List of famines
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This article needs to be updated.January 2017)(
This is a list of famines.
|Date||Event||Location||Death toll (where known; estimated)|
|2200–2100 BCE||The 4.2 kiloyear event caused famines and civilizational collapse worldwide||global|
|441 BCE||The first famine recorded in ancient Rome.||Ancient Rome|
|26 BCE||Famine recorded throughout Near East and Levant, as recorded by Josephus||Judea||20,000+|
|370 CE||Famine in Phrygia||Phrygia|
|372–373||Famine in Edessa||Edessa|
|400–800||Various famines in Western Europe associated with the Fall of the Western Roman Empire and its sack by Alaric I. Between 400 and 800 AD, the population of the city of Rome fell by over 90%, mainly because of famine and plague.||Western Europe|
|535–536||Extreme weather events of 535–536||Global|
|639||Famine in Arabia during the Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab||Arabia|
|750s||Islamic Spain (Al-Andalus)|
|800–1000||Severe drought killed millions of Maya people due to famine and thirst and initiated a cascade of internal collapses that destroyed their civilization||Mayan areas of Mesoamerica||1,000,000+|
|875–884||Peasant rebellion in China inspired by famine; Huang Chao captured capital||China|
|927–928||Caused by four months of frost||Byzantine Empire|
|1016||Famine throughout Europe||Europe|
|1051||Famine forced the Toltecs to migrate from a stricken region in what is now central Mexico||Mexico (present day)|
|1064–1072||Seven years' famine in Egypt ||Egypt||40,000|
|1069–1070||Harrying of the North||England||100,000|
|1097||Famine and plague ||France||100,000|
|1230||Famine in the Republic of Novgorod||Russia|
|1230–1231||The Kanki famine, possibly the worst famine in Japan's history. Caused by volcanic eruptions.||Japan||2,000,000|
|1235||Famine in England, 20,000 died in London alone||England||20,000|
|1256–1258||Famine in Italy, Spain, Portugal and England||Europe|
|1275–1299||Collapse of the Anasazi civilization, widespread famine occurred||United States (present day)|
|1302–1303||Famine in Spain and Italy||Europe|
|1315–1317||Great Famine of 1315–1317||Europe||7,500,000|
|1328–1330||Famine in Italy, Spain and Ireland||Europe|
|1333–1337||Chinese famine of 1333–1337||China||6,000,000|
|1339–1340||Famine in Italy, Spain and Ireland||Europe|
|1344–1345||Famine in India, under the regime of Muhammad bin Tughluq||India|
|1346–1347||Famine in France, Italy and Spain||Europe|
|1374–1375||Famine in France, Italy and Spain||Europe|
|1387||After Timur the Lame left Asia Minor, severe famine ensued||Anatolia|
|1396–1407||The Durga Devi famine||India|
|1432–1434||The Hungry Years||Czech Republic (present-day)|
|1437–1438||Famine in France, Holy Roman Empire, and Britain||Europe|
|1441||Famine in Mayapan||Mexico|
|1450–1454||Famine in the Aztec Empire, interpreted as the gods' need for sacrifices.||Mexico (present day)|
|1460–1461||Kanshō famine in Japan||Japan||82,000|
|1518||Venice||Italy (present day)|
|1521–1523||Famine in the Low Countries, Ireland and the Nordic Countries||Europe|
|1528||Famine in Languedoc||France|
|1535||Famine in Ethiopia||Ethiopia|
|1567–1570||Famine in Harar, combined with plague. Emir of Harar died.||Ethiopia|
|1569–1574||Pan-European famine, including Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Low Countries, Nordic Countries, Russia and mostly east off Ukraine||Europe|
|1585–1587||Pan-European famine, including Italy, France, Low Countries, Britain and Ireland||Europe|
|1590–1598||Pan-European famine, including Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Britain and the Nordic countries||Europe|
|1600–1601||Famine in Emilia and southern Lombardy||Italy|
|1601–1603||One of the worst famines in all of Russian history, with as many as 100,000 in Moscow and up to one-third of Tsar Godunov's subjects killed; see Russian famine of 1601–03. The same famine killed about half of the Estonian population.||Russia||2,000,000|
|1618–1648||Famines in Europe caused by Thirty Years' War||Europe|
|1619||Famine in Japan. During the Tokugawa period, there were 154 famines, of which 21 were widespread and serious.||Japan|
|1630–1632||Deccan Famine of 1630–32||India||7,400,000|
|1630–1631||Famine in north-west China||China|
|1640–1643||Kan'ei Great Famine||Japan||50,000-100,000|
|1648–1660||Poland lost an estimated 1/3 of its population due to wars, famine, and plague||Poland|
|1649||Famine in northern England ||England|
