Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry recently released a report on the situation in Iraq. Part of it included casualty figures for 2004 to October 2008. The Ministry counted 85,694 civilians and security force members killed, and 147,195 people wounded. Those figures are very close to the two other organizations that have kept count of deaths in Iraq for that time period. The Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index for example, recorded 101,709 deaths from 2004 to October 2008, while Iraq Body Count had 85,903.
There have been other studies on deaths that have used sampling. There was a 2007 World Health Organization and Iraqi government study that reported 151,000 deaths from 2003 to 2005. The Johns Hopkins University and al-Mustansiriya University in Iraq paper published in the medical journal Lancet estimated 601,027 deaths from violence. That study has largely been discredited however, and its members have refused to answer basic questions about their research or share their work with others.
While the actual number of deaths is probably higher than the Human Rights Ministry’s study, it along with other source such as Iraq Body Count, the Iraq Index, and the Associated Press, provide a good starting point for estimating how many have lost their lives during the Iraq War.
Yearly Death Counts
Iraqi Ministry Of Human Rights
Jan.-Oct. 2008: 6,787
Brookings Institution Iraq Index
Jan.-Oct. 2008: 5,740
Iraq Body Count
Jan.-Oct. 2008: 8,211
For an overview of total Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion see:
How Many Have Died In Iraq And By What Means?
BBC, “Iraqi death researcher censured,” 2/4/09
Iraq Body Count
Munro, Neil and Cannon, Carl, “Data Bomb,” National Journal, 1/4/08
O’Hanlon, Michael Campbell, Jason, “Iraq Index,” 9/22/09
Salaheddin, Sinan, “Government says 85,000 Iraqis killed in 2004-08,” Associated Press, 10/14/08