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How Many Civilians Died during Modern Wars?

Civilian fatalities during wartime are believed to be on the rise since the beginning of the 20th century. Since World War II, more civilians than soldiers have been killed in armed conflicts, according to a United Nations report.

The percentage of civilian fatalities in wartime was only 15% in World War I. This number rose to 65% in World War II and 90% in the conflicts of the 1990s. Children make up a considerable portion of the fatalities. Those resulting in the most notable number of fatalities include conflicts in Rwanda, Chechnya and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It is important to remember that it is not possible to know the exact number of civilian casualties. There are estimates but they vary based on the definition of "civilian," description of "casualty" and availability of information.

More about war:

  • Most of the major modern wars take place in developing countries.

  • 4,489 US soldiers and more than 100,000 civilians were killed in the Iraq war between 2003 and 2014.

  • 9.7 million soldiers and 10 million civilians died in World War I.

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