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9/11: A Statistician’s Lament

2,996 individuals were killed on 9-11-2001 at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on four
airliners. 2,626 victims were at the World Trade Center, 125 victims were at the Pentagon, and
245 victims were aboard airplanes.

Approximately 70% of the victims at the World Trade Center were in the North Tower, the first
of the towers to be hit but the second to collapse. Over 95% of the victims were located at or
above the points of impact. 25% of the victims worked at the same company, Cantor Fitzgerald;
11% worked at Marsh & McLennan. 343 of the victims were firefighters and paramedics; 60
were NYPD or Port Authority police officers.

68% of the victims at the Pentagons were civilians. Three of the forty military victims were
retired. The active military victims included one general, seven colonels, nine commanders, eight
majors, three captains, three lieutenants, four sergeants, and two specialists.

American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles carried 87 victims, 11 crew and 76
passengers. American Airlines Flight 77 from Washington to Los Angeles carried 59 victims, 6
crew and 53 passengers. United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles carried 59
victims, 9 crew and 50 passengers. United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco
carried 40 victims, 7 crew and 33 passengers.

98% of the victims were from the United States. Most of the victims were from New York
(60%), New Jersey (24%), Massachusetts (3%), and Virginia (3%). Of the 1,127 victims from
New York City, 29% were from Manhattan, 25% were from Brooklyn, 21% were from Queens,
16% were from Staten Island, and 8% were from the Bronx. 43 victims were from Hoboken and
37 were from Jersey City, New Jersey. There were 12 victims from England, 8 from Mexico, 6
from Germany, 5 from Canada, and 11 from 6 other countries. Approximately 76% of the victims
were Caucasian, 9% were Hispanic, 8% were black, and 6% were Asian.

75% of the victims were male and 25% were female. The men had 528 different first names.
Most of the men were named Michael (111), or John (109), or Robert (111). The women had 399
different first names. Most of the women were named Mary (18), or Susan (15), or Patricia (12).
There were 14 victims who were named Smith or Lee, 12 who were named Lynch, 11 who were
named Jones, White or Murphy, and 10 who were named Williams or Miller.

The average age of the victims was 40 years old. 98% of the victims were between 25 and 65.
The oldest victim was 85. 54 victims were over 65 and probably enjoying their retirement years.
Another 255 were between 55 and 65 and probably thinking about retirement. Three quarters of
the victims were between 30 and 50. Half were between 35 and 45. 559 victims were young
adults in their 20s. Five victims were old enough to fight in a war but not old enough to vote.
One victim was in high school. Four victims were in elementary school. Four victims hadn't
attended their first day of kindergarten. The youngest victim was 2 years old.
The victims of 9/11 left a hole in our hearts. Over 1,600 people lost a spouse or partner. Over
3,000 children lost a parent. 20% of Americans knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks. All of
us grieved. The number of individuals who worked, often as volunteers, to rescue victims, search
for survivors, recover remains, and clean up the sites may never be known. But the percentage of
those who suffer lasting physical and emotional debilitation must be large. They are victims also.

Note: some sources report different numbers of victims. Data for this essay came primarily from:

September 11, 2005