List of famines

This is a list of famines.

Date Event Location Death toll (where known; estimated)
2200–2100 BCThe 4.2 kiloyear event caused famines and civilizational collapse worldwideglobal
441 BCThe first famine recorded in ancient Rome.Ancient Rome[1]
26 BCFamine recorded throughout Near East and Levant, as recorded by JosephusJudea20,000+
370 ADFamine in PhrygiaPhrygia
372–373Famine in EdessaEdessa
400–800Various 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.[2]Western Europe
535–536Extreme weather events of 535–536global
639Famine in Arabia during the Caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab[3]Arabia
750sIslamic Spain (Al-Andalus)[4]
800–1000Severe drought killed millions of Maya people due to famine and thirst and initiated a cascade of internal collapses that destroyed their civilization[5]Mayan areas of Mesoamerica1,000,000+
875–884Peasant rebellion in China inspired by famine;[6][7] Huang Chao captured capitalChina
927–928Caused by four months of frost[8][9]Byzantine Empire
1016Famine throughout Europe[11]Europe
1051Famine forced the Toltecs to migrate from a stricken region in what is now central Mexico[12]Mexico (present day)
1064–1072Seven years' famine in Egypt [13][14]Egypt40,000[13]
1069–1070Harrying of the NorthEngland100,000
1097Famine and plague [15]France100,000
1181Yōwa famineJapan42,300
1230Famine in the Republic of NovgorodRussia
1230–1231The Kanki famine, possibly the worst famine in Japan's history.[16] Caused by volcanic eruptions.[17]Japan2,000,000
1235Famine in England, 20,000 died in London aloneEngland20,000
1256–1258Famine in Italy, Spain, Portugal and England[18]Europe
1275–1299Collapse of the Anasazi civilization, widespread famine occurred[20]United States (present day)
1302–1303Famine in Spain and Italy[19]Europe
1315–1317Great Famine of 1315–1317Europe[21]7,500,000
1328–1330Famine in Italy, Spain and Ireland[19]Europe
1339–1340Famine in Italy, Spain and Ireland[19]Europe
1344–1345Famine in India, under the regime of Muhammad bin Tughluq[23]India
1346–1347Famine in France, Italy and Spain[19]Europe
1374–1375Famine in France, Italy and Spain[19]Europe
1387After Timur the Lame left Asia Minor, severe famine ensuedAnatolia
1396–1407The Durga Devi famineIndia[24][11]
1432–1434The Hungry YearsCzech Republic (present-day)
1437–1438Famine in France, Holy Roman Empire, and BritainEurope
1441Famine in MayapanMexico[25]
1450–1454Famine in the Aztec Empire,[26] interpreted as the gods' need for sacrifices.[27]Mexico (present day)
1460–1461Kanshō famine in JapanJapan82,000
1518VeniceItaly (present day)
1521–1523Famine in the Low Countries, Ireland and the Nordic CountriesEurope
1528Famine in LanguedocFrance[30]
1535Famine in EthiopiaEthiopia
1540Tenbun famineJapan
1567–1570Famine in Harar, combined with plague. Emir of Harar died.Ethiopia
1569–1574Pan-European famine, including Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Low Countries, Nordic Countries, Russia and Ukraine[28]Europe
1585–1587Pan-European famine, including Italy, France, Low Countries, Britain and Ireland[28]Europe
1590–1598Pan-European famine, including Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Britain and the Nordic countries[28]Europe
1600–1601Famine in Emilia and southern Lombardy[31]Italy
1601–1603One 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.[32][33] The same famine killed about half of the Estonian population.Russia2,000,000
1618–1648Famines in Europe caused by Thirty Years' WarEurope
1619Famine in Japan. During the Tokugawa period, there were 154 famines, of which 21 were widespread and serious.[34]Japan
1630–1632Deccan Famine of 1630–32India7,400,000
1630–1631Famine in north-west ChinaChina
1640–1643Kan'ei Great FamineJapan50,000-100,000
1648–1660Poland lost an estimated 1/3 of its population due to wars, famine, and plaguePoland
1649Famine in northern England [35]England
1650–1652Famine in the east of France [36]France
1651–1653Famine throughout much of Ireland during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland[37]Ireland
1661Famine in India, due to lack of any rainfall for two years[38][11]India
1670s – 1680sPlague and famines in SpainSpain
1670–1671Kyungshin FamineKorea
1672Famine in southern Italy[31]Italy
1680Famine in Sardinia[39]Italy (present day)80,000[40]
1680sFamine in Sahel[36]West Africa
1690sFamine throughout Scotland which killed 5–15% of the population [41]Scotland60,000180,000
1693–1694Between 1.3 and 1.5 million French died in the fr:grande famine de 1693-1694France1,300,000[42][43]
1695–1697Great 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 time150,000175,000
1696–1697Great Famine of Finland wiped out almost a third of the population[44]Finland, then part of Sweden proper150,000
1702–1704Famine in Deccan [45]India2,000,000[45]
1708–1711Famine in East Prussia killed 250,000 people or 41% of its population[46]East Prussia250,000
