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Midwest Has Highest Per Capita Rate of Iraq War Fatalities and Casualties

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Minnesota has 5th highest number of fatalities in the nation in 2009

The death of a Coon Rapids, Minnesota Army Major in Basra, Iraq on Tuesday, Tad T. Hervas, now brings the number of Gopher State fatalities in Operation Iraqi Freedom to 66 since the war began in 2003.

While U.S. and coalition fatalities are on pace to be the lowest in the seven years of the Iraqi conflict, more than 100 U.S. military personnel have died in Iraq in 2009 including six from Minnesota.

Minnesotans have endured the fifth highest number of Iraq war fatalities in the country in 2009, behind only California (12), Ohio (9), Texas (8), and North Carolina (7).

Massachusetts has also had six military personnel from its state die in Iraq this year.

Although Southern states traditionally produce the largest number of recruits for the U.S. Armed forces, it is actually the Midwestern states which have endured the largest number of casualties and fatalities per capita in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

There are 12 states that comprise the greater Midwestern region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

These dozen Midwestern states have experienced a fatality rate in Iraq of 15.01 deaths per 1 million residents, according to a Smart Politics analysis of 2008 U.S. Census Bureau population data and Iraq war fatalities compiled by iCasualties.org. That rate is higher than the South (14.72), the West (13.91) and the Northeast (11.73).

U.S. Per Capita Deaths and Casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom by Region

Region
Wounded
Deaths
Casualties
Deaths per capita
Casualties per capita
Midwest
7,373
999
8,372
15.01
125.8
South
11,635
1,636
13,271
14.72
119.4
West
7,556
994
8,550
13.91
119.7
Northeast
4,617
644
5,261
11.73
95.8
Note: U.S. Census 2008 population data and iCasualties death and casualty data compiled by Smart Politics. Data includes the 50 U.S. states, not U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.

The Midwest has three of the highest seven per capita fatality rates of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq: South Dakota at #3 (24.87 per million), Nebraska at #5 (24.67), and North Dakota at #7 (21.82). Vermont has the highest rate in the nation at 33.80, almost four times the rate of #50 Utah (8.41).

Minnesota has the second lowest per capita rate of Iraqi war fatalities in the Midwest since 2003 at 12.64 per million residents, and is ranked #38 in the nation, ahead of only Illinois in the region (at 12.17, #40). Iowa (at 15.65, #25) and Wisconsin (at 15.64, #26) rank in the middle.

The Midwest region also has the highest casualty rate from the Iraq war - those military personnel who are wounded or killed. At 125.8 casualties per million residents, its casualty rate is higher than that of the West (119.7), the South (119.4), and particularly the Northeast (95.8).

South Dakota has the fifth highest casualty rate in the country (at 184.0 per million), with North Dakota at #7 (182.4). Montana has the highest rate in the nation at 265.7 casualties per million residents - more than four times the rate of #50 New Jersey (62.5). Minnesota is ranked #35 at 112.3, with Iowa at #20 (136.6) and Wisconsin at #28 (121.5).

U.S. Per Capita Fatalities in Operation Iraqi Freedom by State

Rank
State
Region
Deaths
Casualties
Deaths per capita
Casualties per capita
1
VT
Northeast
21
112
33.80
180.3
2
MT
West
27
257
27.91
265.6
3
SD
Midwest
20
148
24.87
184.0
4
AK
West
17
125
24.77
182.1
5
NE
Midwest
44
275
24.67
154.2
6
WY
West
13
114
24.41
214.0
7
ND
Midwest
14
117
21.82
182.4
8
AR
South
62
526
21.71
184.2
9
OK
South
76
605
20.87
166.1
10
HI
West
26
168
20.18
130.4
11
ID
West
30
316
19.69
207.4
12
NM
West
38
324
19.15
163.3
13
LA
South
84
677
19.04
153.5
14
OR
West
72
573
19.00
151.2
15
NH
Northeast
23
210
17.48
159.6
16
ME
Northeast
23
241
17.47
183.1
17
MS
South
51
335
17.36
114.0
18
TX
South
409
3456
16.81
142.1
19
VA
South
129
858
16.60
110.4
20
KS
Midwest
46
471
16.42
168.1
21
KY
South
70
555
16.40
130.0
22
DE
South
14
65
16.03
74.4
23
OH
Midwest
182
1519
15.85
132.2
24
PA
Northeast
195
1512
15.66
121.5
25
IA
Midwest
47
410
15.65
136.6
26
WI
Midwest
88
684
15.64
121.5
27
MI
Midwest
156
1178
15.59
117.8
28
AL
South
72
609
15.44
130.6
29
AZ
West
97
792
14.92
121.8
30
TN
South
92
713
14.80
114.7
31
IN
Midwest
93
809
14.58
126.9
32
MO
Midwest
86
869
14.55
147.0
33
NV
West
36
233
13.85
89.6
34
WA
West
89
1015
13.59
155.0
35
GA
South
131
1016
13.53
104.9
36
MD
South
76
508
13.49
90.2
37
WV
South
23
247
12.68
136.1
38
MN
Midwest
66
586
12.64
112.3
39
CA
West
462
3766
12.57
102.5
40
IL
Midwest
157
1306
12.17
101.2
41
SC
South
54
468
12.05
104.5
42
CO
West
59
577
11.94
116.8
43
MA
Northeast
76
582
11.70
89.6
44
RI
Northeast
12
121
11.42
115.2
45
NC
South
105
968
11.39
105.0
46
FL
South
188
1665
10.26
90.8
47
NY
Northeast
186
1663
9.54
85.3
48
NJ
Northeast
78
543
8.98
62.5
49
CT
Northeast
30
277
8.57
79.1
50
UT
West
23
263
8.41
96.1
Note: U.S. Census 2008 population data and iCasualties death and casualty data compiled by Smart Politics. Data includes the 50 U.S. states, not U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.


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