Young whites are dying in Iraq at a per capita rate 86% higher than young African-American and Hispanic soldiers
It's widely assumed that American minority soldiers are suffering a disproportionate number of deaths in the current war. Yet, according to iCasualites, 74,4% of all American fatal casualties in the Iraq war have been suffered by non-Hispanic whites. In 2004, non-Hispanic whites only made up 67% of the total population, and, more relevantly, only 61% of the 25-year-olds, which might be about the representative age of the fatalities.
So, young whites are dying in Iraq at a per capita rate 86% higher than young minorities. If you are wondering about how I calculated that, it's:
(74.41% / 61%) / (25.59% / 39%)
Even among journalists who can divide in their head, few keep in mind that you have to divide the rate for the majority by the rate for the minority. Instead, they tend to divide the rate for the majority by the rate for the national average: "Okay, 74% divided by 61% is, well, not that much greater than 1.00, so there's no story here." Of course, the rate for the majority will generally be fairly close to the national average, but that's not what people are interested in. They want to compare Group X versus Group Y, and so you have to divide by the minority rate, not the national average.
A big reason for the Death Gap is the use of IQ test cutoffs by the military, which used to be at the 30th percentile up through 2004. That disqualified a large fraction of blacks and about half of Hispanics from enlisting. The average IQ of enlistees was above the national average.
IRAQ: U.S. DEATHS BY ETHNICITY
Average IQ of enlisted men