Questions tagged [population]

For questions on population sizes, maximums and minimums, how they are affected by different events, etc.

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183
votes
23answers
42k views

If everyone in the world disappeared except 35 random people, how long would it take for one of them to realize they're not alone?

Everyone suddenly disappears from earth except 35 people randomly scattered wherever they were before everyone disappeared. How long would it take on average for 2 or more people to meet? What other ...
180
votes
19answers
32k views

Russian Dolls - How do they reproduce?

Warning picture showing dissected Russian Doll My theory I believe that Russian Dolls reproduce asexually. They are born pregnant. At the time of birth, the outer doll dies. What is now the outer ...
42
votes
6answers
10k views

How big can a town get before everyone stops knowing everyone else?

In small towns, people often say that everyone knows everyone. While probably not literally true (for all but the smallest towns), the rate of interaction between members of the town is still high ...
41
votes
14answers
12k views

How many people are necessary to maintain modern civilisation?

Modern Earth; a series of connected events (natural disasters, mass migration, drug-resistant pandemic, collapse in biodiversity, armed conflict) have led to a significant reduction in human ...
40
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12answers
17k views

How poor does Elven fertility need to be in order to keep the ratio of humans to elves constant?

I world-build for tabletop RPGs so I have Tolkien/DnD/Forgotten Realms like elves in mind. The assumptions are: The ratio of humans to elves in the world has been more or less constant. Humans live ~...
34
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9answers
4k views

Lego world. How do they reproduce?

It is difficult to find statistics for the ratio of Lego men and women in the general population but from a non-scientific survey, I get the impression that Lego men vastly outnumber Lego women. Yet ...
32
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31answers
8k views

What would be a logical reason to explain space based families having more children than an earth based one

In my yet to be named sci-fi universe humanity has begun to expand into space and has established large scale space stations near Earth and on places like Eros and Luna. I wanted the stereotypical "...
31
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10answers
8k views

In theory, could all mammals be wiped out by a single pathogen?

Pathogen Note: For the purpose of this question I define a pathogen to include viruses and/or bacteria. Edit: I don't exclude other biological agents such as fungi that might have the same effect. ...
31
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7answers
3k views

What computational resources would work for a 550-year climate forecast of our earth?

Folks, I'm in a bit of a jam. I am writing a fictional future history to support a series of post-collapse science fiction stories set ca. 2560 Gregorian. The first story, The Borax Road Affair, has ...
30
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13answers
3k views

How could names plausibly change over several generations of humans living in a space station on another planet?

I'm worldbuilding for a story in which a certain portion of the population relocates to a slightly habitable planet due to the complete inhabitability of Earth. It takes place several generations ...
29
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25answers
10k views

Elf-like race: What could prevent overpopulation?

For an elf-like race whose people do not age beyond physical maturity (the accumulated DNA damage associated with aging does not occur), what would prevent overpopulation? This elf-like race is ...
29
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16answers
9k views

Is it plausible that humanity goes extinct due to not making enough children? If not, what would make it more plausible?

With the increase in living standards, the number of children by women is decreasing in highly developed countries. Question: Is it conceivable (with the aggravating factors proposed below) to see ...
28
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10answers
7k views

What is the longest time Humanity could be sterilized for without causing extinction?

In the world, there are 4 billion happy, healthy Humans. In this case, thanks to the power of magic, it's safe to assume that they also live long, happy lives. Just like we do today! An Evil Villain ...
27
votes
19answers
6k views

Keeping a world with necromancy from overpopulation

This takes place in a magical world with a medieval setting. They've undergone an apocalypse (not defined yet, but it has no relation with necromancy) that wiped all but few thousand survivors, all ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

What's the biggest medieval city I can make?

What's the biggest medieval city, in terms of population, that we can feasibly make? That is, take all factors that affect population, and tilt them all in favour of a large population, without ...
26
votes
7answers
3k views

Demographic consequences of closed loop reincarnation

My question is inspired by the Tolkienesque elven cycle of rebirth, but with a twist. Suppose "elves": Do not experience aging after reaching maturity and do not die of old age or diseases Mature ...
25
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2answers
4k views

How many human beings are/were there?

