First, Brent is retired and the relatives do not live in affected areas. Thank you for the concern!
Second, Paraguay. While I await the coming storm of comments and questions (hah!) here is the population pyramid for the 1870 data with the estimated undercounts from 1899 added in:
Devastation among males (55%!), but little sign of a generalized crisis. Which is actually somewhat surprised: I would have expected blowing that big a whole in the labor force would have led to severe general famine.
Note that these adjusted figures are a clear undercount. First, the 1899 figures include only those who survived to 1899; some people who were not counted in 1870 passed away in the interim. Since males have shorter lifespans than females, this will also increase our projections of missing males. The 47% figure from the 1886 census is a more reasonable upper bound.
Second, the total number is too low. It comes to about 176,000. That implies an annual growth rate of 3.8% between then and 1886, which is impossible unless there were lots of Paraguayan refugees in Argentina and Brazil in 1870. There almost certainly were ... but that means that the 1870 census cannot be used to impute total deaths.
Here is a table of plausible populations given an 1886 population of 325,000:
|1870 pop at||3.0%||201,067|
|1870 pop at||2.5%||217,813|
|1870 pop at||2.0%||235,954|
|1870 pop at||1.6%||251,549|
The irony? The War of the Triple Alliance was still devastating. It was on the same scale as the Greek War of Independence, the French conquest of Algeria, World War I in Serbia, and the Great Patriotic War. It was more destructive than the Carlist Wars, the Ten Years War, the Russian Civil War, and the two Congo Wars. It was more than twice as bad as the Napoleonic Wars were for France, inflicted over half as much time. It was a horrible event.
What it was not was singular or unprecedented. Which says terrible things about human beings.