Of the 152 soldiers killed in Afghanistan, 76 came from rural communities and 76 came from urban communities.
However, only 20 per cent of Canada’s population lives in rural communities. So while urban and rural Canada has lost the same number of soldiers, the fatalities they have suffered relative to their populations is far from equal.
To better understand the relative burden of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, we calculated the number of fatalities per 100,000 people from urban and rural Canada.
The above graph shows that relative to population, four times as many soldiers from rural Canada have been killed in Afghanistan than those from urban Canada.
The above information raises many new questions. For instance, why are so many people from rural Canada dying in Afghanistan? Does a career with the Canadian Forces appear to be a better opportunity in rural Canada than it does in urban Canada?
Is it a problem when rural Canadians are dying in Afghanistan at such a disproportionately higher rate than those from urban Canada?
Most importantly, is this a sign that there are two Canadas when it comes to the Afghan mission (one where the losses in Afghanistan are a harsh reality and one where those losses are an abstraction seen on the six o’clock news)?