How many human beings are/were there? I'm spinning a story where a guy is chosen to represent the whole of humanity. In this story the minds of people who die are preserved in a cool sword that ...
24
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13answers
2k views

Ethical solution to generation ship where new generation want to go home

I can easily set a story in a dystopian environment not subject to ethics, but I would rather try to create a backdrop that is as ethical as possible given the requirements. I feel that writing about ...
24
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6answers
3k views

What's the highest population the Earth could possibly sustain?

Suppose that we pare down human consumption to a minimum survivable level across the Earth, and devote the entire surface of the planet (as well as the planet's interior, if needed) to support as many ...
24
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6answers
3k views

How many people need to be born every 8 years to sustain population?

So I'm doing some worldbuilding for a small, isolated village on the coast. The winters are harsh, but making sure everybody has enough food generally isn't an issue because they have good trade with ...
23
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6answers
5k views

Would "lab meat" be able to feed a much larger global population

I read a prediction that if the global fertility rate stayed at the same rate as it was in 1995 by 2150 the population would be 256 billion people. That sounds crazy, but for my sci-fi I'm rolling ...
20
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7answers
7k views

How large would a mega structure have to be to host 1 billion people indefinitely?

Ruins of buildings, abandoned cities and suburbs dot the coasts of Earth's landmasses, inhabited by wild animals and the pieces of a once vibrant civilization. The oceans are relatively empty, the ...
20
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3answers
6k views

How to calculate your kingdom’s population size?

How do I figure out the population numbers in my various kingdoms? I've seen the population growth tables for the entire world showing how the population grew and died off over time (yes Genghis, I'm ...
19
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2answers
3k views

Population Range for a Booming/Dying Frontier Town

I'm designing a town in the Ozark mountain range circa 1871, and am unsure what population size to give it. River Bend is an isolated town in the Ozark highlands of Arkansas founded in 1845 on the ...
18
votes
18answers
8k views

Why would people not settle an open plain?

My world consists of a relatively narrow strip of land with the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. However, to the north and south are simply grasslands, and maybe the occasionally forest....
18
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13answers
3k views

Which is initially more favorable; large or small settlements in a new planetary colony?

I have a question that concerns a story I am writing and I hope it is a valid one to ask. But in my story, several groups of colonists, each arriving on different ships at relatively the same time, ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

How long will it take for the amount of living to exceed the dead population?

The current world population is around 7 billion living people and 107 billion dead people. Since the population is increasing steadily and faster than ever, I was wondering if we could ever reach the ...
18
votes
5answers
16k views

How long will it take human population to exceed one trillion?

Assuming that human civilization in the future will spread from earth into the galaxy, how long would it take for the human population to exceed one trillion (10¹²)? I doubt this is possible if humans ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I estimate how many people are living in a specific territory?

In my own medieval fantasy setting, I have different countries that all have different populations. I admit that I have no idea of how many people should live in X or Y. Just using the numbers for the ...
17
votes
13answers
8k views

Why would a country with high population suffer from low manpower?

This country has very low mortality rates and basic medicine, it is also very well-connected with a strong government and homogeneous culture and people. The country is self-providing of all resources....
17
votes
9answers
5k views

The nation without villages

Straight to the matter: is it possible that a faction in a science fiction world rises up while completely ignoring the concept of villages as a whole? Let me explain. While it's specific for my ...
17
votes
13answers
4k views

Is a population of people with eternal youth sustainable?

Alright so in my sci-fi setting, my space faring human civilisation has a widespread procedure that allows humans a very extended time period without any sort aging or its assorted issues (weakening ...
16
votes
15answers
3k views

What could cause a baby boom across the western world?

