A 2006 report from the National Runaway Switchboard, a Chicago crisis hotline for runaway youth, shows that family dynamics, such as divorce, arrival of stepparents and sibling friction account for nearly 30 percent of calls in 2006. There is a clear link in Illinois between divorce rates and the number of missing children.
I was a little skeptical of the data, since most of the counties mentioned are in Chicagoland. Were they misreading the data since those counties have dense population? As if reading my mind, the article went on:
Some may believe that the high number of missing children in specific counties can be attributed to population size, but census data proves otherwise. Although McHenry and Madison counties are among two of the top 10 largest populations, neither are within the top 10 counties with missing children.
Although it would be nice to know where McHenry and Madison counties fall with regard to divorce rates. If they were also not among the top 10 counties for divorces, then the case for a correlation would look stronger.