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Missing Persons Statistics Worldwide: Role of GPS Tracker

Missing Persons Statistics Worldwide: Role of GPS Tracker

Andrew McMennamy

Imagine if someone you love suddenly went missing. It's a scary thought, right? Sadly, this happens to many families around the world every day. Millions of people go missing every year and finding them can be very difficult. But there's hope, thanks to modern technology.

GPS trackers are a powerful tool that can help locate missing people quickly. These devices use satellites to track someone's location, making it easier for families and police to find them. In this article, we'll look at the problem of missing persons globally and how GPS trackers are making a big difference in solving this issue.

Key Takeaways
  • Global Statistics on Missing Persons
  • Challenges in Locating Missing Persons
  • Role of GPS Trackers in Finding Missing Persons
  • Impact of GPS Technology on Search and Rescue Operations
  • Future of GPS Trackers in Missing Persons Cases

1. Global Statistics on Missing Persons

How Many People Go Missing?
Every year, millions of people go missing worldwide. According to the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, around 8 million children and its half persons are reported missing each year. These numbers include children, adults, and elderly people who vanish for various reasons, such as abduction, running away, or becoming lost.
Missing Persons Statistics Worldwide: Role of GPS Tracker

Missing Persons Around the World

Some regions have higher rates of missing persons statistics than others. For instance:

United States
The United States has one of the highest numbers of missing persons in the world. In 2021, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) reported that 521,705 people were reported missing. By the start of 2022 there are 93,718 of those people were still missing. The large population of the United States, along with diligent reporting and strong law enforcement, contributes to this high number.


India, another highly populous country, also has a significant number of missing persons. Every hour, 88 people go missing in India, which adds up to 2,130 people daily and 64,851 people monthly. According to India’s National Crime Rate Bureau (NCRB), the states with the highest number of missing persons include West Bengal, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, around 180,000 people go missing every year. However, this number may be underestimated, as 353,000 missing persons reports are filed annually. Most missing persons in the UK are children, with 80% of them found within 24 hours of being reported missing.

Syria, a country ravaged by civil war, has a high number of missing persons due to ongoing conflict. Many Syrians have disappeared, either detained by armed groups or subjected to forced disappearances. In 2019, Syria had one of the highest numbers of missing persons globally, with around 100,000 reported missing.

Colombia, once known as "The Kidnapping Capital of the World," continues to struggle with high rates of missing persons. This issue dates back to the 1970s when drug cartels and guerrilla groups used kidnapping for ransom. Even today, armed groups use kidnappings to control and instil fear in civilians. In 2020, the Department of Arauca reported one person missing every three days.

In Mexico, more than 100,000 people have been reported missing over the past two years (2020-2022). Many of these cases are linked to violence from organized crime. The actual number of missing persons in Mexico is likely higher, as many abductions go unreported due to fear of reprisal.


Nigeria, Africa is known for its high rates of kidnapping. In the first half of 2021, Nigeria recorded 3,000 missing people, with 571 kidnappings in January 2022 alone. Militants, bandits, cultists, and criminals kidnap people for various reasons, including ransom, organ harvesting, ritual sacrifices, and illicit adoptions.

Patterns and Trends

Examining the data reveals several patterns and trends:

  • Urban vs. Rural Areas: More people go missing in big cities than in small towns. Urban areas have larger populations and higher crime rates, leading to more missing persons cases.
  • Time of Year: Certain times of the year, such as holidays, see an increase in missing persons reports. During holidays, people travel more, and the risk of losing contact with loved ones increases.
  • Age Groups: Children and elderly people are more likely to go missing than other age groups. Children may run away or be abducted, while elderly people, especially those with dementia, may wander off and get lost.
  • Gender: Studies show that more males are reported missing than females. However, females are more likely to be victims of abduction and human trafficking.

2. Challenges in Locating Missing Persons

Traditional Methods in Search and Rescue
When someone goes missing, search and rescue teams use several traditional methods to find them. Here are some common methods:
  • Foot Searches: Teams of people walk through the area where the person was last seen. They look for clues, like footprints or personal items.
  • Search Dogs: Specially trained dogs use their sense of smell to track the missing person. These dogs can follow scents even in difficult conditions.
  • Helicopter Searches: Helicopters fly over large areas to spot the missing person from the air. This helps cover more ground quickly.
  • Public Alerts: Authorities send out alerts to the public through TV, radio, and social media. This helps spread the word and gets more people looking.
Limitations and Challenges
While these methods are helpful, they also have some limitations and challenges:
  • Time-Consuming: Foot searches take a lot of time, especially in large or rough areas. The longer it takes, the harder it is to find the person.
  • Limited by Conditions: Search dogs can be affected by weather conditions like rain or wind, which can wash away or scatter scents.
  • Visibility Issues: Helicopters can miss people if they are hiding under trees or in thick bushes. Poor weather can also limit visibility from the air.
  • Dependence on Public Response: Public alerts rely on people paying attention and reporting sightings. If people don’t respond, it can slow down the search.

