The Number of Deaths in the Second World War by Nation

How many victims were there during World War II? A question that is difficult to answer. In fact, although there are several statistics, it is difficult to have such a precise calculation of the victims. In general, it is estimated that the losses were about more than 68 million. Of these, military casualties are about 24 and a half million and civilian casualties about 43 and a half million. In today’s article we will delve into the data by individual nation. Obviously what we will see – as anticipated – are estimates.

Nations with the most deaths during World War II

If we said the total casualties were over 68 million, which nations had the most deaths during World War II? The top nation in the world is the Soviet Union. In fact, the former USSR had about 25 million total casualties. Of these 17 million were civilians and 8 million were military. According to the nationals museum the figure is slightly different: from 8 million and 800 thousand for the military and about 24 million in total. In second place among the nations with more victims during the Second World War is China, with about 19 million and 600 thousand victims. Of these civilians about 15 million and a half and military 4 million and 100 thousand. In third position instead Germany with almost 7 million and a half of which most military: 5 million and 300 thousand and over 2 million civilians.

In the video below you can see the number of victims during the Second World War in ascending order.

In addition to the animated video where you can see the data nation by nation, from the smallest to the largest, below I made this table. Thanks to the data of the National WW2 museums is in fact possible to know the data on total victims and military casualties.

In this case the data are ordered by name but you can search for each nation involved. In addition you can sort the data by column.

The impact on the population

In addition to the many casualties, World War II also had a major impact on the involvement of states. In fact there are 61 nations around the world involved in this historical fact. If in the previous chapter we have seen what was the impact for each individual nation involved in terms of absolute victims, in this chapter we will focus on the victims by population.

But which are the nations in the world where in percentage terms there were the most casualties during World War II? Singapore, Poland, the Soviet Union, Lithuania and Latvia. These states, in fact, had more than 10% of victims during World War II compared to the total population. If for Singapore the figure is also due in part to the total population (700,000 in 1939) it is surprising that larger nations such as Poland and the Soviet Union have a figure so high. Among the most affected nations are Germany, Yugoslavia and Hungary (all above 5%).

To show the impact that World War II had on the individual nations I have also made this tree map. Thanks to this chart it is possible to see in a clearer way how much the second world war has impacted on the population.

Source and links

As I have tried to explain the precise figure for World War II casualties is very complex. In fact, not all victims were recorded, different ways of counting etc. were used depending on the states. It is possible, however, thanks to the various databases present, to make an estimate. For this article and for the video I used a mix of sources including and the book “Infographics of World War II”.

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