A Correction…

I have to correct myself from a comment made at another blog.

While waiting at DFW for my flight back to A’stan, I came across a rambling post on The Reid Report. I didn’t bother to try to tackle all of it (like the ending misapprehension of the Constitution) but commented on the large glaring problem near the beginning.

If you map out the U.S. casualty count, you find the numbers are heaviest in the blue states, with the exception of Texas. The highest rate of death among American servicemen to date has been in California, where 334 Americans have died in service during the war, followed by Texas (289), Pennsylvania (156), New York (145), Ohio (142), Florida (130), Michigan (125) and Illinois (119). These are the “red states” of the casualty count map — those with 100 fatalities or more. The states with the lowest numbers happen to be in the middle part of the country — the politically red part of the map (the deep and middle South included), where political support for the war remains strongest. In fact, the lowest body count of all is in Washington D.C., where so far 3 brave troops have been lost — one less than in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, and two less than American Samoa.

Mr Reid’s misapprehensions come from a simple reading of the numbers. The following chart shows those numbers on a graph and as you see, California as sustained a number 6 standard deviations above “normal.” But that assumes, that all the state are equal, and they arent.

My error was in commenting before verifying what seemed correct to me initially.

And what do you know? Those are the largest states in the US by population and almost in that order. Pensylvania seems to have taken a somewhat larger hit than it’s larger peers, Illinois, Florida and New York. Wonder what those states have against PA (extending your logic.)If instead we adjust for population, we find that the top eight states are Vermont (.0029%), Alaska (.0023%), South Dakota (.0022%), North Dakota, (.0020%), Nebraska (.0019%), Wyoming (.0018%), Montana (.0016%) and Louisiana (.0016%). California comes in at #42 at .0009%.There is no significant statistical deviation, so it is appropriate to say that US fatalities in the War on Terror are evenly distributed across the United States.

There is a significant statistical deviation. US fatalities are not evenly distributed across the US.
Wyoming, Nebraska, the Dakotas and Alaska are much more heavily represented in GWOT fatalities (adjusted by population size). Vermont, however, has been slammed, comparatively at 5 standard deviations above normal.

A final chart shows the general relationship between number of fatalities and state population. Note that, while not perfect, the two trend lines are very close.


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