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The partition of India: new demographic estimates of associated population change

Kenneth H. Hill, Johns Hopkins University
William Seltzer, Fordham University
Jennifer Leaning, Harvard University
Sharon Stanton Russell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Saira J. Malik, Harvard University

We examine the demographic consequences of Partition in 1947 in Bengal, using data published in the 1931, 1941, and 1951 Censuses of India and the 1951 Census of Pakistan. Estimates of population growth rates by sex from 1931 to 1951 indicate a major slow-down, not explainable by migration, of population growth between 1931-41 and 1941-51, probably reflecting the effects of the 1943 Bengal famine. Estimates of population loss rates between the age groups of 0-9 and 50-59 from 1941 to 1951 for a number of individual administrative districts that remained in India whose boundaries did not change substantially at Partition are considerably higher than comparable rates between 1931 and 1941. The immediate aftermath of Partition was associated with some degree of religious homogenization at the district level, but this homogenization was very much less pronounced by our end point in 1951 than in the Punjab.

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Presented in Session 118: The demography of conflict and violence