This is around 20% faster in my tests and should use less memory (I didn't check how much):
for(0 .. 2000000)
The difference is that this version creates just one hash and fills it with data in compound keys (joined with $;, \034 by default). Your version created lots of sub-hashes, allocating memory for each one. Using an array is even faster though.
I once solved a problem like this by using XS to compile a shared object containing a packed C data structure with my data, along with accessor routines also written in C. Then at runtime the Perl code just loaded the shared-object to get access to the data. It was really, really fast but I doubt I'd do it again - Berkeley DB has pretty much solved this problem.
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