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Today is the 17th Memorial Day since 9/11. Since then, 6,940 U.S. military service members have died for America.

Why it matters: Every part of the country has lost soldiers to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All were Americans — someone's neighbor, child, parent, mentor, buddy. Their average age was between 26 and 27 years old.

Expand chart
Data: Defense Casualty Analysis System, U.S. Census Bureau 2016 population estimates; Note: Map does not include 111 servicemembers who came from outside the 50 states; Get the data; Map: Harry Stevens/Axios

The big picture: The losses have not been distributed evenly. The Bible Belt, the Rust Belt, and the Midwest had the most military deaths in proportion to their populations – though that's often because counties in those regions have small populations that skew the data. Among counties with a population greater than one million, Bexar County, Tex., home to San Antonio, suffered the highest rate of military deaths for its population: 59 servicemembers killed out of a population of 1,928,680.

Many of the dead came from big cities — 167 hailed from Los Angeles County, the most of any county. Others came from more remote places, like Mineral County, Colo., population 732, home to Sgt. Clinton Wayne Ahlquist, who was killed in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on Feb. 20, 2007, at the age of 23. Of all U.S. counties, Mineral County has the highest rate of servicemembers killed in proportion to population.

By the numbers:

  • Most of the fallen — 5,019 men and women — served in the Army. Another 1,484 were in the Marines, while 248 were in the Navy, and 189 were in the Air Force.
  • The state with the highest rate of servicemembers killed was Vermont — the state lost 26 troops out of a population of about 624,000. The state with the lowest rate was nearby Connecticut.
  • 6,772 of the fallen were men, and 168 were women.

Correction: Due to a data analysis error, the populations of 36 counties in Louisiana were incorrect. As a result, an earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that three parishes in Louisiana were among the top five places in the country for military deaths per population. The map and story have been updated to reflect the correct data.

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Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Katie Ledecky in Tokyo. Photo: Ding Xu/Xinhua via Getty Images

🚨: Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars

🏊‍♀️: Katie Ledecky wins gold in women's 800m freestyle

🏊: Caeleb Dressel breaks world record in men's 100m butterfly, 3rd gold

🇬🇧: Britain wins gold in first-ever Olympic mixed 4x100m medley relay

🎾: Novak Djokovic defeated in Olympic semi-finals

💻: Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars Olympic finals

Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Simone Biles will not compete in the individual vault or uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.

Why it matters: USA Gymnastics said Biles, who previously withdrew from the individual all-around and team finals to prioritize her mental health, will continue to be evaluated to determine if she'll compete in the balance beam or floor exercise events.

6 hours ago - Sports

American Katie Ledecky wins Olympic gold in women's 800m freestyle

USA's Katie Ledecky reacts after taking gold in the final of the women's 800m freestyle race. Photo: Odd Anderson/AFP via Getty Images

American superstar swimmer Katie Ledecky grabbed her second gold medal of this year's Olympic Games, winning the women's 800-meter freestyle race Saturday in Tokyo.

Driving the news: Ledecky, who holds the world record in the 800m freestyle, is considered one of the best women swimmers of all time. Saturday's final marks her third straight Olympic gold in the event.

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