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Economic and epidemiological impact of youth suicide in countries with the highest human development index


  • Christopher M Doran
  • Irina Kinchin


This research estimates the economic and epidemiological impact of youth suicide in countries with the highest human development index. The study relied on secondary analysis of suicide mortality data for youth aged between 15–24 years in countries with the highest human development index–Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Netherlands, Ireland, Canada and the United States. The impact of youth suicide is measured using years of life lost, years of productive life lost and present economic value of lost productivity. Costs are expressed in 2014 International dollars. Future earning potential is estimated using adjusted gross domestic product per capita, employment potential and historical trends in productivity and real interest rates. In 2014, an estimated 6,912 young people living in the most developed countries in the world lost their lives to suicide. These preventable deaths resulted in a loss of 406,730 years of life at a cost of $5.53 billion in lost economic income with the average cost of suicide estimated at $802,939. The United States stands out as a country with the most significant youth suicide problem accounting for 77% of total costs. Reducing youth suicide requires a multifaceted approach and significant investment by governments.

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  • Christopher M Doran & Irina Kinchin, 2020. "Economic and epidemiological impact of youth suicide in countries with the highest human development index," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(5), pages 1-11, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0232940
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232940

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Irina Kinchin & Alex M. T. Russell & Dennis Petrie & Adrianne Mifsud & Laurence Manning & Christopher M. Doran, 2020. "Program Evaluation and Decision Analytic Modelling of Universal Suicide Prevention Training (safeTALK) in Secondary Schools," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 311-324, April.
    2. Drummond, Michael F. & Sculpher, Mark J. & Claxton, Karl & Stoddart, Greg L. & Torrance, George W., 2015. "Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 4, number 9780199665884.
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