A Demographic Case Study of Forced Migration: The 1947 Partition of India

Kenneth H. Hill, Johns Hopkins University
William Seltzer, Fordham University
Jennifer Leaning, Harvard University
Saira J. Malik, Harvard University
Sharon Stanton Russell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This research seeks to reevaluate relevant census and vital registration data from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh pre- and post-Partition, develop and document methods that can be used to quantify the demographic consequences of forced migration, and compute revised estimates of Partition related migration and mortality using up-to-date methods of demographic analysis. This paper will focus on pilot analyses of data related to the migration across the border between India and Pakistan in the formerly undivided province of the Punjab in British India. Primary issues using historical census data from this type of humanitarian crisis where a border was created are: local boundary changes, differences in data collection - especially regarding important age groups and religion categories, and difficulty disentangling migration from mortality based on the available tabulated data.

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Presented in Session 44: Understanding the Forced Migration of Trafficked Persons and Refugees