Great Leap Forward

Normalised population numbers (1958 equals 1.00) for several countries in Asia and the world (black curve). The increase between 1958 and 1962 varied between 8% en 14% for India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand and Taiwan. Mainland China stagnated and increased only by 1% over the same period, a difference of 10% with the average increase of its neighbours. In 1958 the population of communist China was 646.7 million according to the database of the US Census Bureau, the source of all numbers used to produce the curves. The orders issued by the Central Committee of the Party under the leadership of Mao Zedong for the second five-year plan, the so-called "Great Leap Forward" led to a population deficit of 65 million in four years; absentees consisting of those who died prematurely - it is estimated that 30 to 40 million died of starvation alone - those who were unborn due to the horrific circumstances and refugees.