100.000 residents).

Other states that face a high number of unresolved cases are:
  • Maryland (119)
  • Illinois (130)
  • Pennsylvania (133)
  • Arizona (142)
  • Ohio (167)
  • New York (211)
  • Virginia (364)
  • Texas (373)

Considering the overall number of missing people, California has the most, counting 2,133 individuals who are missing.

What is the number one state for human trafficking?

California has been consistently recording the highest rate of human trafficking activity since 2012. In 2019, there were 1,507 cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Out of that number, 1,118 were sex trafficking cases, while 158 were related to labor trafficking. Moreover, 69 were both sex and labor trafficking cases.

The majority were related to illegal massage and spa centers located in hotels or motels. In terms of victims, 1,290 were females, 149 males, and 10 gender minorities.

What are the odds of a child being kidnapped?

The chances of a child getting kidnapped aren’t as high as people may think. They are 1 in 300,000.

Additionally, abduction can increase if a child is of non-white ethnicity, a girl, or lives in a foster home.

The media often cover the disappearances of white children. Unfortunately, this is not the case with other races or ethnicities.

There are many missing black girls that the public never finds out about. This leads to the conclusion that stats on kidnapping in the US are rather bleak for a lot of non-white families.

What country has the most kidnappings?

It changes from year to year. In 2017, it was Pakistan, with 18,363 kidnappings, while kidnapping in Mexico stats show that abductions in this country are also on the rise.

Other countries with a high risk of abduction include:
  • Haiti
  • Brazil
  • India
  • The Philippines
  • Colombia
  • Venezuela

However, according to the abduction rate per 100,000 people, New Zealand holds the surprising first position with 9.5 missing persons per 100,000.

The second is Pakistan with an identical ratio, and next are Luxembourg and Germany with a rate of 6.0 and 5.5, respectively, according to the latest kidnapping statistics.