The Cost of Suicide to Society

Published online: 
02 December 2005


The Cost of Suicide report estimates the cost of the 460 suicides and 5095 attempted suicides in 2002 to total $1,381,492,000 - nearly $1.4 billion. Each suicide was estimated to cost a total of $2,931,250.

The report breaks down the total into economic and non-economic costs. Economic costs include services used in cases of suicide and attempted suicide, and production lost due to people exiting or being absent from the workforce. The economic cost of each suicide is put at $448,250, and the non-economic cost at $2,483,000.

The Cost of Suicide report updates and extends previous research carried out in 1995 by Coggan, Fanslow and Norton. The work by Coggan et al has been extended by constructing estimates of Disability-adjusted Life-Years (DALYS) lost as a result of suicide or attempted suicide. Overall an estimated 19,218 potential future life years were lost due to suicides occurring in 2002.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    02 December 2005
  • ISBN:
    0-478-29635-5 (Book), 0-478-29638-X (Internet)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    O'Dea D and Tucker S. 2005. The Cost of Suicide to Society. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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