When the Islamic State declared a caliphate from the city of Mosul in June 2014, the group became the main cause of civilian deaths in Iraq, with more civilians dying that month than in any month during the war. In June 2014, IBC tallied nearly 4,100 civilian deaths. Over the course of the year, more than 20,000 people died. It is important to consider that this is 20,000 deaths in a country of about 35 million. In 2014, about 5.8 of every 10,000 Iraqis died as a result of violence. In 2006, shortly before President George W. Bush announced the surge of U.S. troops, the figure was 10.7 per 10,000 people.
We can put that into the context of the U.S. population, which was more than 10 times as large at the outset of the war.
- 2004: 4.5 out of every 10,000 Iraqis killed. Equivalent to 130,000 American deaths — the population of McKinney, Tex., in 2010.
- 2005: 6.1 out of every 10,000 Iraqis killed. Equivalent to 181,000 American deaths — like eliminating Tallahassee.
- 2006: 10.7 out of every 10,000 Iraqis. Equivalent to 318,000 American deaths — the population of St. Louis.
- 2007: 9.2 out of every 10,000 Iraqis. Equivalent to 277,000 American deaths — the population of Newark.
From March 1, 2003, to June 30, 2011, the crude death rate in Iraq was 4.55 per 1,000 person-years (95% uncertainty interval 3.74-5.27), more than 0.5 times higher than the death rate during the 26-mo period preceding the war, resulting in approximately 405,000 (95% uncertainty interval 48,000—751,000) excess deaths attributable to the conflict. Among adults, the risk of death rose 0.7 times higher for women and 2.9 times higher for men between the prewar period (January 1, 2001, to February 28, 2003) and the peak of the war (2005—2006). We estimate that more than 60% of excess deaths were directly attributable to violence, with the rest associated with the collapse of infrastructure and other indirect, but war-related, causes.