Back to accessibility links

The legacy of Sept. 11, by the numbers

How the attacks transformed the U.S. and the world

Sept. 10, 2012

The human toll

Nearly 3,000 people from 93 countries died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Twenty-six of the victims were Canadian.

In New York, 2,606 were killed when two planes, carrying 157 passengers, were flown into the World Trade Center buildings.

One hundred eighty-nine died when a plane was flown into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. And 45 were killed when United Flight 93 crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

In the years since, there have been reports of deaths and increased illnesses among emergency responders and recovery workers in New York.

Photo: A Manhattan candlelight vigil marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks in 2011. (Allison Joyce/Reuters)

More: 9/11: 10 years later

Rescue and recovery



A rescue operation began in New York shortly after the World Trade Center explosions. The last survivor was pulled out from the rubble 27 hours later.

A total of 343 New York firefighters died at Ground Zero, as did 23 New York police officers and more than 100 other first responders.

The last of the fires at the site was extinguished on Dec. 19, 99 days after the planes struck.

The cleanup operation began on Oct. 9 and lasted almost eight months. The last of 1.8 million tons of debris - 108,000 truckloads - was cleared at the end of May 2002.

Photo: Rescue workers continue their search at the World Trade Center on Sept. 13, 2001. (Beth A. Keiser/AP)

Financial costs

Aside from the loss of human life, the attacks had immediate and lasting financial consequences.

The New York Times has estimated the total U.S. cost at $3.3 trillion, factoring in all reconstruction expenses and policy decisions.

Military expenses for the war in Afghanistan - $575 billion as of September 2012, according to the U.S. Congress - make up a large portion. So do costs for increased homeland security and the care of veterans.

New York City took a $95-billion financial hit, the city's comptroller says. More than $60 billion in economic activity was lost in the city, along with $21.8 billion in property damage.

Photo: A New York City police officer, wearing a protective mask, stands guard near the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 16, 2001. (Kevin Coombs/Reuters)

Economic effects

The American economic picture has fundamentally changed due, at least in part, to the Sept. 11 attacks and the decisions that followed.

The U.S. ran a $128 billion surplus in 2001. The Congressional Budget Office projects a $1.1 trillion deficit for 2012, pushing the federal government's debt level above $16 trillion.

U.S. drivers have felt the pinch of higher gasoline prices. Prices at the pump have risen 146 per cent since the attacks, from $1.55 to $3.82 per gallon. The value of a barrel of oil is up 234 per cent.

Meanwhile, gold has shot up 539 per cent from its trading value of $272 per ounce in September 2001.

Photo: Vu To fills his gas tank for $4.199 a gallon in Bellevue, Wash., in April 2011. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

'War on terror'

President Barack Obama announced in May 2011 that U.S. military forces had killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In total, the U.S. has killed 31 al-Qaeda leaders over the past decade: 15 during the Obama administration and 16 under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Bin Laden, however, was the prime target. A $25-million bounty had been offered for his capture, although this went unclaimed since the fatal raid on bin Laden's Pakistani compound had been facilitated by electronic surveillance.

The U.S. also foiled 26 plots on its own territory between 2001 and 2010, according to figures compiled by the FBI.

Photo: This video of Osama bin Laden was among five found in Abbottabad after his death. (Pentagon/Reuters)

Air travel's new era

The attacks radically changed airplane travel and airport security, as most people who have flown in the past 11 years can attest.

The U.S. government created a new agency called the Transportation Safety Administration in November 2001 to provide a national solution for air security. The TSA now has 50,000 employees and an annual budget of $8 billion.

After Sept. 11, the volume of air travel dropped by more than 30 per cent compared to a year earlier. An estimated 1.4 million Americans changed their plans from air travel to another form of transportation in 2001.

Four years later, amid a booming economy, air travel levels had bounced back to pre-9/11 levels. And by last September, 12 per cent more passengers were flying in the U.S. than before the attacks.

Photo: A TSA officer directs airline passengers at a security checkpoint at Newark airport in New Jersey in December 2009. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

A new tower rises

The World Trade Center site has seen a massive redevelopment effort in recent years.

The One World Trade Center tower will reach 105 stories and 1,776 feet in height - a symbolic reference to the year of American independence - when it's finished in 2014. It will have 3 million square feet of office space and a total price tag of $3.8 billion.

Three other office towers, ranging in height from 72 to 88 stories, are planned at the WTC site.

Below the eight-acre plaza, which houses a public memorial, construction has stalled on a $1-billion Ground Zero museum because of a funding squabble between city and state officials.

A nearby transportation hub, at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion, is expected to handle 250,000 daily passengers when finished in 2015.

Photo: One World Trade Center, centre, takes its place in the Manhattan skyline. (AP)

America remembers

In 2009, the U.S. government designated Sept. 11 of each year as a national day of service.

An estimated 1 million Americans are expected to volunteer at various projects across all 50 states in 2012.

At Ground Zero, the 9/11 memorial has seen 4.5 million visitors in its first year of operation.

A memorial to the victims at the Pentagon was completed in 2008, and a memorial to the victims of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Penn., is expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors this year.

Photo: Andree Kessel of Arlington Heights, Ill. volunteers by sprucing up a community gardens, on Sept. 11, 2009. (M. Spencer Green/AP)


Sources: U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, FBI, National 9/11 memorial, New York state, New York city comptroller, news reports




Story Social Media

End of Story Social Media



TIFF 2013 red carpet highlights

Afghanistan soccer fans celebrate big win