The demographic impact of partition in the Punjab in 1947

K. Hill, W. Selzer, J. Leaning, S. J. Malik, S. S. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We use data from the 1931, 1941, and 1951 censuses of India and the 1951 census of Pakistan to examine the demographic consequences of Partition in the Punjab in 1947. Had growth rates for the period 1931-41 for the Punjab as a whole continued to 1951, the population of the Punjab would have been 2.9 million larger than that recorded in 1951. Population losses from migration and mortality above age 20 were approximately 2.7 million greater between 1941 and 1951 than would have been predicted by loss rates between 1931 and 1941. We estimate a net Partition-related population movement out of the combined Punjab of about 400,000. We conclude from several lines of analysis that Partition-related population losses in the Punjab, either from deaths or unrecorded migration, were in the range 2.3-3.2 million. Partition was also marked by a dramatic religious homogenization at the district level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008


  • Asia
  • Census
  • Historical demography
  • Partition
  • Population dynamics
  • Refugees
  • Religion
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The demographic impact of partition in the Punjab in 1947'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Hill, K., Selzer, W., Leaning, J., Malik, S. J., & Russell, S. S. (2008). The demographic impact of partition in the Punjab in 1947. Population Studies, 62(2), 155-170.