Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Horrible Milestone

Group's Estimate of Iraqi Deaths to Cross One Million

NEW YORK - AUGUST 7 - For the past month, the non-profit group has provided an ongoing estimate of the number of violent Iraqi deaths attributable to the 2003 invasion. Sometime within the next week, their tally is expected to cross one million Iraqi deaths. (The group will issue a press release when this occurs.)'s estimate is a rough update of a scientific study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University last year, which concluded that 601,000 violent Iraqi deaths were attributable to the invasion as of July 2006. That study, published in The Lancet, relied on a cross-sectional cluster survey, the method used to estimate deaths around the world following natural and manmade disasters. For example, the standard press estimate of 200,000 deaths in Darfur comes from cluster samples conducted by the United Nations and a researcher at Northwestern University.

In the absence of a follow-up cluster survey, this careful extrapolation represents a best estimate of the growing Iraqi death toll. has made available the estimate available through a frequently updated Web counter, which is viewable here:

To produce the estimate, obtains a rate of how quickly deaths are mounting in Iraq from the public database maintained by Iraq Body Count (IBC). IBC records all violent Iraqi civilian deaths reported in at least two English-language press outlets. That rate is then applied to the more comprehensive estimate of Iraqi deaths provided by the Lancet study.

A detailed explanation of the methodology behind the estimate is available here: is an independent and non-partisan membership organization founded in 2006. Our founding board members includes Jeff Faux, Founding President of the Economic Policy Institute; Vicente Navarro, Professor of Public Policy, Sociology, and Policy Studies at Health Policy and Management and International Health at Johns Hopkins University; Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP; and former Congressman Tom Andrews. More information is available on our web site:

Original article posted here.

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