UNDATED — Saturday marks 20 years since the 9/11 terror attacks, and even now analysts are debating how much the destruction of the World Trade Center cost us, both the human cost and the financial strain it put on the U.S. economy.
20 years later, the human cost is still expanding, as researchers look into the long-term health effects that impact survivors and first responders today. But we do know that 2,996 people died that day, including the 246 people who were on the hijacked planes, the more than 2,000 people who died in the tower collapse and the 125 people who died at the Pentagon.
The process of calculating the financial impact of the attacks is also ongoing. A report from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security says the total cost of 9/11 is somewhere between $2 trillion and $3 trillion. The New York Times estimates it could be as high as $3.3 trillion. So what does that price tag include?
The IAGS reports that the damage to the WTC and the Pentagon cost between $4 billion and $6 billion. Cleanup efforts immediately after the attack cost around $1.3 billion. Property damage cost anywhere between $10 billion and $20 billion.
There were approximately 83,000 direct job losses due to the attack, and that led to about $17 billion worth of lost wages. The loss of air travel revenue was $10 billion and the loss to the insurance company was $40 billion. None of this includes global market losses, which the IAGS says are incalculable.
That does not include the cost of the Afghanistan war, which totaled $2.3 trillion and another 6,247 American lives lost.