National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children (NISMART)

The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART) were undertaken in response to the mandate of the 1984 Missing Children's Assistance Act (Pub.L. 98-473) that requires the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to conduct periodic national incidence studies to determine the actual number of children reported missing and the number of missing children who are recovered for a given year. Each installment includes several component datasets to provide a more comprehensive picture of the populations dealing with missing children issues.

  • NISMART-1, 1988: Defined major types of missing child episodes and estimated the number of children who experienced missing child episodes of each type in 1988.
  • NISMART-2, 1989: Developed a standardized definition and provided unified estimates of the number of missing children in the United States.
  • NISMART-3, 2011: Focused on 3 populations across the United States that deal with missing children issues – the general population, law enforcement and juvenile detention centers.
  • NISMART-4, 2019: Focused on law enforcement data on kidnapped and missing children; designed to provide estimates on the number of child victims of stereotypical (stranger) kidnappings.