1709–1710The fr:Grande famine de 1709France[47]600,000
1727–1728Famine in the English Midlands[49]England
1732–1733Kyōhō famineJapan12,172169,000[50]
1738–1756Famine in West Africa, half the population of Timbuktu died of starvation[51]West Africa
1740–1741Irish Famine (1740–41)Ireland
1750–1756Famine in the Senegambia region [52]Senegal, Gambia (present day)
1764Famine in Naples[53][28]Italy (present day)
1769–1773Great Bengal famine of 1770,[11] 10 million dead (one third of population)India, Bangladesh (present day)10,000,000
1770–1771Famines in Czech lands killed hundreds of thousands peopleCzech Republic (present day)100,000+
1771–1772Famine in Saxony and southern GermanyGermany
1773Famine in Sweden[54]Sweden
1779Famine in RabatMorocco[55]
1780sGreat Tenmei famineJapan20,000920,000
1783Famine in Iceland caused by Laki eruption killed one-fifth of Iceland's population[56]Iceland
1783–1784Chalisa famineIndia11,000,000[57]
1784Widespread famine throughout Egypt[58]Egypt
1784–1785Famine in TunisiaTunisia
1788The two years previous to the French Revolution saw bad harvests and harsh winters, possibly because of a strong El Niño cycle[59] or caused by the 1783 Laki eruption in Iceland.[60][61]France
1789Famine in Ethiopia afflicted "amhara/tigray north"Ethiopia
1789–1793Doji bara famine or Skull famineIndia11,000,000
1804-1872, 1913A series of 14 famines in Austrian GaliciaPoland, Ukraine (present day)400,000-550,000
1810, 1811, 1846, and 1849Four famines in ChinaChina45,000,000[62]
1811–1812Famine devastated Madrid[63]Spain20,000[64]
1815Eruption of Tambora, Indonesia. Tens of thousands died in subsequent famineIndonesia10,000
1816–1817Year Without a SummerEurope65,000
1830–1833Claimed to have killed 42% of the populationCape Verde30,000[65]
1833–1837Tenpo famineJapan
1837–1838Agra famine of 1837–38India800,000
1845–1857Highland Potato FamineScotland
1845–1849Great Famine in Ireland killed more than 1 million people. Between 1.5–2 million people forced to emigrate[66]Ireland1,000,000
1846Famine led to the peasant revolt known as "Maria da Fonte" in the north of PortugalPortugal
1849–1850Demak and Grobogan in Central Java, caused by four successive crop failures due to drought.Indonesia83,000[67]
1850–1873As a result of Taiping Rebellion, drought, and famine, the population of China dropped by more than 20 million[68]China20,000,000
1860–1861Upper Doab famine of 1860–61India2,000,000
1863–1867Famine in Cape VerdeCape Verde30,000[65]
1866Orissa famine of 1866India1,000,000[69]
1866–1868Finnish famine of 1866–1868. About 15% of the entire population diedFinland150,000+
1866–1868Famine in French AlgeriaFrench Algeria820,000
1867–1869Swedish famine of 1867–1869.Sweden
1869Rajputana famine of 1869India1,500,000[69]
1870–1872Persian famine of 1870–1872IranEstimates vary between 200,000 and 3,000,000[70]
1873–1874Famine in Anatolia caused by drought and floods[71][72]Turkey (present day)
1873–1874Bihar famine of 1873–74India
1876–1879Famine in India, China, Brazil, Northern Africa (and other countries). Famine in northern China killed 9–13 million people.[73] 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.[74][75] The famine in China was a result of drought influenced by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation.[76]India, China, Brazil, Northern Africa (and other countries).15,000,00019,000,000 in Northern China, India and Brazil.
1878–1880St. Lawrence Island famine, Alaska[77]United States1,000
18791879 Famine in Ireland. Unlike previous famines, this famine mainly caused hunger and food shortages but little mortality.Ireland
1888–1889Famine in Orrisa, Ganjam and Northern BiharIndia150,000
1888–1892Ethiopian Great famine. About one-third of the population died.[78][79] Conditions worsen with cholera outbreaks (1889–92), a typhus epidemic, and a major smallpox epidemic (1889–90).Ethiopia1,000,000
1891–1892Russian famine of 1891–92. Beginning along the Volga River and spreading to the Urals and the Black Sea.Russia375,000500,000[80][81]
1895–1898Famine during the Cuban War of IndependenceCuba200,000300,000
1896–1897Famine in northern China leading in part to the Boxer RebellionChina
1896–1902Indian famine of 1896–97 and Indian famine of 1899–1900 due to drought and British policies.[75][82][83]India2,000,000 (British Territories), Mortality unknown in Princely States
1900–1903Famine in Cape VerdeCape Verde11,00020,000[65]
1904–1906Famine in Spain.[84][85][86]Spain
1907, 1911Famines in east-central ChinaChina25,000,000 [87]
1914–1918Mount 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[88]Lebanon200,000
1914–1919Famine caused by the Allied blockade of Germany during World War I until Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles.Germany424,000763,000
1916–1917Winter famine in RussiaRussia
