Small cities are sending more of their young to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than large metroplitan regions.

"> Iraq War's Small Town Sacrifice - Daily Yonder

Iraq War’s Small Town Sacrifice

KokomoSmall cities are sending more of their young to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than large metroplitan regions.

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Kokomo
Chevy Bel Air at the Thursday night car show, Kokomo, Indiana

The Yonder reported last week that those soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan disproportionately come from rural communities. The casualty rate among those of military age (18 to 59) in rural America is fifty percent higher than in urban areas.

Rural communities send more of their young to the military than big cities. And, it appears, the same holds true for small cities. America’s small urban areas send a much higher proportion of their population to the conflicts in the Middle East than do large urban regions.

The Yonder has compared the death rates of all U.S. metropolitan areas. There are plenty of exceptions, but the trend is clear: the smaller the city, the higher the death rate.

Valdosta, Georgia; Kokomo, Indiana and Bismarck, North Dakota all have death rates that are 12 times higher than that of San Francisco. (The Yonder excluded cities with fewer than two casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Including those cities does not change the trends.)

The average population of the 20 metropolitan areas with the lowest death rates is 1.8 million. The average population of the 20 metropolitan areas with the highest death rates is 151,000.

The difference in death rates among cities is far greater than the difference between urban and rural America. The average death rate for these 295 cities is 18.5 deaths per million population. The death rate in Casper, Wyoming is 56.8.

Determining the true hometowns of soldiers killed overseas is an inexact science. Every soldier is required to state a “home of record” at the time of enlistment. In the majority of cases, this is the place the young man or woman was living at the time he or she enlisted. It is the place the soldier grew up, or where his parents live or where she graduated from high school.

However, when a soldier leaves the military, even for a day, and then re-enlists, she can pick a new home of record. That could well be the military base where she is stationed. As a result, towns near military bases on this list could be slightly over-represented ““ places such as Fayetteville, North Carolina or Killeen, Texas, or Clarksville, Tennessee.

(The Yonder use the federal government’s designation of metropolitan statistical areas instead of political boundaries in this study. Austin, Texas, for example, fits within one county. Its metro area, however, spans five counties.)

What is driving death rates higher in towns like Kokomo or Bismarck? The Yonder prints this list with a lot of questions. What is going on in Bismarck or Lubbock, Texas, for example, that leads to higher enlistment rates than, say, Lancaster, Pennsylvania?

We would like to hear from readers about the local conditions that may help explain higher (or lower) death rates. In the meantime, here’s the list of the 295 metropolitan areas, their population in 2006; the total number of soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan through October 20, 2007; and a death rate. (The death rate is the number of casualties divided by total population multiplied times one million.)

 

