On the surface, it seems logical that the probability of survival, during times of war, would be higher in rural areas.
- More reliable access to food.
- Lower probability of being targeted. (e.g. air raids destroyed many cities in WWII)
However, I cannot find any hard data from past wars to either confirm or deny this hypothesis.
Does such data exist?
My primary interest in this is developing an accurate predictive model for the future. Therefore, data on more recent wars might have somewhat better predictive power. Of course, this may not be entirely true, nevertheless, solid data from previous wars would be a helpful starting point.
I suspect the following modern considerations might be true as well, but there might not be much historical data.
- Lower probability of being infected via biological weapons. The COVID-19 data suggests that this might be true.
- Lower probability of being targeted by nuclear weapons. (The blast radius of these weapons makes them more effective when used over highly populated areas)
Clarification: Are you defining residence by where they resided normally or where they resided during the war? Are you including or excluding combatants?
For my particular interests, only the coarse grained question of death counts by area is of interest. Think of it this way: World War III breaks out. If you want to survive, where should you reside?
Clarification: You should clarify whether you mean violent deaths only, also direct nonviolent deaths (war famine), or even also indirect nonviolent deaths (disease).
For my particular interests, only deaths attributed to war by area is of interest. By "attributed to" I mean deaths that would not otherwise have occurred. I realize this is a grey area. If this data is broken down by violent vs non-violent, that would be an appreciated bonus. At this point, however, I would be happy with any data that could be offered to support or disprove this hypothesis.