How Well Does American Protective Spending Align with Danger to Americans?

Americans die prematurely from a whole host of reasons, and many of the more common causes get a lot of attention and money to prevent some of these deaths in the future.

Here’s something to consider: we pulled together some examples of where we spend a lot of money on preventing American deaths and broke it down to “dollars per death” spent each year.


To get a better sense of the rough numbers, we have a chart here:


Any initial reaction?

Some people might look at  this and say that we spend too much on violent deaths (like terrorism and homicide) and not enough on diseases. Others might argue that without these resources, deaths from terror and homicide might be much higher. And someone might say that diseases like respiratory disease and strokes primarily kill the elderly and that, because we’ll all eventually die from something, it may make more sense to focus money towards causes of death that affect all age groups equally (like violence).

What other factors besides death might be appropriate to look at when considering how much we spend on each of these? Leave a comment with your thought!


Erik Fogg

We do politics, but we don't do the thinking for you.