Rank Metropolitan Area Deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan Total Population, 2006 Death Rate*
1 Valdosta,GA 8 126,305 63.3
2 Kokomo,IN 6 100,877 59.5
3 Bismarck,ND 6 101,138 59.3
4 Casper,WY 4 70,401 56.8
5 Altoona,PA 7 126,494 55.3
6 Mansfield,OH 7 127,010 55.1
7 Corvallis,OR 4 79,061 50.6
8 Cheyenne,WY 4 85,384 46.8
9 Elizabethtown,KY 5 110,878 45.1
10 Salisbury,MD 5 117,761 42.5
11 Fayetteville,NC 14 341,363 41.0
12 Bangor,ME 6 147,180 40.8
13 Flagstaff,AZ 5 124,953 40.0
14 Lawton,OK 4 109,181 36.6
15 CorpusChristi,TX 15 415,810 36.1
16 Owensboro,KY 4 112,093 35.7
17 Anniston-Oxford,AL 4 112,903 35.4
18 Fairbanks,AK 3 86,754 34.6
19 Killeen-Temple-FortHood,TX 12 351,322 34.2
20 Redding,CA 6 179,951 33.3
21 Clarksville,TN-KY 8 240,500 33.3
22 St.Joseph,MO-KS 4 122,306 32.7
23 Champaign-Urbana,IL 7 216,581 32.3
24 Lafayette,IN 6 185,745 32.3
25 LittleRock-NorthLittleRock,AR 21 652,834 32.2
26 Farmington,NM 4 126,473 31.6
27 Odessa,TX 4 127,462 31.4
28 Savannah,GA 10 320,013 31.2
29 ElCentro,CA 5 160,301 31.2
30 Columbus,GA-AL 9 288,847 31.2
31 Oshkosh-Neenah,WI 5 160,593 31.1
32 LasCruces,NM 6 193,888 30.9
33 Anderson,IN 4 130,575 30.6
34 Lubbock,TX 8 261,411 30.6
35 GrandJunction,CO 4 134,189 29.8
36 Missoula,MT 3 101,417 29.6
37 Saginaw-SaginawTownshipNorth,MI 6 206,300 29.1
38 Decatur,IL 3 109,309 27.4
39 Wheeling,WV-OH 4 147,329 27.2
40 Fargo,ND-MN 5 187,001 26.7
41 Yuma,AZ 5 187,555 26.7
42 Davenport-Moline-RockIsland,IA-IL 10 377,291 26.5
43 Gulfport-Biloxi,MS 6 227,904 26.3
44 Macon,GA 6 229,326 26.2
45 Morgantown,WV 3 115,136 26.1
46 MountVernon-Anacortes,WA 3 115,700 25.9
47 Spartanburg,SC 7 271,087 25.8
48 Monroe,MI 4 155,035 25.8
49 Sandusky,OH 2 78,116 25.6
50 Sherman-Denison,TX 3 118,478 25.3
51 Abilene,TX 4 158,063 25.3
52 RapidCity,SD 3 118,763 25.3
53 Elkhart-Goshen,IN 5 198,105 25.2
54 Winchester,VA-WV 3 118,932 25.2
55 Anchorage,AK 9 359,180 25.1
56 Reno-Sparks,NV 10 400,560 25.0
57 Flint,MI 11 441,966 24.9
58 Amarillo,TX 6 241,515 24.8
59 Parkersburg-Marietta,WV-OH 4 161,724 24.7
60 Gainesville,FL 6 243,985 24.6
61 SantaCruz-Watsonville,CA 6 249,705 24.0
62 Weirton-Steubenville,WV-OH 3 125,168 24.0
63 TerreHaute,IN 4 168,217 23.8
64 Tallahassee,FL 8 336,502 23.8
65 Stockton,CA 16 673,170 23.8
66 Lafayette,LA 6 254,432 23.6
67 Shreveport-BossierCity,LA 9 386,778 23.3
68 Monroe,LA 4 172,223 23.2
69 Pocatello,ID 2 86,357 23.2
70 Pittsfield,MA 3 131,117 22.9
71 Anderson,SC 4 177,963 22.5
72 Dalton,GA 3 134,397 22.3
73 SanAntonio,TX 43 1,942,217 22.1
74 FortWayne,IN 9 408,071 22.1
75 Canton-Massillon,OH 9 409,764 22.0
76 GrandRapids-Wyoming,MI 17 774,084 22.0
77 Kalamazoo-Portage,MI 7 319,738 21.9
78 Kingston,NY 4 182,742 21.9
79 Duluth,MN-WI 6 274,244 21.9
80 Dubuque,IA 2 92,384 21.6
81 Yakima,WA 5 233,105 21.4
82 Olympia,WA 5 234,670 21.3
83 StateCollege,PA 3 140,953 21.3
84 Augusta-RichmondCounty,GA-SC 11 523,249 21.0
85 Harrisburg-Carlisle,PA 11 525,380 20.9
86 JohnsonCity,TN 4 191,136 20.9
