West Virginia Ranked 12th For The Most Missing People

According to NamUS, over 600,000 people go missing each year in the United States, ranging from young children to older individuals.

Famous missing person cases such as the Elizabeth Smart or Jayme Closs disappearances are well-known missing persons cases, but countless other cases never make it to the spotlight.

National Missing Persons Day—February 3—gives the nation an opportunity to focus more on finding those missing persons, and some states are even expanding those efforts. Arizona holds a Missing in Arizona Day each year where forensic experts and law enforcement take information, notes, and records about missing individuals in hopes of finding some of those people.

Below, we explore which states have the most missing persons to help keep you informed about this epidemic.

Missing Persons per capita map


The team at VivintSource.com gathered data from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System to see which states have the most and least amounts of missing persons per capita. State populations reported came from the 2017 American Community Surveyone-year estimates.

Data Highlights

missing person is defined as “anyone whose whereabouts is unknown whatever the circumstances of disappearance.” They can be considered a lost person, someone who has voluntarily gone missing, or someone who is missing against their will. In our research, we uncovered some compelling data about missing persons:

  • Of the 15,207 people currently missing in the US, approximately 60% are male and 40% are female.
  • The average age of people when they go missing is around 34.
  • As of January 2019, there are 106 children currently missing who were younger than a year old when they went missing.
  • Alaska has the most missing persons per capita, with 41.8 people missing per 100,000 population. Massachusetts has the least missing persons per capita, with 1.8 people missing per 100,000 population.
  • However, California has the most missing persons in total, with 2,133 people missing. Rhode Island has the least, with 20 people missing.
  • The cities with the most missing people total include Los Angeles (189), Phoenix (170), Houston (165), San Francisco (163), and Detroit (150).
  • There are 12,459 unidentified persons as of January 2019.


List of the states with the most missing persons   List of the states with the fewest missing persons


See the full list of missing persons by state below.


State Total Number of Missing Persons Missing People per 100,000 Residents
Alabama 204 4.2
Alaska 309 41.8
Arizona 915 13.0
Arkansas 200 6.7
California 2,133 5.4
Colorado 292 5.2
Connecticut 197 5.5
Delaware 58 6.0
District of Columbia 35 5.0
Florida 1,252 6.0
Georgia 250 2.4
Hawaii 107 7.5
Idaho 101 5.9
Illinois 317 2.5
Indiana 174 2.6
Iowa 86 2.7
Kansas 81 2.8
Kentucky 248 5.6
Louisiana 266 5.7
Maine 108 8.1
Maryland 183 3.0
Massachusetts 126 1.8
Michigan 556 5.6
Minnesota 179 3.2
Mississippi 115 3.9
Missouri 316 5.2
Montana 71 6.8
Nebraska 61 3.2
Nevada 192 6.4
New Hampshire 35 2.6
New Jersey 299 3.3
New Mexico 143 6.8
New York 606 3.1
North Carolina 327 3.2
North Dakota 31 4.1
Ohio 358 3.1
Oklahoma 252 6.4
Oregon 432 10.4
Pennsylvania 401 3.1
Rhode Island 20 1.9
South Carolina 184 3.7
South Dakota 23 2.6
Tennessee 361 5.4
Texas 1,246 4.4
Utah 107 3.4
Vermont 54 8.7
Virginia 239 2.8
Washington 643 8.7
West Virginia 120 6.6
Wisconsin 149 2.6
Wyoming 45 7.8


By becoming more aware of home security and personal safety tactics, you can help protect yourself and your family.

The report was made by Vivint: the link to the full report can be found here: https://www.vivintsource.com/smart-home-academy/2019-missing-persons-by-state/

VivintSource.com is powered by Clearlink Technologies, LLC, an authorized affiliate and retailer of Vivint Smart Home products and services.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com