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Missing person statistics

  • 35,000 people are reported missing each year in Australia – one every 15 minutes.*
  • There are three groups most at risk of going missing;
  • those living with a mental illness,
  • young people
  • older people with dementia or memory loss.*
  • 99.5 percent of missing persons are located, however; there are approximately 1,600 long-term missing persons in Australia. (people who have been missing for more than one year).+
  • Long-term missing persons tend to be adult males.+
  • Approximately one third of missing persons go missing more than once – this is particularly the case with young people and for those with dementia.+
  • For every missing person reported, at least 12 others are affected whether it is emotionally, psychologically, physically or financially.+

+ Henderson and Henderson, 'Missing People - Issues for the Australian Community’, 1998
*James, Putt and Anderson, 'Missing persons in Australia’, 2008

Dementia statistics

  • Approximately 230,000 Australians have dementia.
  • The average rate of moderate to severe dementia among Australians is one in fifteen for people aged 65+.
  • Dementia affects the lives of nearly one million Australians who are involved in caring for a family member or friend with dementia.
  • Dementia can also affect younger people; around 10,000 Australians under the age of 65 have younger onset dementia.
  • Between 2000 and 2050, the number of people with dementia in Australia is expected to increase by 327% to 731,000.

For more information contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.


Did you know?

  • Every day, The Salvation Army Family Tracing Service in Australia finds for possible reunion with their families at least 6 people. 
  • The Salvation Army completes successfully 75% of the Family Tracing requests we receive.
  • The longest time a family has been separated before being reunited by The Salvation Army is 86 years. The Salvation Army in the UK was asked to help a woman find her family after she learned that her birth parents were itinerant actors who had three other children. We were able to locate first a nephew who put us in contact with his mother and her younger sister. After 86 years the three sisters are planning a reunion.