Monday, November 01, 2004

One hundred Thousand

A new study points to 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq as a direct result of the current war. This is a much higher civilian casualty rate then anyone else has estimated (anyone else being an extremely small and dedicated group of people collecting data in an extremely large and messy conflict). The results of a cluster sample survey were published last week in The Lancet, a British Medical Journal (if you visit the site you'll need to register to read the article, registration is free). Most of the deaths are attributed to air strikes.

Researchers concluded that the risk of violent death was 58 times higher than before the war. And most of those killed were women and children. -rfe/rl

The study does not include data from Fallujah, an area which has unarguably suffered following insurgency "strikes" and "containment".

The figure, 100,000, may come as a shock to some. Iraq body Count, a study measuring deaths reported in the media is reading a casualty rate of 14,219 to 16,352 at the moment I am writing this. The new data published in The Lancet supports an oft repeated observation of my own, that if Iraq Body Count's data is a mis-estimate, it is more likely to be a gross undercount then an overcount. Iraq Body Count measures deaths reported in the media, and obviously not all deaths can be reported. The study published in The Lancet was conducted in field.

research teams led by scholars at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University interviewed 1,000 Iraqi families in 33 locations. The families were asked about deaths and births in their homes in the 15 months before the March 2003 invasion and in the 18 months since.

It is incredibly valuable having data from two quite different and independent studies in helping to understand the impact of war.


#11/01/2004 01:53:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger liminal

I'm outraged.

Is nobody else upset about this insane number of deaths?

wtf ! i mean, if there is something to is this. oh , but there is all this "good news". well, what about this figure...100,000? grrrr...


#11/01/2004 08:42:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger CharlesWT

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#11/01/2004 08:47:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger CharlesWT

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

#11/01/2004 08:49:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger CharlesWT

Lets try again...

PERHAPS IT WAS 8,000. While most in the media uncritically repeat the results of Lancet study that asserts 100,000 Iraqi civilians were killed since the end of the war, Fred Kaplan at Slate takes a meat axe to its methodology. At least two on the anti-war left, Marc Cooper and Matthew Yglesias, are colored convinced.Instapundit (VERY) BAD METHODOLOGY: A Lancet study (free registration required) estimates 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the fall of Saddam's regime. It has since been demolished by Shannon Love. Instapundit

#11/03/2004 01:37:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jordan

What the study really says is that there is a 95% chance that the number of deaths is between 8,000-196,000. Take the two numbers, divide them by two and you get you "deaths in the excess of 100,000" It was a quick and dirty study and extrapolates on the population as a whole. They admit that there were complications and that it was not properly randomized, thusly negating it's usefulness as an indicator of body count. Now, the fact that this is a bad study isn't enough to discount it entirely but the Lancet also has a history of publishing things which turn out to be false or at the bet, extremely misleading.

Go here for the details:

#11/04/2004 04:05:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre

Omg ! Jordan !

You mean to say the figure could be double what the researchers found ? !!! almost 200,000 !!! Heck, Thats a lot of bodies. Damn, war is evil.

Oh btw as have already pointed out to Charles. The only difficulty researchers encountered sample wise was in collecting data from the more violent unsafe places, in deference to interviewer safety. Seeing as most of Iraq is fairly violent and unsafe it is reasonable to concede most of the data collected came from places which if anything have lower violent death stats then the rest of Iraq. So again, if the survey is inaccurate it is likely to have under-calculated the death rate rather then over-calculated it.

#11/12/2004 06:24:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Tim Lambert

The Lancet study has drawn lots of criticism from folks who just don't understand statistics. Like Glenn Reynolds. Read this post by Daniel Davies for a summary of the ways the critics have screwed up.


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