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The Economic Burden of Injury in Canada

Understanding the magnitude and scope of the financial costs associated with injuries is an essential element to injury prevention. SMARTRISK has released a new report, The Economic Burden of Injury in Canada, which fulfills this need.  This report looked at unintentional and intentional injuries in 2004, and estimated the total costs to Canadians were $19.8 billion. Detailed costs for Canada, as well as by province, are presented. The Public Health Agency of Canada is pleased to have been involved in this important project.

The Executive SummaryExternal link  and the complete study may be accessed by direct link to the web pages of the SMARTRISKExternal link  Foundation.

Summary of Main Findings

This report estimates the total economic burden of injury in Canada at $19.8 billion in 2004.  This estimate included direct costs of $10.7 billion arising from health care expenditures and indirect costs of $9.1 billion associated with reduced productivity from hospitalization, disability and premature death.

This report expands on the 1998 SMARTRISK report The Economic Burden of Unintentional Injury in Canada, by including intentional injuries (those resulting from suicide/self-harm and violence). In 2004, costs of unintentional injuries were estimated at $16.0 billion, intentional injuries at $3.3 billion, and injuries of undetermined intent at $0.46 billion.

The following table summarizes the total, direct, and indirect costs of injury in Canada by leading causes for 2004.  The table is reproduced here with permission from SMARTRISK.

Description Direct costs
($ Millions)
Indirect costs
($ Millions)
Total costs
($ Millions)

Transport Incidents
















Unintentional Poisoning




Struck by/against Sports Equipment




Other Unintentional Injuries












Undetermined Intent/Other








For more detailed information please review the full report on the SMARTRISK websiteExternal link