87 LakeCharles,LA 4 192,316 20.8
88 GrandForks,ND-MN 2 96,523 20.7
89 WichitaFalls,TX 3 145,528 20.6
90 Hanford-Corcoran,CA 3 146,153 20.5
91 Johnstown,PA 3 146,967 20.4
92 Racine,WI 4 196,096 20.4
93 FondduLac,WI 2 99,243 20.2
94 Cumberland,MD-WV 2 99,759 20.0
95 ColoradoSprings,CO 12 599,127 20.0
96 Evansville,IN-KY 7 350,356 20.0
97 Brunswick,GA 2 100,613 19.9
98 Houma-BayouCane-Thibodaux,LA 4 202,902 19.7
99 Pueblo,CO 3 152,912 19.6
100 Portland-SouthPortland,ME 10 513,667 19.5
101 Omaha-CouncilBluffs,NE-IA 16 822,549 19.5
102 BoiseCity-Nampa,ID 11 567,640 19.4
103 Montgomery,AL 7 361,748 19.4
104 Columbia,MO 3 155,997 19.2
105 Tucson,AZ 18 946,362 19.0
106 SanAngelo,TX 2 105,752 18.9
107 Peoria,IL 7 370,194 18.9
108 Lima,OH 2 105,788 18.9
109 OklahomaCity,OK 22 1,172,339 18.8
110 Oxnard-ThousandOaks-Ventura,CA 15 799,720 18.8
111 Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton,OR-WA 40 2,137,565 18.7
112 Bloomington-Normal,IL 3 161,202 18.6
113 Lewiston-Auburn,ME 2 107,552 18.6
114 NewOrleans-Metairie-Kenner,LA 19 1,024,678 18.5
115 Waterloo-CedarFalls,IA 3 162,263 18.5
116 Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Tonawanda,NY 21 1,137,520 18.5
117 BayCity,MI 2 108,390 18.5
118 Albuquerque,NM 15 816,811 18.4
119 SanDiego-Carlsbad-SanMarcos,CA 54 2,941,454 18.4
120 Jackson,MI 3 163,851 18.3
121 Cleveland,TN 2 109,477 18.3
122 Pittsburgh,PA 43 2,370,776 18.1
123 MichiganCity-LaPorte,IN 2 110,479 18.1
124 Greenville,NC 3 165,776 18.1
125 Spokane,WA 8 446,706 17.9
126 Jackson,TN 2 111,937 17.9
127 Tulsa,OK 16 897,752 17.8
128 Joplin,MO 3 168,552 17.8
129 Boulder,CO 5 282,304 17.7
130 BowlingGreen,KY 2 113,320 17.6
131 Harrisonburg,VA 2 113,449 17.6
132 Lansing-EastLansing,MI 8 454,044 17.6
133 Lincoln,NE 5 283,970 17.6
134 Modesto,CA 9 512,138 17.6
135 Victoria,TX 2 114,088 17.5
136 AnnArbor,MI 6 344,047 17.4
137 Manchester-Nashua,NH 7 402,789 17.4
138 Mobile,AL 7 404,157 17.3
139 FortSmith,AR-OK 5 288,818 17.3
140 Springfield,MO 7 407,092 17.2
141 Muskegon-NortonShores,MI 3 175,231 17.1
142 Akron,OH 12 700,943 17.1
143 IdahoFalls,ID 2 116,980 17.1
144 Wichita,KS 10 592,126 16.9
145 GreenBay,WI 5 299,003 16.7
146 Lynchburg,VA 4 239,510 16.7
147 Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir,NC 6 359,856 16.7
148 FortWaltonBeach-Crestview-Destin,FL 3 180,291 16.6
149 Bremerton-Silverdale,WA 4 240,604 16.6
150 Madison,WI 9 543,022 16.6
151 Honolulu,HI 15 909,863 16.5
152 Houston-Baytown-SugarLand,TX 91 5,539,949 16.4
153 Charleston,WV 5 305,526 16.4
154 ElPaso,TX 12 736,310 16.3
155 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton,PA-NJ 13 800,336 16.2
156 Baltimore-Towson,MD 43 2,658,405 16.2
157 Athens-ClarkeCounty,GA 3 185,479 16.2
158 Riverside-SanBernardino-Ontario,CA 65 4,026,135 16.1
159 Ogden-Clearfield,UT 8 497,640 16.1
160 Beaumont-PortArthur,TX 6 379,640 15.8
161 McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr,TX 11 700,634 15.7
162 Columbus,OH 27 1,725,570 15.6
