Background - 2022 Fast Fact Sheet
The overall number of missing persons who went missing in 2022 rose over the previous year by 9%. This increase can be observed in Figure 1 (below), which demonstrates a gradual return to pre-COVID numbers. The most notable change between 2018 and 2022 has been the number of missing persons between 2019 and 2020, which decreased in 2020 by 16%. When broken down by age group, the frequency in most provinces for occurrences involving adults are consistent with pre-COVID levels. The frequency for those under the age of 18 years old (children) have risen but remain less than the number observed in 2018. When the number of missing persons are observed in relation to the population for that given year, similar increases and decreases are found.
The National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) 2022 Fast Fact Sheet provides a national breakdown of missing persons reports by province, age (child or adult), sex (female, male), and probable cause. It has been prepared using numbers generated by the national Missing Children/Persons and Unidentified Remains (MC/PUR) database, which provides the necessary data and tools to coordinate a national approach to these investigations. MC/PUR includes occurrences which are currently open, and concluded occurrences that were open any time after May 16, 2014.
The data in MC/PUR is derived from missing person transactions in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Therefore, it is limited by the quality and types of data that agencies enter into CPIC and the techniques used by MC/PUR to compile that data. Not all people who go missing are necessarily reported to police, and not all cases reported to police are entered onto CPIC (especially those that are resolved quickly) but the numbers here are unable to represent those. CPIC transactions include repeat runaways, and situations where a single instance of a missing person may be entered and deleted multiple times over a period of time. MC/PUR uses algorithms in an attempt to identify and eliminate duplicate data and produce more accurate statistics. These algorithms are different from those used before 2015, so retroactive comparison to years before 2015 will not be completely correct. An occurrence is considered as belonging to the year 2022 based on the person's reported "Date Last Seen". The numbers reported herein reflect a "point in time" and can change if records for 2022 cases are added, modified, or flagged as duplicate. The MC/PUR reports used for this Fast Fact Sheet were generated on February 1, 2023.
It is also important to note that in terms of probable cause, there is subjectivity in the original CPIC data that populates MC/PUR, and it may not be consistently completed nor maintained by agencies.
One hundred eighty (180) missing adults were not included in the adult subjects table as there was no probable cause entered. It is not possible to determine for any one case if the mandatory SEX field in CPIC is capturing biological sex or gender identity, except perhaps for 50 individuals where the recently added value "Other" was used. Because they are a small percentage of the overall numbers, they have not been included in the table. Of these 50 missing adults of "Other" sex, 10 had the probable cause of runaway, two (2) had wandered off, and 38 were either unknown or other probable cause.
For children, 59 missing children were not included in the child subjects table, as there was no probable cause entered. Because they are a small percentage of the overall numbers, 530 missing children were not included in the table as the sex was "Other." Of these 530 missing children of "Other" sex, 437 had the probable cause of runaway, four (4) had wandered off, one (1) had parental abduction/no custody order, and 88 were either unknown or other probable cause.
While the NCMPUR anticipates that future fast fact sheets will be in a similar format to the one produced this year, the categories may change in future years and retroactive comparisons to previous years may not be possible.
This fact sheet has been compiled for NCMPUR by the Program Research and Development Unit (PRDU).
|Provinces and territories (Population in 2022 Footnote 1)||Abduction by stranger||Accident||Wandered off||Parental abduction with custody order||Parental abduction without custody order||Abducted by relative||Runaway||Presumed dead||Human trafficking||Unknown||Other||Total|
|British Columbia (5,368,266)||10||6||7||15||500||793||2||6||0||0||0||538||567||534||2||11||1||1||4,983||5,661||719||927||14,751|
|New Brunswick (820,786)||4||1||0||1||8||33||1||0||1||0||0||0||41||130||0||0||0||0||155||218||15||14||622|
|Newfoundland and Labrador (528,818)||0||0||0||0||1||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||5||0||1||0||0||55||60||7||6||141|
|Nova Scotia (1,030,953)||0||0||1||0||8||18||0||0||0||0||0||0||6||10||0||1||1||0||42||86||59||102||334|
|Prince Edward Island (172,707)||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||8||0||0||13|
|Yukon Territory (43,964)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||13||18||0||1||35|
|Northwest Territories (45,602)||0||0||0||0||0||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||17||13||2||4||43|
|Nunavut Territory (40,586)||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||4||1||0||4||10|
- 57% of missing adult reports in 2022 involved males
- 64% of adults who wandered off in 2022 were males
- 52% of all missing persons reports (all sexes, adults and children) involved adults
- 34% of missing adult reports in 2022 were removed within 24 hours, while 73% were removed within a week Footnote 2
- In 2022, British Columbia had the highest number of missing adult reports per capita, with 273 reports per 100,000 people, followed by the Saskatchewan with 146 reports per 100,000 people. Prince Edward Island had the lowest, with eight (8) reports per 100,000 people
- 13% of all missing adults were Indigenous, and 62% of all missing Indigenous adults were femaleFootnote 3
|Provinces and territories (Population in 2022 Footnote 4)||Abduction by stranger||Accident||Wandered off||Parental abduction with custody order||Parental abduction without custody order||Abducted by relative||Runaway||Presumed dead||Human trafficking||Unknown||Other||Total|
|British Columbia (5,249,635)||1||2||1||1||77||81||6||4||4||7||0||0||1,167||831||0||0||0||0||1,667||1,326||296||189||5,660|
|New Brunswick (794,300)||1||2||0||1||2||5||2||4||2||1||0||0||343||609||0||0||0||0||49||76||2||1||1,100|
|Newfoundland and Labrador (794,300)||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||17||65||0||0||0||0||47||70||7||19||226|
|Nova Scotia (998,832)||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||133||79||0||0||0||0||9||15||15||6||262|
|Prince Edward Island (8,631,147)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||5||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7|
|Yukon Territory (43,095)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||4|
|Northwest Territories (45,515)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11||2||0||0||0||0||5||0||0||0||18|
|Nunavut Territory (39,589)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||2|
- 55% of all missing children/youth reports in 2022 involved females
- 75% of all missing children/youth subjects in 2022 were identified as runaways, 55% of whom were female. Ontario had the highest number of child/youth runaway subjects
- 32 missing children/youth were attributed to human trafficking, 30 (94%) of whom were female children/youth in Ontario. However, others being trafficked are suspected to be entered more generally as runaway or unknown because of the ambiguity in both terms and the situations
- 56% of missing children/youth reports in 2022 were removed within 24 hours, while 89% were removed within a weekFootnote 5
- In 2022, Saskatchewan had the highest number of missing children/youth reports per capita, with 398 reports per 100,000 people, followed by Manitoba with 291 reports per 100,000 people. Prince Edward Island had the lowest, with three (3) reports per 100,000 peopleFootnote 6
- 27% of missing children/youth were Indigenous, and 63% of all missing Indigenous children/youth were femaleFootnote 7
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