Iraq War: Number of Civilian Casualties, by year
YearNumber of civilian casualties
  • Region: Iraq
  • Time period: 2003 to 2024
  • Published: Apr 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 15, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us / Data / Analysis

Peak and Decline in Civilian Deaths

Civilian deaths in Iraq saw a peak in 2006 with a total of 29,526 deaths. Since then, there has been a general decline in casualties, culminating in 119 deaths in 2024. The most significant decreases occurred after 2017, following the peak of 13,183 deaths that year.

Comparison of Early and Recent War Years

Comparing the early years of the Iraq war (2003-2006) with the most recent years (2021-2024), there is a drastic reduction in civilian deaths. The average annual civilian deaths during 2003-2006 was approximately 21,382 deaths, while 2021-2024 averaged around 616 deaths, indicating a significant improvement in the security situation.

Decade Comparison

The decade of 2007-2016 witnessed 89,956 civilian deaths, making it the deadliest period since the start of the Iraq war. In contrast, the following period (2017-2024) recorded significantly fewer casualties, totalling 21,932 deaths.

Sharp Increase in 2014-2015

The period between 2014 and 2015 observed a sharp increase in civilian casualties, with numbers rising from 20,218 to 17,578 deaths respectively. This spike relates closely to the intensification of conflict involving ISIS in Iraq during these years.

Yearly Changes and Trends

Annual data shows a substantial year-to-year fluctuation in civilian deaths. For instance, from 2016 to 2017, the number of civilian deaths increased from 16,393 to 13,183, but then dropped drastically to 3,319 by 2018. Such variations often correlate with the intensity and changes in conflict dynamics each year.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the peak of civilian deaths in Iraq?

The peak of civilian deaths in Iraq was in 2006, with a total of 29,526 deaths.

What are the numbers when comparing early and recent years of the Iraq war?

In the early years of the Iraq war (2003-2006), the average annual civilian deaths was around 21,382, while in recent years (2021-2024), it averaged around 616 deaths.

Terms and Definitions

The Iraq War refers to the conflict which began in 2003 with the invasion by a U.S.-led coalition that overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein. The war includes the ensuing years of military occupation, sectarian violence, and a consequential insurgency, ending with the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.

Civilian deaths refer to the fatalities incurred by non-combatant populations during the course of the conflict. These are individuals who are not members of the military or armed forces but suffer casualties due to the activities and operations during the war.

Coalition forces refer to the alliance of countries, led by the United States, that participated in the military operations of the Iraq War. The forces encompassed troops from multiple countries, with major contributions from the United Kingdom and other nations.

Military occupation refers to the control and governance of a region by foreign armed forces. It involves the military government exercising authority over the territory and populace of the occupied region.

Sectarian violence refers to infighting and conflict that occurs between different religious, ethnic, or political groups within a country. In the context of the Iraq War, it primarily relates to violent conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslim factions.

Insurgency refers to an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through subversion and armed conflict. In the Iraq War, numerous insurgency groups formed to resist the U.S.-led occupation and the post-Hussein Iraqi government.

In the context of war and conflict, casualties refer to those killed, injured, or otherwise incapacitated as a part of the hostilities. It also accounts for individuals who are missing in action.

A regime refers to a government, especially an authoritative one. In the context of the Iraq War, it most frequently refers to the government of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator who was in power until 2003.
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