163 CollegeStation-Bryan,TX 3 192,152 15.6
164 Salem,OR 6 384,600 15.6
165 GlensFalls,NY 2 129,455 15.4
166 Youngstown-Warren-Boardman,OH-PA 9 586,939 15.3
167 Wilmington,NC 5 326,166 15.3
168 Coeurd'Alene,ID 2 131,507 15.2
169 Austin-RoundRock,TX 23 1,513,565 15.2
170 Norwich-NewLondon,CT 4 263,293 15.2
171 Richmond,VA 18 1,194,008 15.1
172 Knoxville,TN 10 667,384 15.0
173 Napa,CA 2 133,522 15.0
174 Cincinnati-Middletown,OH-KY-IN 31 2,104,218 14.7
175 Greensboro-HighPoint,NC 10 685,378 14.6
176 Vallejo-Fairfield,CA 6 411,680 14.6
177 Burlington-SouthBurlington,VT 3 206,007 14.6
178 Prescott,AZ 3 208,014 14.4
179 IowaCity,IA 2 139,567 14.3
180 Erie,PA 4 279,811 14.3
181 Columbia,SC 10 703,771 14.2
182 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor,OH 30 2,114,155 14.2
183 Springfield,OH 2 141,872 14.1
184 Jacksonville,FL 18 1,277,997 14.1
185 Florence,AL 2 142,657 14.0
186 Huntington-Ashland,WV-KY-OH 4 285,475 14.0
187 CapeCoral-FortMyers,FL 8 571,344 14.0
188 VirginiaBeach-Norfolk-NewportNews,VA-NC 23 1,649,457 13.9
189 SiouxCity,IA-NE-SD 2 143,474 13.9
190 Appleton,WI 3 217,313 13.8
191 JeffersonCity,MO 2 144,958 13.8
192 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro,TN 20 1,455,097 13.7
193 Birmingham-Hoover,AL 15 1,100,019 13.6
194 Dover,DE 2 147,601 13.6
195 Utica-Rome,NY 4 297,286 13.5
196 Bend,OR 2 149,140 13.4
197 Decatur,AL 2 149,549 13.4
198 Kennewick-Richland-Pasco,WA 3 226,033 13.3
199 Waco,TX 3 226,189 13.3
200 Jackson,MS 7 529,456 13.2
201 KansasCity,MO-KS 26 1,967,405 13.2
202 Pascagoula,MS 2 152,405 13.1
203 Dayton,OH 11 838,940 13.1
204 Topeka,KS 3 228,894 13.1
205 BatonRouge,LA 10 766,514 13.0
206 Providence-NewBedford-FallRiver,RI-MA 21 1,612,989 13.0
207 LasVegas-Paradise,NV 23 1,777,539 12.9
208 Vineland-Millville-Bridgeton,NJ 2 154,823 12.9
209 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria,DC-VA-MD-WV 68 5,290,400 12.9
210 SantaRosa-Petaluma,CA 6 466,891 12.9
211 Bakersfield,CA 10 780,117 12.8
212 Scranton–Wilkes-Barre,PA 7 550,841 12.7
213 Ocala,FL 4 316,183 12.7
214 Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville,CA 26 2,067,117 12.6
215 SantaBarbara-SantaMaria-Goleta,CA 5 400,335 12.5
216 PanamaCity-LynnHaven,FL 2 163,505 12.2
217 Merced,CA 3 245,658 12.2
218 Albany,GA 2 163,961 12.2
219 Binghamton,NY 3 247,554 12.1
220 Raleigh-Cary,NC 12 994,551 12.1
221 CedarRapids,IA 3 249,320 12.0
222 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington,PA-NJ-DE-MD 70 5,826,742 12.0
223 York-Hanover,PA 5 416,322 12.0
224 Visalia-Porterville,CA 5 419,909 11.9
225 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy,MA-NH 53 4,455,217 11.9
226 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale,AZ 48 4,039,182 11.9
227 Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers,AR-MO 5 420,876 11.9
228 Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater,FL 32 2,697,731 11.9
229 Dallas-FortWorth-Arlington,TX 71 6,003,967 11.8
230 Hagerstown-Martinsburg,MD-WV 3 257,619 11.6
