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Q: Death rate comparisons ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Death rate comparisons
Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: agonizing_fury-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 09 Apr 2006 05:49 PDT
Expires: 09 May 2006 05:49 PDT
Question ID: 717048
  I am trying to compare the death rate of US Soldiers in Iraq, to the
average death rate in the US (all people, not just soldiers). I would
like the comparison to also include the average death rate in the US
for persons age 18 to ~50 as this would closer fit the demographic of
a US Soldier. A great response will include all references used so I
can draw my own conclusions if neccesary. Please us as recent data as
possible. Also as a bonus, but not required to be considered an
answer, the death rate of US Contractors in Iraq would also be
appreciated. I realise the numbers may not be 100% statistacally
sound, as the number of soldiers in Iraq is constantly changing, but I
am just looking for a "good enough" comparison. If you have any
questions, please ask for clarification and be patient if I do not
respond immediately as I am currently in Iraq, so it may take a while
for me to get your request and respond.

Agonizing Fury
Subject: Re: Death rate comparisons
Answered By: palitoy-ga on 09 Apr 2006 07:06 PDT
Hello agonizing_fury-ga,

Thank-you for your question.

The following webpage is updated regularly with the latest casualties
of the war in Iraq:

As of 26 March 2006, there have been 2321 US Military Personnel killed
at an average rate of 2.29 per day (approximately 830 per year).

There is another excellent resource at

This site even breaks down the number of casualties by age (18-60);
hopefully you will be able to use this data to further breakdown your

Further detailed statistics on the death rate can be calculated from
the information given on the links from this page:

This site states a death rate of 43.1 deaths due to hostile action per
100,000 military personnel.

The size of the military force in Iraq (which may be helpful in your
studies) can be determined using the data found here:

In the USA, the National Center For Health Statistics provides
information for the death rate.  The most recent data I could find
complete with an age breakdown was for 2002 and is compiled on the PDF
spreadsheet below:

Overall the death rate in 2002 was 847.3 deaths per 100,000 population.

If you require any further assistance on this subject please do not
hesitate to ask for clarification and I will do my best to respond
Subject: Re: Death rate comparisons
From: mikewa-ga on 12 Apr 2006 11:38 PDT
I thnk I am missing something here: is the civilian death rate 20x
higher than the military (847 vs 43)? That doesn't seem very likely,
so I must be misinterpreting the numbers
Subject: Re: Death rate comparisons
From: irlandes-ga on 11 Jun 2006 15:58 PDT
I am actually pleased to see these numbers, not because death of any
kind is pleasing, but because I have been curious about this
comparision.   Though my access to Web is somewhat limited here in the
Third World, I have long wondered if it were true that military deaths
in our current strife was that much higher than the same number of
soldiers not in combat.

Mike, the reason is, in my opinion, the general population includes a
large number of old people who will soon enough die from natural
causes. The military number PROBABLY includes military in non-combat
positions, even duty in Australia and other peaceful countries, and in
the prime of life, but of course no 80 year olds with diabetes and
emphysema as are included in total population.

In spite of politically motivated negative emphasis on the deaths in
Iraq and Afgh., and the tragedy to the families of each and every
combat death, our numerical losses in combat are rather trivial in
comparison to historical wars.  Our grandfathers, many of them,
survived WWII battles where more than 2200 died in a few minutes.

To answer a common question, would I want my own son to give his life
in the attempt to bring freedom to Iraq, I say that would be his own
decision, but one I would accept if he made it.  I am aware he is
GOING TO DIE ANYWAY, the only question is when and why.  I would wish
his death be from doing something he believed in, whether at age 30 or
85, much better than to die a miserable death in one of our death
prisons (Known to most of you as nursing homes. We just watched a dear
friend die after three years in one of those places, and it has been a
terrible experience for us. Her 'home' was not especially bad; it's
just such places are inherently bad.  I am in Mexico now where this
sort of thing seldom happens. The first time my Mexican wife visited a
'home' in the States she couldn't sleep for three days; she just lay
there crying night after night.)

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