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A Mounting Toll

October 26, 2005

An analysis of the first 2,000 U.S. military deaths in the Iraq theater shows three distinct periods: a rapid climb during the invasion, a slowing down and leveling off of the fatality during the first year of occupation and then an upturn after the killing of four contractors in the insurgent-dominated city of Fallouja at the end of March 2004.

Fatalities by cause

Roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), have surpassed all other causes of death.

First 1,000 deaths

Combat: 75%

(Other combat: 51%; IED: 29%)

Nonhostile: 25%

Second 1,000 deaths

Combat: 81%

(Other combat: 39%; IED: 42%)

Nonhostile: 19%

Other combat includes: grenades, mortar rounds, rockets, small-arms fire, suicide bombings, accidents during combat and "friendly fire."

Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding.


Fatalities by service

National Guard and reserve units are increasingly bearing the war''s cost in lives.

First 1,000 deaths

Active duty: 83%

Nat'l Guard: 11%


Second 1,000 deaths

First 1,000 deaths

Active duty: 69%

Nat'l Guard: 20%

Reserves: 11%


Profile of the fallen

The ethnicity of those killed closely parallels the U.S. population as a whole:

White: 1,451

Latino: 219

African American: 209

Asian: 53

Other: 41

* The median age is 26

* The Army accounts for 68% of deaths, the Marine Corps for 29%

* Women constitute 2% of those killed

Note: Information reflects deaths as of Oct. 15, 2005


U.S. fatalities in other wars

*--* Civil War (Union)* 1861-65 364,511 World War I 1917-18 116,516 World War II 1941-45 405,399 Korean War 1950-53 36,574 Vietnam 1964-73 58,209 Persian Gulf War 1990-91 382


*Confederate data are uncertain; reports indicate 133,821 Confederate deaths.

Sources: Associated Press,, U.S. Department of Defense, ESRI, U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Strategic and International Studies. Data analysis by Sandra Poindexter, Doug Smith

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