Police are handling more than 1,000 reports a day of people going missing, figures indicate.
Forces in England, Scotland and Wales received 382,855 calls about someone disappearing in 2015/16 - a rise of almost a fifth on the previous 12 months.
Calls in England and Wales related to 131,429 separate people - equivalent to more than 350 vanishing every day.
More than three-quarters of cases were resolved within 24 hours, while the proportion of people missing for more than a week fell to 2 per cent, according to the figures released by the National Crime Agency’s UK Missing Persons Bureau.
Children and young people accounted for more than half of missing incidents, with the vast majority aged between 12 and 17.
Data from 21 forces in England and Wales showed that people returned safely in 96 per cent of incidents. In 0.4 per cent of cases individuals were found dead.
Reasons cited for the overall rise in missing person reports included improvements in police recording practices and the combination of data from missing and “absent” categories in the total.
Someone who is not at a place where they are expected to be, but where there is no “apparent risk”, is classed as absent.
The NCA said the latest figures were not directly comparable to previous years, but the new report is the most accurate to date.
Joe Apps, head of the bureau, said: “This is the most comprehensive missing persons data report that we have published. We are working continuously with police forces to improve recording practices and computer systems.
“New police guidance, due for publication this autumn, will provide clarity around definitions and risk categories and should lead to further improvements.”