1917Famine in German East AfricaGerman East Africa300,000
1917–1919Persian famine of 1917–1919Iran2,000,000,[89] but estimates range as high as 10,000,000[90]
1918–1919Rumanura famine in Ruanda-Burundi, causing large migrations to the CongoRwanda and Burundi (present day)
1919–1922Kazakh famine of 1919–1922. A series of famines in Turkestan at the time of the Bolshevik revolution killed about a sixth of the population[91]Turkestan
1920–1921Famine in northern ChinaChina500,000
1920–1922Famine in Cape VerdeCape Verde24,00025,000[65]
1921Russian famine of 1921Russia5,000,000[92]
1921–19221921–1922 famine in TatarstanRussia500,0002,000,000[93]
1924–1925Famine in Volga German colonies in Russia. One-third of the entire population perished[94]Russia
1924–1925Minor famine in Ireland due to heavy rainIrish Free State
1928–1929Famine in Ruanda-Burundi, causing large migrations to the CongoRwanda and Burundi (present day)
1928–1930Chinese famine of 1928–1930 in northern China. The drought resulted in million of deathsChina3,000,000-10,000,000
1932–1933Soviet famine of 1932–1933, including famine in UkraineRussian SFSR and Ukrainian SSR5,500,0008,000,000[95]
1936Famine in ChinaChina5,000,000[96]
1940–1943Famine in Cape VerdeCape Verde20,000[65]
1940–1945Famine 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
1940–1948Famine in Morocco between 1940–48, because of refueling system installed by France.[97]Morocco200,000
1941–1944Leningrad 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).[98]Russia1,000,000
1941–1944Famine in Greece caused by the Axis occupation.[99][100]Greece300,000
1942–1943Chinese famine of 1942–43Henan, China2,000,0003,000,000
1942–1943Famine in Iran caused by the Anglo-Soviet occupationIran3,000,000[101]
1943Bengal famine of 1943Bengal, India2,100,000
1943–1944Ruzagayura famine in Ruanda-Urundi, causing emigrations to CongoRwanda and Burundi (present day)36,00050,000
1943–1945Famine in HadhramautYemen (present day)10,000[102][103]
1944–1945Java under Japanese occupationJava, Indonesia2,400,000[104]
1944Dutch famine of 1944 during World War IINetherlands20,000
1945Vietnamese Famine of 1945Vietnam400,0002,000,000
1946-1947German "Hungerwinter"Germany
1946–1947Soviet Famine of 1947Soviet Union1,000,0001,500,000[105][106]
1946–1948Famine in Cape VerdeCape Verde30,000[65]
1949Nyasaland Famine 1949Malawi200
19501950 Canadian caribou famineCanada60
1958Famine in TigrayEthiopia100,000
1959–1961The Great Chinese Famine. According to government statistics, there were 15 million excess deaths.China15,000,00043,000,000[107]
1966–1967Lombok, drought and malnutrition, exacerbated by restrictions on regional rice tradeIndonesia50,000[108]
1967–1970Biafran famine caused by Nigerian blockadeNigeria2,000,000
1968–1972Sahel drought created a famine that killed a million people[109]Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso1,000,000
1972–1973Famine 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 ruleEthiopia60,000[110]
1974Bangladesh famine of 1974Bangladesh27,000-1,500,000
1975–1979Khmer Rouge. An estimated 1,500,000–2,000,000 Cambodians lost their lives to famineCambodia1,500,0002,000,000
1980–1981Caused by drought and conflict[110]Uganda30,000[110]
1982–1985Famine caused by the Mozambican Civil WarMozambique100,000
1983–19851983–1985 famine in EthiopiaEthiopia400,000600,000[111]
1984–1985Famine caused by drought, economic crisis and the Second Sudanese Civil WarSudan240,000
1988Famine caused by the Second Sudanese Civil WarSudan100,000
1991–1992Famine in Somalia caused by drought and civil war[110]Somalia300,000[110]
19931993 Sudan famineSudan
1994–1998North Korean famine.[112][113] Scholars estimate 600,000 died of starvation (other estimates range from 200,000 to 3.5 million).[114]North Korea200,0003,500,000
19981998 Sudan famine caused by war and droughtSudan70,000[110]
1998–2000Famine in Ethiopia. The situation worsened by Eritrean–Ethiopian WarEthiopia
1998–2004Second Congo War. 2.7 million people died, mostly from starvation and diseaseDemocratic Republic of the Congo2,700,000
2003–2005Famine during the War in DarfurSudan200,000
2005–20062005–06 Niger food crisis. At least three million were affected in Niger and 10 million throughout West Africa Niger and West Africa
2011–2012Famine in Somalia, brought on by the 2011 East Africa drought[115]Somalia285,000
2012Famine in West Africa, brought on by the 2012 Sahel drought[116]Senegal, Gambia, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso
2016–presentFamine in Yemen, arising from the blockade of Yemen by Saudi ArabiaYemen85,000 children[117] Unknown number of adults.
2017–presentFamine in South Sudan[118] Famine in Somalia, due to 2017 Somalian drought. Famine in NigeriaSouth Sudan, Unity State, Somalia, and Nigeria.

See also

Main article lists


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