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14.5.2021 : 22:03 : +0200

Economic Impact of Armed Violence

The annual global economic costs of armed violence run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. There are many ways to calculate the financial, fixed, and human capital costs, whose true extent is ultimately shaped by the duration, severity, and spatial distribution of armed violence.

If the consequences of armed conflict are taken into consideration, the overall costs of armed violence escalate higher still. Violent civil conflict decreases the GDP growth of an average economy by at least two per cent per year.

  • Contingent valuation approaches yield a global cost of ‘insecurity’ generated by conflict of up to USD 70 per person, or a global annual burden of USD 400 billion.
  • The economic cost of non-conflict armed violence in just 90 countries, measured in terms of lost productivity, is USD 95 billion and may reach as high as USD 163.3 billion, or 0.14 per cent of the annual global GDP.


Small Arms Survey Publications

  • Voicing Concern: Surveying People's Priorities in Violent Settings, December 2015. Issue Brief No. 15. 

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  • Global Burden of Armed Violence 2015: Every Body Counts, by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat. Published by Cambridge University Press. May 2015.

    More information
  • Surviving Armed Violence, April 2014, by Mireille Widmer, published by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat.  Policy Paper No.2. (also available in French and Spanish).

  • Inclusive Security, Inclusive Cities, April 2014, by Emilia Frost and Matthias Nowak, published by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat.  Policy Paper No.1. (also available in French and Spanish). 

  • Armed Violence in the Terai. co-published with Interdisciplinary Analysts, Nepal Madhes Foundation, and Saferworld, August 2011.

    Download (489.39 KB)
  • Tackling Violence against Women: From Knowledge to Practical Initiatives, by Jennifer Milliken with Elisabeth Gilgen and Jasna Lazaravic, published by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat, June 2011. 

  • Global Burden of Armed Violence 2008, by the Geneva Declaration Secretariat, September 2008.

  • Securing Haiti’s Transition: Reviewing Human Insecurity and the Prospects for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration, by Robert Muggah, November 2005. Occasional Paper No. 14 (also available in French)

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Other Publications

  • Costo médico-hospitalario derivado de la atención de pacientes víctimas de violencia por armas de fuego en Honduras, by Mario Flores, February 2016. Violence and Security in Honduras, unpublished background paper No. 1.

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  • Costo de la violencia armada en Honduras: pérdidas en inversiones y turismo 2011-2013, by Angélica Bustillo Banegas, February 2016. Violence and Security in Honduras, unpublished background paper No. 3.

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  • Brozzoli, Carlos, Tilman Brück and Olaf J. De Groot. 2009. How many bucks in a bang: On the estimation of the economic costs of conflict. Discussion Paper No. 948. November. Berlin: Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.

  • Miller, Stephen C. et al. The Costs of Violence. 2009. Social Development Department, The World Bank. 2009. Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

  • Justino, Patricia and Philip Verwimp. 2008. Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict and Convergence in Rwanda. MICROCON Research Working Paper 4. Brighton: MICROCON.

  • Corso, Phaedra S. et al. 2007. Medical Costs and Productivity Losses Due to Interpersonal and Self-directed Violence in the United States. American Journal of Preventive Medecine, Vol. 32, No. 6, pp. 474-482.

  • Basu, S. et al., eds. The economic dimensions of interpersonal violence. 2004. Geneva: Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention, World Health Organization.

  • Humphreys, Macartan. 2003. Economics and Violent Conflict. Cambridge (MA): Macartan Humphreys and the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

  • Abadie, Alberto and Javier Gardeazabal. 2002. The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country. July.

    More information
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Further Resources

Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (UNDP): The Economic Impact of Conflict

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