Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Grim Numbers

Bulletin: (Maybe) 600,000 Iraqi dead from the war we launched three years ago, out of their population of roughly 27 million, according to a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study as reported in today’s New York Times.

600,000 is the mean estimate, and said to be by no means exact. Our “coalition forces,” it is sad to say, are to blame for much of the carnage though not all.

Taking the very mininum count — which is reported to be 426,369 — as a percentage of the Iraqi population, the equivalent American count would be 4,651,299. Would you put that on page 16?


PJB said...

Yeah, I wonder about those numbers. For them to add up, there would have to be about 15,000 deaths per month, or ten times more than what has been reported. Not that we couldn't be lied to, but that strikes me as too many.

Alex said...

It does seem exaggerated in the extreme, yes. Yet the study claims to have used a "cluster sample survey" or some such measure, which extrapolated off of a fairly representative (at least reportedly) number.

I'm no statistician,* so it could just be nonsense. Or true. Or somewhere in between.

*You can see this lack of critical know-how in the above post. Indeed there may be demographic trouble ahead, or whatever thay may be, in the coming few decades. But shouldn't be a problem; I'll be an old man by then.