How many people alive today have lived through war at home?
February 17, 2013 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to estimate the number of people currently living who have experienced ongoing war on their own home soil? I'm thinking of people living in Gaza now or London during World War II, civilians directly affected by ongoing bombing and military conflict, rather than soldiers or one-time terrorist-attack survivors. (I realize it may not be possible to separate that out.)
posted by jaguar to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could work it out, but it would be tedious. Wikipedia has a list of wars. Usually, there's an age histogram available for a given country, so you have a rough idea of how many people there are of the right age. Spend a long time adding up and you're done.

The problem comes when you have to figure out how to count countries where only part of the country was affected by the war, but also in defining your parameters. How do you count somewhere like Britain, where everyone was affected by the war, but not everyone was bombed? Some places were occupied in the Second World War but didn't really see fighting, but it's hard to argue that they shouldn't count.
posted by hoyland at 4:59 PM on February 17, 2013

Start with the big ones and work your way down. Biggest is the civil war in Congo.

Congo has become a never-ending nightmare, one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II, with more than five million dead.... hundreds of thousands of women have been systematically assaulted in recent years, leading the United Nations to call Congo “the rape capital of the world.”

Congo has a population of 70m and I would imagine all of them have experienced ongoing war on their home soil.
posted by three blind mice at 2:33 AM on February 18, 2013

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