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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    14,500

    Does a US child go missing every 90 seconds?


    When there's a news report of a child going missing it's easy to jump to the worst conclusions, but sometimes the reality
    is not quite so alarming. It's a similar story with one widely used statistic about missing children in the US - it is not quite what it may seem.

    A television news channel in Washington DC recently launched a safety awareness campaign using the hashtag #every90seconds, claiming that one child goes missing in the US, on average, every one-and-a-half minutes.

    It's a figure that's been widely quoted in US media over the past few years, often for the best of reasons, as in this case. It sounds worrying, because you might reasonably assume it refers to kidnappings, or children in real danger.

    But where does the 90-second figure come from?

    It's based on a 2002 study funded by the US Department of Justice. This examined data for 1999 from a range of sources, including police reports, and interviews with parents and children, and found 797,500 children were reported missing across the country. There hasn't been another major study since then.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32386685
    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,492
    You have to take numbers like that with a very big pinch of salt.

    Firstly, the study they cite is apparently based on extrapolation of data from various sources, including anecdotal accounts.

    Secondly, most likely children who go "missing" do so frequently over the course of a year, so they get counted many times over in official statistics even though they are one person.

    The number who really do go missing is probably a tiny fraction of the 800K reported.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    where the big sharks come to play
    Posts
    4,529
    In my opinion, there's lots of "noise" in those numbers!

    We need more empirical studies -- then compare the data, please!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    "Look, if any of us wanted to mind our own business, we wouldn't be here" (carbuff 8/11/13)

    This post reflects my constitutionally-protected opinion. Please do not copy it anywhere else outside of the WebSleuth forum



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