|1650–1652||Famine in the east of France ||France|
|1651–1653||Famine throughout much of Ireland during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland||Ireland|
|1661||Famine in India, due to lack of any rainfall for two years||India|
|1670s – 1680s||Plague and famines in Spain||Spain|
|1672||Famine in southern Italy||Italy|
|1680||Famine in Sardinia||Italy (present day)||80,000|
|1680s||Famine in Sahel||West Africa|
|1690s||Famine throughout Scotland which killed 5–15% of the population ||Scotland||60,000–180,000|
|1693–1694||Between 1.3 and 1.5 million French died in the fr:grande famine de 1693-1694||France||1,300,000|
|1695–1697||Great Famine of Estonia killed about a fifth of Estonian and Livonian population (70,000–75,000 people). Famine also hit Sweden (80,000–100,000 dead)||The Swedish Empire, of which Swedish Estonia and Swedish Livonia were dominions at that time||150,000–175,000|
|1696–1697||Great Famine of Finland wiped out almost a third of the population||Finland, then part of Sweden proper||150,000|
|1702–1704||Famine in Deccan ||India||2,000,000|
|1708–1711||Famine in East Prussia killed 250,000 people or 41% of its population||East Prussia||250,000|
|1709–1710||The fr:Grande famine de 1709||France||600,000|
|1727–1728||Famine in the English Midlands||England|
|1738–1756||Famine in West Africa, half the population of Timbuktu died of starvation||West Africa|
|1740–1741||Irish Famine (1740–41)||Ireland||300,000–480,000|
|1750–1756||Famine in the Senegambia region ||Senegal, Gambia (present day)|
|1764||Famine in Naples||Italy (present day)|
|1769–1773||Great Bengal famine of 1770, 10 million dead (one third of population)||India, Bangladesh (present day)||10,000,000|
|1770–1771||Famines in Czech lands killed hundreds of thousands people||Czech Republic (present day)||100,000+|
|1771–1772||Famine in Saxony and southern Germany||Germany|
|1773||Famine in Sweden||Sweden|
|1779||Famine in Rabat||Morocco|
|1780s||Great Tenmei famine||Japan||20,000 – 920,000|
|1783||Famine in Iceland caused by Laki eruption killed one-fifth of Iceland's population||Iceland|
|1784||Widespread famine throughout Egypt||Egypt|
|1784–1785||Famine in Tunisia||Tunisia|
|1788||The two years previous to the French Revolution saw bad harvests and harsh winters, possibly because of a strong El Niño cycle or caused by the 1783 Laki eruption in Iceland.||France|
|1789||Famine in Ethiopia afflicted "amhara/tigray north"||Ethiopia|
|1789–1793||Doji bara famine or Skull famine||India||11,000,000|
|1804-1872, 1913||A series of 14 famines in Austrian Galicia||Poland, Ukraine (present day)||400,000-550,000|
|1810, 1811, 1846, and 1849||Four famines in China||China||45,000,000|
|1811–1812||Famine devastated Madrid||Spain||20,000|
|1815||Eruption of Tambora, Indonesia. Tens of thousands died in subsequent famine||Indonesia||10,000|
|1816–1817||Year Without a Summer||Europe||65,000|
|1830–1833||Claimed to have killed 42% of the population||Cape Verde||30,000|
|1837–1838||Agra famine of 1837–38||India||800,000|
|1845–1857||Highland Potato Famine||Scotland|
|1845–1849||Great Famine in Ireland killed more than 1 million people. Between 1.5–2 million people forced to emigrate||Ireland||1,000,000|
|1846||Famine led to the peasant revolt known as "Maria da Fonte" in the north of Portugal||Portugal|
|1849–1850||Demak and Grobogan in Central Java, caused by four successive crop failures due to drought.||Indonesia||83,000|
|1850–1873||As a result of Taiping Rebellion, drought, and famine, the population of China dropped by more than 60 million||China||60,000,000|
|1860–1861||Upper Doab famine of 1860–61||India||2,000,000|
|1863–1867||Famine in Cape Verde||Cape Verde||30,000|
|1866||Orissa famine of 1866||India||1,000,000|
|1866–1868||Finnish famine of 1866–1868. About 15% of the entire population died||Finland||150,000+|
|1866–1868||Famine in French Algeria||French Algeria||820,000|
|1867–1869||Swedish famine of 1867–1869.||Sweden|
|1869||Rajputana famine of 1869||India||1,500,000|
|1870–1872||Persian famine of 1870–1872||Iran||200,000-3,000,000 Estimates vary |
|1873–1874||Famine in Anatolia caused by drought and floods||Turkey (present day)|
|1873–1874||Bihar famine of 1873–74||India|
