Great Chinese Famine
Lasting three years from 1958 to 1961, the Great Chinese Famine is the worst on record. While statistics of the loss of life are disputed, as few as 15 million and as many as 43 million were killed as a result.
Chinese Famine of 1907
Coming in second, a brief but deadly famine hit China in 1907 and is accordingly known as the Chinese Famine of 1907. In a matter of months an estimated 24 million people were killed.
Affecting the presidencies and provinces of British India, the Indian Famine was a six-year event that took place between 1896 and 1902. One of many famines to hit India throughout the years, this one was the worst, claiming an estimated 19 million lives.
Bengal Famine of 1770
Killing one-third of the population of Bengal over a five-year period, the Bengal Famine of 1770 took place between 1969 and 1773 in what is now parts of Bangladesh. An estimated 15 million perished in the famine, which was blamed on greedy principles from the British East India Company's rule.
Northern Chinese Famine
As the name suggests, the Northern Chinese Famine affected the northern portion of the country of China. As the fifth-worst famine in history, this disaster lasted from 1876 to 1879 and is believed to have killed 13 million people.
Indian Great Famine of 1876-78
Known simply as the Great Famine of 1876–78, this tragedy that took the lives of as many as 10.3 million, affected over 250,000 square miles in India. The two-year famine also distressed over 58 million in the Madras, Mysore, Hyderabad and Bombay areas.
Great European Famine
Creating the worst famine ever seen in Europe, the Great Famine of 1315–1317, also known as the Great European Famine, was actually a series of crises. The tragedy, that killed an estimated 7.5 million people, was caused by strange weather and unrelenting rains.
Soviet Famine of 1932-33
Affecting the top grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union over several months, the Soviet famine of 1932–1933 is remembered by some as the Holodomor, a term that translates to "hungry mass death." Between seven and 10 million were killed in the area, which is now part of the Ukraine and Siberia, among other areas.
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