Monday, May 25, 2009

Vietnam War Casualties by Religious Preference

Statistical Abstract of 1970
V'nam Casualties By Religious Preference
Preference % / V'nam Dead %
Protestant 136010000 (67.0) / 37483 (64.4)

Catholic 50750000 (25.0) / 16806 (28.9)

Jewish 6090000 (3.0) / 269 (0.4)

Other 5400000 (2.6) / 262 (0.4)

None/Unknown 4750000 / 3332 (5.7)

Protestants were representative from all areas of the country but slightly less so from outside the South where they were more likely to be college candidates. Officers of all services, by tradition largely Protestant, remained so in V'nam sustaining casualties on about a 5 to 2 ratio.
Protestants in the 10's of millions are no longer members or have simply always considered themselves as vaguely Protestant. This is quite specifically apparent in the Protestant denominational breakout from the DoD database where 16640 of 37483 (44.3% ) listed their religious preference as simply Protestant with no specific denomination. Of those Protestant casualties who did list a denomination, the Baptists were the largest (25.6%) followed by Methodists (10.8%), Lutherans (6.0%) & Presbyterians (3.4%). Percentages shown are of the Protestant total.

If we use the religious preference percentages we can see that Catholics were over-represented -almost 29.0% against a natl preference of 25% In the genl population, while Protestants were slightly under-represented- 64.4 of the V'nam casualties against a natl preference of 67.0%. The low Jewish representation was probably due, in large part, to the high rate of under-graduate & post-graduate matriculation among young Jewish males, estimated at 2 to 3 times that of Protestant & Catholic 17-24 year olds nationwide.

Black casualties were over 85% Protestant. If the 7115 enlisted blacks are removed from the enlisted casualty universe then the white preferences become 60.2% for Protestants & 33% for Catholics.

Other includes Hindu, Thai, Buddhist & Muslim casualties.

Data and anaylsis compiled William F. Abbott from figures obtained shortly after the construction of the Vietnam War Memorial
(Link available at:

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Buddhist Military Sangha by Jeanette Shin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at