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Economic and Social Effects of Crime

The High Cost Of Crime

The following annual figures estimating the various costs of crime in the mid-1990s come from the National Institute of Justice and a study by David A. Anderson called "The Aggregate Burden of Crime." The study was published in the October 1999 issue of the Journal of Law and Economics. Crime costs are based on approximately 49 million annual crimes and attempted crimes in the United States.

$105 billion each year in medical bills and lost earnings; $450 billion when including pain and suffering and lost quality of life

$400 billion to operate corrections facilities

$130 billion for crime prevention and loss of potential productivity of criminals and inmates

$1 trillion when including the cost of the criminal justice systems, as well as private individuals and companies taking security measures

$426 billion of the $450 billion is related to violent crime, the remaining $24 billion to property crime

$4,118 is the annual cost of crime to each U.S. citizen

$603 billion lost to the economy from fraud and unpaid taxes

$500 million of money or valuables taken in robberies

$15 billion in property stolen

$127 billion from rape offenses; assault $93 billion, murder $61 billion, and child abuse $56 billion

$45 billion paid by insurance programs to crime victims

$8 billion paid to victims by U.S. government annually for restorative and emergency services

3 percent of all medical expenses in the nation is related to violent crimes

1 percent of annual U.S. earnings is equal to wage losses from violent crime

10 to 20 percent of mental healthcare costs are attributed to crime

$54,000 is the average cost of each arson incident; $31,000 for each assault

$25,000 to $30,000 is the annual cost of an inmate in prison

4 out of 5 gunshot victims end up on public assistance and uninsured, costing the government $4.5 billion annually

(From the National Center For Policy Analysis Web site at http://www.ncpa.org/pi/crime.html)

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawEconomic and Social Effects of Crime - Growing Interest In The Costs Of Crime, Determining Costs, The High Cost Of Crime, Community Efforts To Avoid Crime Costs