Right now the trend in the western world is declining or stagnant birthrates, but in my sci-fi universe I wanted to have a period of rapid population growth (around the 2050s). What factors could ...
16
votes
16answers
4k views

How to cause an exodus from the west coast of the United States inland?

What I Need I need to bring about a scenario where most, if not all, of the west coast has been abandoned before the alien-robot-zombie apocalypse wreaks havoc on the world. Sweet, sweet havoc! ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Can a lack of diseases in the medieval period lead to overpopulation?

In the Middle Ages, it was necessary for a couple to have as many children as possible because many children died before reaching adult age. Much of this was due to rampant disease and lack of medical ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

How to build a self-sufficient town

Other questions have tried to address how big/small towns have to be in order to function, but I'm more interested in approaching it from a different angle: How big would a town have to be to support ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Repopulating humans AND zombies

So most zombie apocalypse stories involve wiping out 99.9% of the human race and having a small minority survive to try and keep living. But, let's say I want society as we know it to collapse, but I ...
15
votes
20answers
5k views

How to make people spread over the earth?

I created human beings and placed them on a planet full of landmasses, oceans, rivers, forests, desserts, swaps, snow, mountains, hills, animals, insects, plants, fish you name it. But I have a ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Population Size of a Colony With a Large Gender Disparity

This is my first post on this site, so please bear with me. I am working on a series of stories about an interstellar colony with a large gender disparity. Namely the initial population was made up of ...
15
votes
3answers
510 views

What is a good reference size for a settlement?

I have been sporadically building a particular world, mainly by developing its cultures with events (often paralleling Earth history) and individuals, rather than shaping the cultures beforehand. One ...
14
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2answers
2k views

What is the Fighting Population of a Goblin Community?

How would the fighting population of a race of goblins be different from that of normal humans? Let's name some parameters for these goblins, first: Small tunnel dwellers: Probably not important to ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Calculating City Size based on Population

Question: I'm trying to determine how large (geographically) my city will have to be to accommodate for 1 million people. I have a city that was basically formed by the gods to be fertile land with a ...
12
votes
3answers
640 views

How do I calculate the number of people who have ever lived in a place over a given span of time assuming a fixed population?

500 years ago, the mountain dwelling Carac clan was cursed with undeath: whenever they or any of their descendants die, their corpses rise as undead creatures, or if burned, as shadowy specters. The ...
11
votes
19answers
5k views

How to ensure stagnation of population figures without slaying inhabitants?

In my world, there rules a wise government that maintains an Utopia that was created centuries ago. This Utopia was founded by elders that left earth because they felt Earth decayed through wars, ...
11
votes
10answers
3k views

How can a massive walled city be viable?

I'm working on a small story, and in it I'm wanting to include a city surrounded by multiple layers of walls. The walls themselves are colossal, but were created/held up by sorcery. I would go into ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How many people within a given population could reasonably be "noble" without inbreeding becoming an issue?

I have searched around the site and seen several population-related questions, but not one that is getting at what I'm specifically wondering (or that is at least explaining it in a way that my ...
11
votes
6answers
8k views

Size of a medieval/fantasy trading port

I am envisioning a trading port city/town, that occupies an island in a river mouth/estuary. Bridges link the island to the mainland. The island is a mostly submerged, extinct volcano; and the crater ...
11
votes
3answers
755 views

What is the minimum distance needed between physically distinct races?

If there are several races with very distinct appearances (e.g. Nordic-pale vs. Arabic-tan skin, red vs. black hair, etc.), how much space / natural barriers do I need between their homelands to ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

The biggest flaw with a Democratic Taxation system? [closed]

Imagine a country where once a year, the citizens file a sort of vote with their tax return, where each return decides how taxes will be spent. Each citizen controls an equal portion of the taxes, ...
10
votes
19answers
4k views

How Do I Keep the Population of an Ecumenopolis Reasonable?

In the galaxy I'm worldbuilding for my science-fantasy series, by far the most important planet in the galaxy is an ecumenopolis called Ishga. What I had in mind for this planet is something ...

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