Special Report

The Year the Most Americans Have Died in War Since 1980


To identify the year the most Americans died in war. 24/7 Wall St. referenced the Congressional Research Service’s report “American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics.” This report includes the total reported U.S. military casualties from 1980 to 2010. For the purposes of our report, we only included deaths caused by hostile action, which excludes accidental deaths. 

For the years 2011 to 2020, we referenced reported totals of U.S. military deaths in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which represent the vast majority of deaths involving American service members during that period. Some of the reported deaths from 2011 to 2020 likely include some accidents, and the 1980 to 2010 entries should not be treated as comparable to the 2011 to 2020 entries. Figures for the total active-duty military came from the report as well as other independent research. Active-duty personnel figures after 2010 are estimates.  

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