Japan Data

Growing Number of Dementia Patients Reported Missing in Japan


In 2018, 16,927 missing person reports for dementia patients were filed with the police, averaging to around 45 cases per day.

Half of Missing Dementia Patients 80 or Older

The number of dementia patients reported missing to Japanese police hit a record high of 16,927 in 2018, up 1,064 from 2017. The 2018 total is 1.7 times higher than in 2012, when statistics began, and the figure has risen steadily each year.

The whereabouts of around 70% of those reported missing were confirmed on the same day as the report, and almost all within a week. However, more than 500 were found to have died in 2018 due to traffic accidents and other causes.

Among the missing persons, those aged 80 or older accounted for 8,857 or just over half of cases, followed by those in their seventies, at 6,577, and those in their sixties at 1,353. There were also 131 people in their fifties reported missing.

There has been an overall upward trend in the number of elderly that go missing regardless of whether they suffer from dementia or not. In 2018, the number of missing persons per 10,000 was 65.9 among those in their seventies and 102.6 among those in their eighties, as compared to 56.9 and 73.9, respectively, in 2014.

In 2018, the whereabouts of 16,866 missing people were confirmed, including those who had been reported missing in 2017 or earlier. Among them, 16,227 were confirmed to still be alive.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © foly/Pixta.)

elderly dementia