Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rural Americans still make up disproportionate share of war casualties, detailed data show

A Daily Yonder analysis of American casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq shows rural areas continue to account for a disproportionate share. Statisticians Robert Cushing and William O’Hare found that through Oct. 30, the death rate for rural counties is 51 percent higher than for urban counties, reflecting a higher rate of enlistments in rural areas. This is a follow-up to a May report on state-by-state death rates for the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, but this time, the authors have calculated separate rural and urban rates.

. “The more rural the state, the higher the rates of death in the two Middle East conflicts,” the Yonder writes. While only 19 percent of Americans live in counties outside metropolitan areas, they account for 26 percent of the 4,197 American casualties as of Oct. 30. Vermont, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, Maine, Idaho and Arkansas have the highest death rates. All but North Dakota, Wyoming and Arkansas suffered more deaths of rural residents than urban residents. The Yonder reiterates that rural residents are disproportionately represented in the military, thanks to fewer economic and educational opportunities in their hometowns. (Read more)

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