Violence Containment: 2.16 TRILLION DOLLAR “industry”

The Institute for Economics and Peace provides a new methodology to categorize and account for the economic activity related to violence.


The size of economic activity that is devoted to inflicting, preventing or dealing with the consequences of violence is known as the Violence Containment Industry (VCI). In the U.S., Violence Containment costs around 15% of Gross Domestic Product each year and is the largest discrete industry.


Violence Containment Spending in the U.S., produced by Institute for Economics and Peace, provides a new methodology to categorize and account for the public and private expenditure on containing violence.


While some spending on Violence Containment is necessary, the question is what is the optimal amount to spend on containing violence while cost effectively investing in future reductions of violence?


A few Key Findings:


-Violence containment cost the U.S. $2.16 trillion per year, that’s one in every seven dollars.

-If violence containment were an industry it would be the largest industry in the U.S.

-Federal expenditure has expanded in the last ten years, increasing by 15%

-The size of Violence Containment is equal to the entire UK economy


-A 5% reduction in Violence Containment spending for 5 years would provide the capital to rebuild the nation’s levees systems, update the energy infrastructure and complete the upgrading of the nations school infrastructure.

‘The study evidentiates that even small reductions in Violence Containment spending would result in a meaningful stimulation to the U.S. economy’-Steve Killelea.