Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Report: 600,000 Dead Iraqis.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have released the results of their epidemiological study about Iraqis killed in the invasion and subsequent civil war. It's the same group who in 2004 asserted that 100,000 had been killed--a finding that still exceeds the highest estimate. Despite the shocking finding, the methodology seems pretty sound:

The survey was conducted between May 20 and July 10 by eight Iraqi physicians organized through Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. They visited 1,849 randomly selected households that had an average of seven members each. One person in each household was asked about deaths in the 14 months before the invasion and in the period after.

The interviewers asked for death certificates 87 percent of the time; when they did, more than 90 percent of households produced certificates.

According to the survey results, Iraq's mortality rate in the year before the invasion was 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people; in the post-invasion period it was 13.3 deaths per 1,000 people per year. The difference between these rates was used to calculate "excess deaths."

Of the 629 deaths reported, 87 percent occurred after the invasion. A little more than 75 percent of the dead were men, with a greater male preponderance after the invasion. For violent post-invasion deaths, the male-to-female ratio was 10-to-1, with most victims between 15 and 44 years old.

Gunshot wounds caused 56 percent of violent deaths, with car bombs and other explosions causing 14 percent, according to the survey results. Of the violent deaths that occurred after the invasion, 31 percent were caused by coalition forces or airstrikes, the respondents said.

Let the spin begin.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Great info, Jeff. I see that mine is the first comment here. I have to say, I'm pretty shocked how little attention this is getting. I know the report has yet to be released, but I put up two posts on this same topic and have had remarkably little attention paid to them. I hope upwards to three-quarters of a million non-combatants being killed draws more attention once the report actually comes out. As for accuracy, the methodology has been called "excellent" by peers and the number 601,027 has been assigned a 95% accuracy rating.