Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Iraq vs. Philly

Crazy stat of the day: a young black male has a higher chance of being killed in Philadelphia than he does in Iraq.

Between March 21, 2003, when the first military death was recorded in Iraq, and March 31, 2006, there were 2,321 deaths among American troops in Iraq. Seventy-nine percent were a result of action by hostile forces. Troops spent a total of 592,002 "person-years" in Iraq during this period. The ratio of deaths to person-years, .00392, or 3.92 deaths per 1,000 person-years, is the death rate of military personnel in Iraq.

The death rate for U.S. men ages 18 to 39 in 2003 was 1.53 per 1,000 -- 39 percent of that of troops in Iraq. But one can also find something equivalent to combat conditions on home soil. The death rate for African American men ages 20 to 34 in Philadelphia was 4.37 per 1,000 in 2002, 11 percent higher than among troops in Iraq.
And it might be even worse than that as:
Hispanics have a death risk about 20 percent higher than non-Hispanics, and blacks have a death risk about 30 to 40 percent lower than that of non-blacks.
What does that say about being a young black male in Philadelphia that it is actually safer to be in Iraq?

I think this also speaks to the fact that the death rate in Iraq is low compared to other wars the US has been involved in.
The death rate of American troops in Vietnam was 5.6 times that observed in Iraq.
Another thing I am curious about is how the death rate for a solider signing up for the Army compares with that of being an Alaskan king crab fisherman, a police officer or other dangerous jobs? If I knew the percentage of time that the average solider spends in Iraq while enlisted I think I could figure it out. My guess is that being in the Army (or the Marine Corp especially) is more dangerous than these other jobs but not by as much as you would think.

via The Washington Post

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