Modern Demographic and Economic Evolution
Among the world's less developed regions South Asia is unique, in the modern
period, in its wealth of statistical documentation of the basic demographic and
economic variables that provide such an important part of the objective milieu
within which history is made. At a number of places in previous sections of this
atlas, relating to periods before the mid-19th century, we have tried to convey
some sense of those variables (see, for example, plate III.B.2, plate VI.A.2, or
the economic column of the end cover "Chronology of South Asia"; but we rec-
ognize how meager and unsystematic those presentations are. It is only in the last
hundred years or so that the trickle of data available to us becomes a sizable
stream, and only in the post-independence period does that stream swell into a
veritable torrent. Regrettably, this generalization does not hold good for the whole
of our region. Statistical data on Afghanistan remain meager and unreliable, while
those for Nepal, though somewhat better than one might expect, contain signifi-
cant gaps in coverage.
A large proportion of the data presented in this section are derived from the
decennial censuses taken in India since 1872. Where practicable we have mapped
data for four census years: 1872, 1901, 1931, and 1961. These are the same
years, especially 1931 and 1961, selected as the principal benchmark dates in
the presentation of the social and cultural data of section X. Using these two sec-
tions of the atlas in conjunction, then, the user can derive a reasonably well-
rounded picture of the human geography of South Asia at four points in time and
infer much about its evolution over the past century. For the principal demographic
variables, plate XI.A.8 brings us up to date by depicting data derived from a num-
ber of censuses of the period 1971–74.
The observations made in the introduction to section X about the quality of
Indian and other South Asian censuses are largely relevant for this section of the
atlas as well, and those who have not read that introduction would be well ad-
vised to do so before studying the maps that follow. Similarly, the statements made
in section X with respect to the areas of coverage at different dates and the levels
of generalization employed are generally applicable here also.
Subsection A of section XI deals with essentially demographic variables—popu-
lation density and growth, urbanization, and migration—since 1872. Subsections
B and C are confined mainly to the years 1931 and 1961 and relate respectively
to the pattern of agriculture and land tenure and to the growth of manufacturing.
The development of South Asia's economic infrastructure (roads, railroads, irri-
gation canals, etc.) since 1872, and the pattern of foreign trade and economic aid
since 1931 and 1950, respectively, are the principal topics considered in subsec-
tion D. The unity of the subsection derives from the fact that all the maps por-
trayed therein relate to the flows of people, goods, services, fiscal resources, and
other inputs of production through which the economies of South Asia have been
both developed and regionally integrated. A single map plate, synoptically por-
traying the economy of South Asia in 1961, makes up the final subsection of this
part of the atlas. Comparison of the synoptic map as of 1961 with a map similarly
constructed for 1857 (plate VII.B.2) should prove rewarding.
The censuses of the various countries of South Asia, commencing with the Indian
census of 1872, are by far the most important data sources for section XI. Spe-
cific censuses utilized for each map plate are indicated in the list of sources fol-
lowing each section of text. For an explanation of the manner of citation, see the
note under "Censuses" in the "Government Documents" section of the main
India (Republic), National Atlas Organization. National atlas of India. [Dehra
Dun], 1959–. (Sheets are continually being issued.)
India (Republic), Office of the Registrar General. Census atlas. Delhi, 1970.
(Vol. I, part IX of the 1961 Census of India.)
Anstey, Vera (Powell). The economic development of India. 4th ed. London,
Blyn, George. Agricultural trends in India, 1891–1947: Output, availability, and
productivity. Philadelphia, 1966.
Davis, Kingsley. The population of India and Pakistan. Princeton, N.J., 1951.
Gadgil, Dhananjaya Ramchandra. The industrial evolution of India in recent
times. 5th ed. London, 1971.
Ghosh, Alak. Indian economy, its nature and problems. 12th rev. ed. Calcutta,
Harris, George I., et al. Area handbook for Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim. 2d ed.
Washington, D.C., 1973.
Humlum, Johannes. La géographie de l' Afghanistan, étude d'un pays aride. Copen-
Imperial gazetteer of India. 26 vols. Oxford, 1907–9; 2d ed. of atlas volume in
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Economic Develop-
ment of Ceylon. Baltimore, 1953.
Myrdal, Gunnar. Asian drama: An inquiry into the poverty of nations. New York,
National Council of Applied Economic Research. Techno-economic survey of. . . .
New Delhi and elsewhere, 1960–. Separate volumes are being published for all
states and union territories of India.
Papanek, Gustav Fritz. Pakistan's development: Social goals and private incen-
tives. Cambridge, Mass., 1967.
Robinson, E. A. G., and Kidron, Michael, eds. Economic development in South
Asia: Proceedings of a conference held by the international economic association
at Kandy, Ceylon. London, 1970.
Singh, V. B., ed. Economic history of India: 1857–1956. Bombay, 1965.
Spate, O. H. K., and Learmonth, A. T. A. India and Pakistan: A general and re-
gional geography. 3d rev. ed. London, 1967.
Vakil, Chandulal N. Economic consequences of a divided India: A study of the
economy of India and Pakistan. Bombay, 1950.