|1876–1879||Famine in India, China, Brazil, Northern Africa (and other countries). Famine in northern China killed 9–13 million people. 5.5 million died in the Great Famine of 1876–78 in India. 500,000 died in Brazil. British policies and drought were responsible for the deaths in India. The famine in China was a result of drought influenced by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.||India, China, Brazil, Northern Africa (and other countries).||15,000,000–19,000,000 in Northern China, India and Brazil.|
|1878–1880||St. Lawrence Island famine, Alaska||United States||1,000|
|1879||1879 Famine in Ireland. Unlike previous famines, this famine mainly caused hunger and food shortages but little mortality.||Ireland|
|1888–1889||Famine in Orrisa, Ganjam and Northern Bihar||India||150,000|
|1888–1892||Ethiopian Great famine. About one-third of the population died. Conditions worsen with cholera outbreaks (1889–92), a typhus epidemic, and a major smallpox epidemic (1889–90).||Ethiopia||1,000,000|
|1891–1892||Russian famine of 1891–92. Beginning along the Volga River and spreading to the Urals and the Black Sea.||Russia||375,000–500,000|
|1895–1898||Famine during the Cuban War of Independence||Cuba||200,000–300,000|
|1896–1897||Famine in northern China leading in part to the Boxer Rebellion||China|
|1896–1902||Indian famine of 1896–97 and Indian famine of 1899–1900 due to drought and British policies.||India||2,000,000 (British Territories), Mortality unknown in Princely States|
|1900–1903||Famine in Cape Verde||Cape Verde||11,000–20,000|
|1904–1906||Famine in Spain.||Spain|
|1907, 1911||Famines in east-central China||China||25,000,000 |
|1914–1918||Mount Lebanon famine during World War I which was caused by an Entente powers and Ottoman Turk blockade of food and to a swarm of locusts which killed up to 200,000 people, estimated to be half of the Mount Lebanon population||Lebanon||200,000|
|1914–1919||Famine caused by the Allied blockade of Germany during World War I until Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles.||Germany||200 000= 424000}|
|1917||Famine in German East Africa||German East Africa||300,000|
|1917–1919||Persian famine of 1917–1919||Iran||2,000,000, but estimates range as high as 10,000,000|
|1918–1919||Rumanura famine in Ruanda-Burundi, causing large migrations to the Congo||Rwanda and Burundi (present day)|
|1919–1922||Kazakh famine of 1919–1922. A series of famines in Turkestan at the time of the Bolshevik revolution killed about a sixth of the population||Turkestan|||
|1920–1921||Famine in northern China||China||500,000|
|1920–1922||Famine in Cape Verde||Cape Verde||24,000–25,000|
|1921||Russian famine of 1921||Russia||5,000,000|
|1921–1922||1921–1922 famine in Tatarstan||Russia||500,000–2,000,000|
|1924–1925||Famine in Volga German colonies in Russia. One-third of the entire population perished[unreliable source?]||Russia|
|1924–1925||Minor famine in Ireland due to heavy rain||Irish Free State|
|1928–1929||Famine in Ruanda-Burundi, causing large migrations to the Congo||Rwanda and Burundi (present day)|
|1928–1930||Chinese famine of 1928–1930 in northern China. The drought resulted in million of deaths||China||3,000,000-10,000,000|
|1932–1933||Soviet famine of 1932–1933, including famine in Ukraine||Russian SFSR and Ukrainian SSR||7,000,000|
|1936||Famine in China||China||5,000,000|
|1940–1943||Famine in Cape Verde||Cape Verde||20,000|
|1940–1945||Famine in Warsaw Ghetto, as well as other ghettos and concentration camps (note: this famine was the result of deliberate denial of food to ghetto residents on the part of Nazis).||Occupied Poland|
|1940–1948||Famine in Morocco between 1940–48, because of refueling system installed by France.||Morocco||200,000|
|1941–1944||Leningrad famine caused by a 900-day blockade by German troops. About one million Leningrad residents starved, froze, or were bombed to death in the winter of 1941–42, when supply routes to the city were cut off and temperatures dropped to −40 °C (−40 °F).||Russia||1,000,000|
|1941–1944||Famine in Greece caused by the Axis occupation.||Greece||300,000|
|1942–1943||Chinese famine of 1942–43||Henan, China||2,000,000–3,000,000|
|1942–1943||Iranian famine of 1942–1943||Iran||3,000,000[better source needed]|
|1943||Bengal famine of 1943||Bengal, India||2,100,000|
|1943–1944||Ruzagayura famine in Ruanda-Urundi, causing emigrations to Congo||Rwanda and Burundi (present day)||36,000–50,000|
|1943–1945||Famine in Hadhramaut||Yemen (present day)||10,000|
|1944–1945||Java under Japanese occupation||Java, Indonesia||2,400,000|
|1944||Dutch famine of 1944 during World War II||Netherlands||20,000|
|1945||Vietnamese Famine of 1945||Vietnam||400,000–2,000,000|