231 Greenville,SC 7 601,986 11.6
232 Charleston-NorthCharleston,SC 7 603,178 11.6
233 Orlando,FL 23 1,984,855 11.6
234 Worcester,MA 9 784,992 11.5
235 Louisville,KY-IN 14 1,222,216 11.5
236 Lexington-Fayette,KY 5 436,684 11.4
237 Pensacola-FerryPass-Brent,FL 5 439,987 11.4
238 LosAngeles-LongBeach-SantaAna,CA 147 12,950,129 11.4
239 SaltLakeCity,UT 12 1,067,722 11.2
240 Fresno,CA 10 891,756 11.2
241 Rochester,MN 2 179,573 11.1
242 AtlanticCity,NJ 3 271,620 11.0
243 Indianapolis,IN 18 1,666,032 10.8
244 Durham,NC 5 464,389 10.8
245 Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington,MN-WI 34 3,175,041 10.7
246 Rochester,NY 11 1,035,435 10.6
247 Charlottesville,VA 2 190,278 10.5
248 Brownsville-Harlingen,TX 4 387,717 10.3
249 Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice,FL 7 682,833 10.3
250 Springfield,MA 7 686,174 10.2
251 Medford,OR 2 197,071 10.1
252 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue,WA 33 3,263,497 10.1
253 Chattanooga,TN-GA 5 496,704 10.1
254 Longview,TX 2 203,367 9.8
255 Springfield,IL 2 206,112 9.7
256 St.Louis,MO-IL 27 2,796,368 9.7
257 SiouxFalls,SD 2 212,911 9.4
258 DesMoines,IA 5 534,230 9.4
259 PalmBay-Melbourne-Titusville,FL 5 534,359 9.4
260 Chico,CA 2 215,881 9.3
261 Detroit-Warren-Livonia,MI 40 4,468,966 9.0
262 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet,IL-IN-WI 85 9,505,748 8.9
263 BarnstableTown,MA 2 224,816 8.9
264 Winston-Salem,NC 4 456,614 8.8
265 Laredo,TX 2 231,470 8.6
266 Kingsport-Bristol,TN-VA 2 232,971 8.6
267 Denver-Aurora,CO 20 2,363,634 8.5
268 Greeley,CO 2 236,857 8.4
269 Miami-FortLauderdale-MiamiBeach,FL 46 5,463,857 8.4
270 Hartford-WestHartford-EastHartford,CT 10 1,188,841 8.4
271 MyrtleBeach-Conway-NorthMyrtleBeach,SC 2 238,493 8.4
272 Atlanta-SandySprings-Marietta,GA 43 5,138,223 8.4
273 NewHaven-Milford,CT 7 845,244 8.3
274 Trenton-Ewing,NJ 3 367,605 8.2
275 Deltona-DaytonaBeach-OrmondBeach,FL 4 496,575 8.1
276 Milwaukee-Waukesha-WestAllis,WI 12 1,509,981 7.9
277 NewYork-Newark-Edison,NY-NJ-PA 148 18,818,536 7.9
278 SanLuisObispo-PasoRobles,CA 2 257,005 7.8
279 Toledo,OH 5 653,695 7.6
280 Asheville,NC 3 398,009 7.5
281 Memphis,TN-MS-AR 9 1,274,704 7.1
282 Roanoke,VA 2 295,050 6.8
283 SanJose-Sunnyvale-SantaClara,CA 12 1,787,123 6.7
284 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk,CT 6 900,440 6.7
285 Naples-MarcoIsland,FL 2 314,649 6.4
286 Provo-Orem,UT 3 474,180 6.3
287 Albany-Schenectady-Troy,NY 5 850,957 5.9
288 Rockford,IL 2 348,252 5.7
289 Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord,NC-SC 9 1,583,016 5.7
290 Lakeland-WinterHaven,FL 3 561,606 5.3
291 SanFrancisco-Oakland-Fremont,CA 22 4,180,027 5.3
292 Reading,PA 2 401,149 5.0
293 Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown,NY 3 671,538 4.5
294 Lancaster,PA 2 494,486 4.0
295 Syracuse,NY 2 650,051 3.1
*Death rate equals casualties divided by total population multiplied by 1,000,000        

 

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