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Potential Lost, Potential for Change: The Cost of Injury 2021


​​​Preventable injuries cost the Canadian economy $29.4 billion in a single year, including $20.4 billion in direct healthcare costs.

​That's just one of the findings from Potential Lost, Potential for Change: The Cost of Injury 2021, a new report published on National Injury Prevention Day (July 5, 2021) by Parachute, Canada's national charity dedicated to injury prevention. The report, created in partnership with the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit and supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada, presents national-level data for calendar year 2018, for deaths, disabilities, hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits.

​About the report 

The Cost of Injury in Canada 2021 quantifies the cost of injury from a societal perspective, including costs to the healthcare system, to productivity and to the people behind the numbers: individuals, families and communities. This report presents a very conservative estimate of the cost of injury. Most importantly, it does not quantify the pain and suffering preventable injuries cause for individuals, families and communities.​

​​Key findings

  • Unintentional poisonings have overtaken transport incidents as the third-biggest cause of injury-related deaths in Canada for the first time. While transport incident deaths have declined, the number of poisoning deaths has more than doubled since 2010, largely attributable to opioid-related poisonings. 
  • Falls remain the biggest cause of death through injury in the country, followed by suicide/self-harm.
  • ​Unintentional injuries, caused by things such as falls and transport incidents, accounted for 86 percent of injury costs ($25.3 billion). Falls had a higher total cost than any other cause in 2018, accounting for $10.3 billion, or 35 percent, of the total cost of injury. ​

​​What's new in the 2021 report? 

Parachute published the last Cost of Injury in Canada report in 2015, presenting 2010 data. For the first time, the Cost of Injury in Canada 2021:

  • is available in English and French
  • includes data from all provinces and territories (territorial data were previously excluded)
  • is fully online, with data visualizations that can be filtered by measure, age group, sex and cause of injury
  • includes direct death costs, physician services costs, ambulance services costs, and formal and informal caregiving costs in the total cost calculation

Who should use this report? 

This report can be used by everyone to better understand the size and nature of the injury issue in Canada. It is especially useful for:

  • Governments, decision-makers and policymakers to inform data-driven decision making and direction of resources to reduce serious and fatal injuries in Canada
  • Injury prevention, public health and healthcare professionals to inform evidence-based priority-setting, planning, and advocacy
  • Researchers to identify areas for investigation, to support evidence-based injury prevention
  • Media to bring attention to the injury issue for all Canadians​

Explore the full report at