|1946–1947||Soviet Famine of 1947||Soviet Union||1,000,000–1,500,000|
|1946–1948||Famine in Cape Verde||Cape Verde||30,000|
|1949||Nyasaland Famine 1949||Malawi||200|
|1950||1950 Canadian caribou famine||Canada||60|
|1958||Famine in Tigray||Ethiopia||100,000|
|1959–1961||The Great Chinese Famine, which is widely regarded as the greatest famine in human history. Some researchers also include the year 1958 or 1962.||China (mainland)||15,000,000–55,000,000|
|1966–1967||Lombok, drought and malnutrition, exacerbated by restrictions on regional rice trade||Indonesia||50,000|
|1967–1970||Biafran famine caused by Nigerian blockade||Nigeria||2,000,000|
|1968–1972||Sahel drought created a famine that killed a million people||Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso||1,000,000|
|1972–1973||Famine in Ethiopia caused by drought and poor governance; failure of the government to handle this crisis led to the fall of Haile Selassie and to Derg rule||Ethiopia||60,000|
|1974||Bangladesh famine of 1974||Bangladesh||27,000-1,500,000|
|1975–1979||Khmer Rouge. A maximum estimate of 500,000 Cambodians lost their lives to famine||Cambodia||500,000|
|1980–1981||Caused by drought and conflict||Uganda||30,000|
|1982–1985||Famine caused by the Mozambican Civil War||Mozambique||100,000|
|1983–1985||1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia||Ethiopia||400,000–600,000|
|1984–1985||Famine caused by drought, economic crisis and the Second Sudanese Civil War||Sudan||240,000|
|1988||Famine caused by the Second Sudanese Civil War||Sudan||100,000|
|1991–1992||Famine in Somalia caused by drought and civil war||Somalia||300,000|
|1993||1993 Sudan famine||Sudan|
|1994–1998||North Korean famine. Scholars estimate 600,000 died of starvation (other estimates range from 200,000 to 3.5 million).||North Korea||200,000–3,500,000|
|1998||1998 Sudan famine caused by war and drought||Sudan||70,000|
|1998–2000||Famine in Ethiopia. The situation worsened by Eritrean–Ethiopian War||Ethiopia|
|1998–2004||Second Congo War. 2.7 million people died, mostly from starvation and disease||Democratic Republic of the Congo||2,700,000|
|2003–2005||Famine during the War in Darfur||Sudan||200,000|
|2005–2006||2005–06 Niger food crisis. At least three million were affected in Niger and 10 million throughout West Africa||Niger and West Africa|
|2011–2012||Famine in Somalia, brought on by the 2011 East Africa drought||Somalia||285,000|
|2012||Famine in West Africa, brought on by the 2012 Sahel drought||Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso|
|2016–present||Famine in Yemen, arising from the blockade of Yemen by Saudi Arabia||Yemen||85,000 children Unknown number of adults.|
|2017–present||Famine in South Sudan Famine in Somalia, due to 2017 Somalian drought. Famine in Nigeria||South Sudan, Unity State, Somalia, and Nigeria.|
Main article lists
- Bengal famine
- Droughts and famines in Russia and the Soviet Union
- Famine in India
- Famines in Czech lands
- Famines in Ethiopia
- Famines, epidemics, and public health in the British Raj
- Great Bengal famine of 1770
- Great Famine of 1876–78
- Great Chinese Famine
- List of famines in China
- North Korean famine
- Timeline of major famines in India during British rule
- 2007–08 world food price crisis
- Agriculture and population limits
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
- Extreme weather events of 535–536
- Famine Early Warning Systems Network
- Famine events
- Famine relief
- Famine scales
- Food security
- Great Famine
- Hunger Plan
- Indian Famine Codes
- Late Victorian Holocausts (book on the great ENSO famines of 1876–80, 1896–1900)
- Life expectancy
- List of natural disasters by death toll
- List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll
- Live Aid
- Medieval demography
- Population decline
- Potato famine
- The Population Bomb
- Theories of famines
- World population
- Livy, From the Founding of the City 4.12
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For a summary of other estimates, please refer to this link
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Food supply remained deficient for most of 1979 and the famine could not be completely avoided. The most dramatic estimates of its toll are around 500,000 deaths (Ea, 1987; Banister and Johnson, 1993; Sliwinski, 1995) but those are again contested as much too high (Kiernan, 1986).
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Media related to famines at Wikimedia Commons