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What gun violence costs taxpayers every year

Gun violence isn't pretty and it isn't cheap.

Taxpayers are footing the bill for $500 million in annual hospital costs related to gun violence, according to a new study from the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.

That's because many of those injured in firearm violence are young and uninsured, with Medicaid often picking up the tab. While the total national tab for hospital costs related to treating gun violence victims is almost $670 million, about three-quarters of the cost -- roughly $500 million -- stemmed from government insurance and the uninsured victims, the study found.

"Firearm-assault injuries impose a tremendous burden on some of America's most vulnerable youth, the health care system, and the American public," the study noted.

Not every state nor demographic group was equally impacted by gun violence, the report found. It based its findings on statistics from 2010, and focused on the impact of gun violence in six states: Arizona, California, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Across the six states, the largest share of victims seeking hospital treatment were men between 15 to 24 years old, while the second biggest group were men from 25 to 34 years old.

Racial disparities were also apparent for victims of gun violence, with black male youths the most likely to require hospital care for a firearm-assault injury among young people between 15 to 34, the study found.

"These findings also support previous research suggesting that the consequences of gun violence are disproportionately concentrated among male youth, specifically young black males," the report notes. "The injuries they sustain likely have prolonged effects on their lives and productivity, rendering clear the importance of identifying steps that prevent the violence from occurring."

Gun violence is often focused in one neighborhood or group of communities, the report added. For instance, in Boston, more than half of gun violence takes place in less than 3 percent of streets and intersections.

The National Rifle Association didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Another advocate for the gun industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told CNN Money that the report shouldn't be used to advocate for more gun control.

"It's not particularly surprising that a disproportionally large number of the victims of gun violence live in impoverished areas because that's where the crime occurs: in impoverished areas," Larry Keane, a senior vice president with the group, told CNN Money.

By other measures, the total cost of gun violence is far greater. The toll amounted to $174 billion in 2010, when including work lost, medical care, pain and suffering, criminal-justice expenses and insurance, according to data compiled by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

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