The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States
Child maltreatment incurs a high lifetime cost per victim and creates a substantial US population economic burden. This study aimed to use the most recent data and recommended methods to update previous (2008) estimates of 1) the per-victim lifetime cost, and 2) the annual US population economic burden of child maltreatment. Their calculations include the direct costs of medical treatment and police investigations, as well as the “intangible impacts” on victims and communities across the life course.
Each case of non-fatal child maltreatment was estimated to cost the economy $830,928 in 2015 currency. Using substantiated cases of child maltreatment investigated and proven by the relevant authorities the figure sits at $428 billion. But using figures of all families investigated for suspected maltreatment, regardless of whether charges were substantiated, the figure reaches $2 trillion.