Posts Tagged ‘20th Century Deaths’

History’s death tolls: a comparison chart

April 15, 2014

Here’s an interesting set of charts from the Wait But Why blog giving the sizes of the death tolls in history’s greatest massacres and from other causes of untimely death.  As W. Edwards Deming once said, no number is meaningful unless there is another number to compare it with.

Death Final1a
As somebody else once said, one of the hardest things for human beings to grasp is differences in orders of magnitude (units vs. thousands vs millions).
Notice the enormous range of estimates in the larger figures. It seems as if the greater the death toll, the harder it is to determine just how great it was. But we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that massacres that are lesser in numbers are not really atrocities.


Hat tip to Yves Smith (whose naked capitalism web log is listed on my Blogs I Like page)

What people died of in the 20th century

January 1, 2014
Double click to enlarge.

Double click to enlarge.

The 20th century was one of the homicidal periods of human history.   Hundreds of millions died in war, or were murdered by governments.  It also was a period of enormous advances in medical knowledge and treatment.  Yet, as this interesting infographic shows, more people died of disease than died at the hands of their fellow human beings.

Click on Information Is Beautiful for the original chart and links to sources.