Which foreign country has had the most US citizens die there?

Most US citizens die in the US.*

But some US citizens die abroad, whether they’re killed in combat or have heart attacks while on vacation.

What country has had the most US citizens die there, from whatever cause?

I’ve got two basic ideas about the answer:

  1. A country where we’ve fought a war or wars – France, or Vietnam, or Iraq.

  2. A country that sees a lot of US visitors, that over time has accumulated a large number of deaths – Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas.

Anyone have any actual numbers? I’m wondering about the cumulative total since the creation of US citizenship, here, not record-breaking years or incidents – though those would be interesting, too.

*(Come to think of it, I don’t have a cite for that, so if someone can prove me wrong, that’d be pretty interesting.)

Probably not the answer you were looking for, but how about the Confederate States of America?

I’m betting it has to be France. Two world wars plus tourism add up to a lot of American deaths, from either combat or foie gras.

My first instinct was Vietnam, but France is probably the correct answer. Although I dont think we should consider the Revolution or Civil was because while the border of the actually country was disputed it is still US soil for all intents.

If it’s not France, I’ll be surprised.

My guess would be Canada.

France is my guess, too.

I’d thought of the CSA and decided it didn’t count as a foreign country for the purposes of this question. But if it beats France (or wherever), that’s interesting, too.

Back-of-the envelope calculation here. Say that half of the US servicemen who died in WWI died in France and that, considering the Pacific theater, only a quarter of those who died in WWII died in France. That’s about 160,000 total. There are just over a million Americans living in Mexico (Canada is second with about 700,000 and France is up there with 100,000). Assuming they all die at the same rate as the US average, that’s 826 deaths per 100,000. Every recent year about 7500 more Americans would die in Mexico than in France. It would only take about twenty years of strokes and heart attacks etc. for Mexico to outstrip France’s mostly battlefied and other war-related deaths.

This is obviously only a very rough estimate. For a better one, you’d need to take into consideration varying death rates, varying expatriate population, etc.

Would island in the Pacific under control of the Japanese while we tried to take them away count as “Japan”?

Found this report of non-natural deaths by Americans in foreign countries (2004-2006). Barely on topic but it does show Mexico as a surprising entrant (six times the number of the closest competitor ignoring Iraq). Considering the many thousands of Americans who probably died in what is now the American Southwest but was Mexico when they died, maybe it should be higher on any list.

How do you figure this? US forces weren’t really involved anywhere but in France, to any real degree. I’d kick this number much higher, to about 90% of the total or so.

Mexico would be second on my list, but you have to account for all the expats who come back to the USA for terminal medical care/conditions.

Interesting question, and I’m enjoying the answers.

My first guess was Mexico too. As silenus points out ex-pats might come back to get medical care. Countering that, however, is the large number of Americans who retire in Mexico. An older person is generally more likely to die than a younger person. Also, I would guess there are quite a few more accidental deaths (car crashes, fires, falls, act.), both in total and in percentage terms among American expats in Mexico than any other country with a significant ex-pat population.

So… Mexico has to be the current leader, but I don’t know if they have caught up with war deaths in France yet. Also, is moving down to old Mexico a new thing, or were people doing it in mass 50 years ago?

I’ll throw Israel out there as a dark horse. 200,000 Americans living there, and I would speculate that people who move to Israel are more likely in it for the long haul, as opposed to people in their 60s who move to Mexico for a few years.