Press Release

Opioid Crisis: The State-by-State Economic Impact

Today the American Action Forum released a study on the impact the opioid crisis has had on the labor force and economic growth in each state. Building on previous AAF research, the study finds that, in 2015, over 2 million prime-age individuals nationwide were absent from the labor force due to opioids. Between 1999 and 2015, the nationwide decline in prime-age labor force participation slowed the annual real economic growth rate by 0.6 percentage points, cumulatively costing nearly $1.6 trillion in real output. AAF’s research also finds that Arkansas and West Virginia experienced the largest negative labor and economic effects of the opioid crisis. In both states, opioids reduced the prime-age labor force participation rate by 3.8 percentage points, slowing the real economic growth rate by 1.7 percentage points.

The study also includes an interactive map that enables users to dive into the labor and economic impacts of the opioid crisis in individual states. The map can be accessed here.

The AAF research was featured in this morning’s Health 202 published by the Washington Post.

Click here to read the research.