End of Famine

  • Tirthankar RoyEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


India’s population began to grow rapidly from the 1920s, as death rates fell quickly, children survived early-life diseases better, and epidemics were brought under control. Innovations in medical research and communications played a significant role in ending famines. These were, partly, an indirect benefit of openness. But mortality decline was not good news for all. Mortality decline meant that more young women had to mind more children at home. Early marriage prevented many women from taking up new wage-earning opportunities. Growing family size made their economic value smaller and lives at home harder than before.


Population growth Women in India Famine Epidemics in India Public health 

Further Reading

  1. A.K. Sen, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  2. Cormac Ó Gráda, ‘Revisiting the Bengal Famine of 1943–4,’ History Ireland, 18(4), 2010, 36–39.Google Scholar
  3. M.B. McAlpin, Subject to Famine: Food Crisis and Economic Change in Western India, 1860–1920, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  4. M.U. Mushtaq, ‘Public Health in British India: A Brief Account of the History of Medical Services and Disease Prevention in Colonial India,’ Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 34(1), 2009, 6–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Tim Dyson, Population History of India, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2018.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic HistoryLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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