3. Role of GPS Trackers in Finding Missing Persons

How GPS Trackers Work
GPS trackers use satellites to find the exact location of a person or object. Here’s how they work:
  • Satellites: GPS trackers connect to satellites in space. These satellites send signals to the tracker.
  • Location Data: The tracker uses these signals to calculate its location on Earth. It can figure out where it is anywhere in the world.
  • Real-Time Updates: The tracker sends this location data to a device, like a smartphone or computer. This allows you to see the tracker’s location in real-time.

GPS Trackers for Personal Use
Tracki offers GPS trackers that are great for personal use. Here are some features:

Tracki GPS Tracker for Personal Use
  • Small Size: Tracki GPS tracker is small and easy to carry. You can put them in a bag, or pocket, or attach them to a keychain.
  • Long Battery Life: These trackers have long-lasting batteries, so you don’t have to charge them often.
  • Real-Time Tracking: Tracki trackers provide real-time location updates. You can always know where the person or item with the tracker is.
Benefits of Using GPS Trackers in Search and Rescue Missions
Using GPS trackers in search and rescue missions has many benefits:
  • Quick Location: GPS trackers help find missing persons quickly. This can save time in emergencies.
  • Accuracy: They provide accurate location data, making it easier for search teams to find the person.
  • Wide Coverage: GPS trackers work everywhere, even in remote areas where other methods might not be effective.
  • Peace of Mind: Families and friends can feel more at ease knowing they can track their loved ones’ locations.

4. Impact of GPS Technology on Search and Rescue Operations

Enhancing Efficiency and Success Rates
GPS technology has greatly improved the efficiency and success rates of search and rescue operations. Here’s how:
  • Quick Location: GPS trackers can quickly pinpoint the exact location of a missing person. This saves valuable time, especially in emergencies.
  • Accurate Data: The data from GPS trackers is very accurate. This helps rescue teams to know precisely where to go.
  • Wide Coverage: GPS works in remote areas where other methods might fail. This is crucial for finding people lost in forests, mountains, or deserts.
  • Real-Time Tracking: GPS trackers provide real-time updates. Rescue teams can see the person’s location as it changes, helping them to plan better and move faster.
Better Efficiency and Success Rates
With GPS, rescuers can find lost or injured people more quickly. Here's how GPS helps:
  • Precise Location: GPS gives exact locations, so rescuers don't waste time searching large areas.
  • Tracking Movements: GPS trackers can show the movement of the person needing help, making it easier to predict where they might go.
  • Navigation: Rescuers use GPS to navigate through tough terrains like forests, mountains, or deserts, reaching the person in need faster.

    5. Future of GPS Trackers in Missing Persons Cases

    Upcoming Advancements in GPS Technology
    The future of GPS technology looks very promising, especially for helping find missing persons. Here are some exciting advancements:
    • Smaller and More Powerful Devices: GPS trackers are getting smaller but more powerful. Soon, they will be easy to hide in clothing or accessories without being noticed.
    • Longer Battery Life: New battery technology means GPS trackers will last much longer on a single charge. This is crucial for long search missions.
    • Improved Accuracy: Future GPS trackers will have even better accuracy, helping rescue teams pinpoint exact locations quickly.
    • Advanced Communication: Upcoming GPS devices will have better ways to communicate, even in areas with poor signals. This includes using satellites directly for faster and more reliable updates.
    Potential Future Applications
    With these advancements, many potential applications could further improve search and rescue operations:
    • Smart Wearables: GPS trackers could be built into smartwatches or bracelets that people can wear every day. This will help quickly locate someone if they go missing.
    • Integration with Drones: GPS trackers could be used with drones to quickly scan large areas from the sky. Drones can get to places that are hard for people to reach.
    • AI and Machine Learning: Advanced GPS systems could use AI to predict where a missing person might go based on their last known movements. This would help rescue teams search the right areas faster.
    • Community Alerts: Future GPS trackers might send automatic alerts to people nearby if someone goes missing. This can get more people involved in the search right away.
    Benefits for Search and Rescue
    These advancements will make search and rescue operations even more effective:
    • Faster Response: Improved technology means faster location and rescue times.
    • Higher Success Rates: Better accuracy and new applications will lead to more successful rescues.
    • Greater Safety: New technology will make it safer for both missing persons and rescue teams, reducing the risk during searches.


    The issue of missing persons affects millions of families annually. While traditional search methods have limitations, GPS technology has enhanced the efficiency and success of rescues. GPS trackers offer real-time location data, wide coverage, and high accuracy, boosting rescue success rates.

    Future advancements in GPS technology, such as smaller devices, longer battery life, and improved communication, will further enhance search and rescue operations. Integrating these advancements with smart wearables, drones, and AI makes the future of rescue missions even more promising.

    Author information:
    Andrew McMennamy

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