Monday, October 12, 2009

More On Monthly Death Counts In Iraq

The Brookings Institution recently updated their Iraq Index in mid-September 2009. The newest edition includes updated monthly death statistics. At first, Brookings relied upon several sources, including their own analysis of Iraq Body Count's statistics, and the United Nations. Currently, they use U.S. government numbers based upon occasional briefings and reports by the State and Defense Departments. These come in the form of charts, which Brookings then interprets. That's the reason why the numbers are rounded to the nearest tens.

The Iraq Index figures are presented alongside the other major sources on casualties, Iraq Body Count, icasualties.org, the Iraqi Ministries, and the Associated Press. All five sources follow the same general pattern. First, 2009 has not been as deadly as 2008. According to Brookings there were an average of 386.6 deaths per month in the last six months of 2008 compared to 276.6 deaths per month in the first half of this year. If looked at in quarters, Brookings, and the other counts all go up and down over the last five quarters. The Iraq Index shows a decline from an average of 450.0 deaths in the third quarter of 2008, to 323.3 in the fourth quarter, and 253.3 in the first three months of 2009, before deaths go back up to 300.0 in the second quarter. Brookings does not have statistics for September 2009, but the other sources show deaths going down in the third quarter of the year compared to the second.

Iraqi Deaths


Brookings Institution

Iraq Body Count

icasualties

Iraqi Ministries

Associated Press

2008






July

500

584

419

465

510

Aug.

450

592

311

431

475

Sep.

400

535

366

440

503

Oct.

350

528

288

318

446

Nov.

270

473

317

340

360


Dec.

350

522

320

316

393

2009






Jan.

270

276

187

191

242

Feb.

230

343

202

258

288

March

260

416

278

252

335

April

340

484

347

355

371

May

240

332

188

165

225

June

320

488

367

438

447

July

220

395

240

275

309

Aug.

300

537

439

456

425

Sep.

N/A

296

158

203

238

Averages






3rd Qtr. 2008

450.0

570.3

365.3

446.3

496.0

4th Qtr.

2008

323.3

507.6

308.3

324.6

379.6


1st Qtr.

2009

253.3

345.0

222.3

233.6

288.3

2nd Qtr. 2009

300.0

434.6

300.6

319.3

347.6

3rd Qtr. 2009

N/A

409.3

279.0

311.3

324.0

Last 6 months of 2008

386.6

539.0

336.8

385.0

447.8

First 6 months of 2009

276.6

389.8

261.0

276.5

317.5


SOURCES

Associated Press, “Iraq: Key figures since the war began,” 11/3/08
- “Iraq: Key figures since the war began,” 1/2/09
- “Iraq: Key figures since the war began,” 10/1/09

Gamel, Kim, “U.S. monthly toll new low for Iraq,” Associated Press, 8/1/08

O’Hanlon, Michael Campbell, Jason, “Iraq Index,” 9/22/09

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