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Three Years of Natural Disasters

From Academic Kids

The Three Years of Natural Disasters (三年自然灾害/三年自然災害) refers to the period in the People's Republic of China between 1959 and 1961. It was the last famine China had, after thousands of years of famines, including one during the 1940s, prior to Communist rule. Despite the name, it is generally openly acknowledged by most everyone, including people within the Communist Party of China, that the root of the disaster was poor economic planning rather than natural causes, and hence "Three Years of Economic Difficulty" and "Period of Three Difficult Years" are also used by China officials to describe this period.

Contents

Background

During the Great Leap Forward, farming was collectivized and organized into communes. In addition, a large portion of farmers (estimated 90 million) were working in urban centers on steel production. The population of mainland China was about 672,070,000 at 1959.

Outcome

Although official population data set for the entire nation was collected in 1953 for election registration and was recollected at 1964, it is famously inaccurate, as are many official statistics of China.

According to China Statistical Yearbook (1984), corp production decreased from 2,000,000 tons (1958) to 1,435,000 tons (1960). Due to lack of food and marriage, the population was about 658,590,000 at 1961, about 13,480,000 less than the population of 1959. Birth rate decreased from 2.922%(1958) to 2.086%(1960) and death rate increased from 1.198(1958) to 2.543(1960), while the average numbers of 1962-1965 are about 4% and 1%.

The official estimated death toll in this period is about 15 million dead of starvation of total 40 million death. Many analysts estimated the number of of "abnormal death" ranged from 10 millon to 100 million. Some western analysts such as Patricia Buckley Ebrey estimate that about 20-40 million people had died of starvation caused by bad government policy and natural disasters. J. Banister estimates this number is about 23 million. Li Chengrui, a former minister of the National Bureau of Statistics of China, etimated 22 million (1998). His estimation was based on the estimation of Ansley J. Coale's and Jiang Zhenghua's etimatetion of 17 million. Cao Shuji extimated 32.5 million.

Politics

See also: Great Leap Forward (1958-1960)

Reference

  • China Statistical Yearbook (1984), edited by State Statistical Bureau. China Statistical Publishing House, 1984.Page 83,141,190
  • China Statistical Yearbook (1991), edited by State Statistical Bureau. China Statistical Publishing House, 1991.
  • China Population Statistical Yearbook(1985), edited by State Statistical Bureau. China Statistical Bureau Publishing House, 1985.
  • J. Banister. "Analysis of recent data on the population of China", Population and Development, Vol.10, No.2, 1984
  • Li Chengrui(李成瑞): Population Change Caused by The Great Leap Movement, Demographic Study, No.1, 1998 pp. 97-111
  • Jiang Zhenghua(蒋正华),Method and Result of China Population Dynamic Estimation, Academic Report of Xi'an University, 1986(3). pp46,84
  • Ansley J. Coale, Rapid population change in China, 1952-1982, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1984.
  • Basil Ashton, Kenneth Hill, Alan Piazza, Robin Zeitz, "Famine in China, 1958-61", Population and Development Review, Vol. 10, No. 4. (Dec., 1984), pp. 613-645.
  • Xizhe Peng, "Demographic Consequences of the Great Leap Forward in China's Provinces", Population and Development Review, Vol. 13, No.4. (Dec., 1987), pp. 639-670
  • Cao Shuji,The deaths of China's population and its contributing factors during 1959-1961. China's Population Science (Jan.2005) (In Chinese)

zh-cn:三年自然灾害

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