Chart: World War II Casualties as a Percentage of Each Country’s Population

World War I was supposed to the “War to End all Wars”. However many years later World War II followed. The death toll in WW II was enormous with millions of lives lost on the allies side and the enemies side. After WW II new smaller wars led to more deaths.

I came across a fascinating chart today that showed the death toll for each country in WWII. Unlike so many other charts, this chart puts the toll in perspective since it measures the casualties as percentage of each country’s then total population. Based on this logic, the countries with the largest death toll were Poland, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

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Caption: Baumermann 3509 Tote im Zweiten Weltkrieg 2. Weltkrieg WK2 Bevölkerung Titel Datum: 24. August 2009 World War II Casualties Death toll as a percentage of each country's 1939 population*

Caption: Baumermann 3509 Tote im Zweiten Weltkrieg 2. Weltkrieg WK2 Bevölkerung Titel
Datum: 24. August 2009
World War II Casualties
Death toll as a percentage of each country’s 1939 population*

Source: The Road to World War II: How Appeasement Failed to Stop Hitler, Der Spiegel

At 0.30%, the U.S. had the lowest death toll percentage as a percentage of total population at that time. This does not mean American sacrifices were small compared to other countries. In fact, 450,000 Americans lost their lives and the US was the main driving force among the western allies. In addition, millions of American soldiers were injured and suffered as well. The sheer US military power and technological superiority helped European countries and the world put an end to the senseless war.

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