THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF A HUMAN LIFE

AROUND THE WORLD

A Crude Estimate

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that "all men are created equal".

Although giving lip service to this belief, people who make practical decisions often assume different values for different lives. Americans in affluent communities spend more tax money to educate their children than do their counterparts in poorer communities. Land uses that involve health hazards, such as heavy traffic and pollution, are more likely to be located in poor neighborhoods. Foreign policy decisions appear to consider values on a sliding scale, among other considerations.

Even where there is no bias intended, statisticians have to perform cold calculations that include a value for a human life. There are many ways to derive this value. Even when an average value is used for every life, the amount used will depend on an estimate of economic participation, such as potential lifetime income or value produced, multiplied by the number of years of that participation.

To estimate the value that can be assigned to a life in various countries, life expectancy in years has been multiplied by gross domestic product per capita. This is intended to represent the value of a person's labor over a lifetime. However, some economic variation is caused by uneven resource distribution, such as petroleum deposits.

Some countries do not appear on the list, because statistics are not available.

If your browser is equipped with a search function, you may use it to find a specific country on the chart.

COUNTRYVALUE OF A LIFE
World (average)$390,600
Rwanda$15,644
Congo (Democratic Republic)$18,812
Ethiopia$20,047
Somalia$23,115
Niger$26,298
Tanzania$27,112
Mali$27,936
Malawi$28,208
Chad$28,728
Eritrea$28,848
Burundi$29,400
Mozambique$30,050
Burkina Faso$31,295
Mayotte$35,484
Yugoslavia$35,652
Cambodia$35,678
Uganda$35,721
Central African Republic$36,192
Afghanistan$37,072
Zambia$37,715
Angola$37,856
Bhutan$37,872
Comoros$38,922
Equatorial Guinea$42,768
Guinea$43,263
Madagascar$46,226
Guinea-Bissau$46,275
Sierra Leone$47,060
Sudan$47,764
Haiti$49,490
Kiribati$49,880
Tuvalu$50,888
Togo$56,570
The Gambia$58,773
Mauritania$59,388
Tajikistan$59,506
Djibouti$60,732
Laos$61,169
Burma$63,414
Korea, North$63,540
Sao Tome and Principe$64,090
Cameroon$64,292
Liberia$64,922
Nepal$68,856
Macedonia$69,581
Cape Verde$70,040
Bangladesh$70,888
Cote d'Ivoire$72,592
Vanuatu$74,489
Nigeria$75,417
Kenya$76,146
Benin$76,536
Gaza Strip$79,706
Kyrgyzstan$82,521
Ghana$86,430
Georgia$87,696
Albania$88,081
Congo (Republic)$89,631
Zimbabwe$95,566
Lesotho$96,088
Senegal$96,781
Azerbaijan$98,456
Vietnam$99,049
India$99,856
Marshall Islands$107,755
Maldives$108,313
Cuba$111,296
West Bank$115,376
Micronesia$115,906
Nicaragua$119,106
Mongolia$125,866
Western Samoa$131,271
Iraq$134,760
Pakistan$135,171
Honduras$137,620
Botswana$138,012
Papua New Guinea$138,360
Serbia and Montenegro$138,852
El Salvador$144,082
Wallis and Futuna$146,580
Guyana$147,582
Tonga$148,302
Moldova$154,200
Uzbekistan$156,273
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines$160,352
Philippines$171,938
Turkmenistan$174,688
Yemen$174,899
Egypt$179,075
Bolivia$181,020
Kazakstan$183,715
Armenia$187,320
American Samoa$189,566
Dominica$194,000
China$195,944
Belize$203,500
Ukraine$208,491
Cook Islands$213,420
Solomon Islands$214,350
Swaziland$219,260
Suriname$221,508
Grenada$224,771
Guatemala$227,114
Morocco$228,461
Indonesia$233,966
Paraguay$237,120
Lebanon$239,190
Namibia$240,167
Jamaica$244,891
Latvia$254,258
Dominican Republic$254,661
Peru$264,290
Lithuania$265,869
Sri Lanka$272,299
Algeria$274,480
Ecuador$292,904
Gabon$302,670
South Africa$303,966
Saint Lucia$313,984
Croatia$316,007
Reunion$322,844
Montserrat$329,703
Bulgaria$331,740
Russia$337,012
Belarus$342,000
Tunisia$349,680
Iran$352,664
Palau$355,050
Jordan$363,450
Romania$364,572
Estonia$380,193
Saint Kitts and Nevis$383,154
Brazil$386,946
Panama$393,684
Colombia$394,956
Costa Rica$417,010
Seychelles$417,420
Syria$424,872
Libya$427,379
Fiji$429,000
Turkey$441,457
French Guiana$456,360
Poland$463,808
Antigua and Barbuda$482,324
Turks and Caicos Islands$482,688
Gibraltar$514,866
Hungary$528,600
Thailand$529,760
Anguilla$569,948
French Polynesia$577,360
Slovakia$583,280
New Caledonia$597,440
Mexico$599,400
Uruguay$601,840
Puerto Rico$610,818
Chile$627,732
Argentina$639,066
Venezuela$651,330
Oman$672,600
Guadeloupe$713,920
Mauritius$728,313
Saudi Arabia$736,806
British Virgin Islands$742,866
Malaysia$753,145
Netherlands Antilles$756,364
Barbados$768,380
Greece$781,700
Martinique$789,800
Czech Republic$819,846
Isle of Man$835,488
Saint Pierre and Miquelon$843,040
Cyprus$903,172
Slovenia$921,639
Portugal$935,208
Virgin Islands$941,125
Trinidad and Tobago$949,860
Bahrain$970,190
Malta$975,744
Korea, South$1,045,120
Greenland$1,067,020
Macau$1,088,680
Brunei$1,130,332
Taiwan$1,132,488
Spain$1,184,067
Ireland$1,276,464
Kuwait$1,276,548
Faroe Islands$1,277,431
Israel$1,282,644
San Marino$1,375,153
The Bahamas$1,379,125
Guam$1,411,510
New Zealand$1,429,495
Finland$1,462,430
Andorra$1,502,100
Austria$1,519,855
Italy$1,533,700
Iceland$1,558,854
Qatar$1,566,828
Germany$1,566,924
Belgium$1,566,957
United Kingdom$1,575,900
Netherlands$1,596,335
Aruba$1,612,800
France$1,638,142
Sweden$1,644,864
Singapore$1,656,780
Denmark$1,727,470
United Arab Emirates$1,776,432
Switzerland$1,780,202
Liechtenstein$1,789,860
Japan$1,826,215
Cayman Islands$1,834,980
Australia$1,879,504
Luxembourg$1,894,585
Monaco$1,956,000
Canada$1,974,000
Norway$2,045,958
Hong Kong$2,046,460
United States$2,174,744
Bermuda$2,175,870
COUNTRYLIFE VALUE

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Last revised: 6 March 2010