1.2m Iraqi war dead, says poll

IssueOctober 2007
Feature by Gabriel Carlyle

A poll of 1,461 adults in 15 of Iraq's 18 regions indicates that as many as 1.2 million Iraqis have died violently because of the conflict since the invasion

British polling agency ORB, which has conducted polls for the BBC and the Financial Services Authority, asked randomly-selected adults in face-to-face interviews in mid-August how many members of their immediate households had “died as a result of the conflict (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age).”

16% said one family member, 5% said two family members, and 1% said three. The 2005 census counted a total of 4m households, leading ORB to suggest a total of 1,220,580 deaths since 2003.

The Lancet

This finding for violent deaths supports the more rigorous estimate published in the medical journal The Lancet in October 2006, which found that 655,000 Iraqis had died of all causes related to the invasion (including higher rates of disease and so on). The most violent governorate, Anbar, was not part of either the ORB or Lancet estimates.

Further questions in the ORB poll discovered that 48% died from a gunshot wound, 20% from the impact of a car bomb, and 9% (an estimated 116,000 people) from aerial bombardment.

Topics: Iraq