The cost of gun violence in the US, by the numbers

Listen
Text
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

Every year, gun violence kills nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. and costs the nation $280 billion, including medical, criminal justice and quality-of-life expenses. 

Here are eight stats about the costs of gun violence in the U.S.

1. To treat firearm injuries, the U.S. spends $3.5 billion each year on medical care, including immediate and long-term treatment, mental healthcare and patient transports, according to Everytown Research, an independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to understanding gun violence in the U.S.

2. On an average day, families directly affected by gun violence face $4.7 million in out-of-pocket costs for medical bills and mental health support, Everytown Research found. Each year, individuals, families and employers pay $1.7 billion for out-of-pocket medical costs for gun violence, including mental health services.

3. American taxpayers pay on average $34.8 million a day for medical care, first responders, ambulances, police and criminal justice services for gun violence, according to Everytown Research. About $12.7 billion in tax money pays for the country's gun violence each year.

4. Breaking it down further, each fatal gun injury costs taxpayers $270,399 for initial and long-term consequences and each nonfatal gun injury costs taxpayers $52,585 for initial and long-term consequences, Everytown Research found.

5. The initial treatment of firearm-related injuries in U.S. hospitals costs more than $1 billion per year, according to a Government Accountability Office report released July 14. The report noted that the true annual cost of gun violence is likely higher than $1 billion because the total doesn't include all costs such as physician fees, long-term care, ambulance rides or mental health treatment. 

6. Each year, hospitals report about 30,000 inpatient stays and 50,000 emergency department visits for initial treatment of gun-related injuries, the GAO found. 

7. The GAO also found that up to 16 percent of survivors are readmitted at least once after the initial treatment, costing an additional $8,000 to $11,000 per patient. 

8. According to EveryStat, the five locations with the highest annual average per-person cost of gun violence are Louisiana ($1,793), Mississippi ($1,707), Alabama ($1,654), Missouri ($1,606) and Washington, D.C. ($1,551). The state with the lowest average cost per person a year is Massachusetts at $261.

Copyright © 2021 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars