Some studies have shown that nearly half of military recruits come from rural areas, which account for only 15 percent of the U.S. population. BU and UM researchers credit this to rural areas' shortage of education and employment opportunities. The study, "Invisible Inequality: The Two Americas of Military Sacrifice," looked at 500,000 casualties since World War II, finding that "today, unlike in World II, the Americans who die or are wounded in war are disproportionately coming from poorer parts of the country."
Researchers wrote: "We find that both fatal and non-fatal casualties in America’s wars have come from parts of the country that are lower on the socioeconomic ladder. And those differences—small during World War II—have grown In sum. We believe there is extremely strong evidence that poorer parts of America are bearing a greater share of the human costs of war.” (Yonder map: Iraq and Afghanistan casualties by county population type)