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Thread: Does anyone know a good "base minimum" population for a sustainable medeival city?

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    Default Does anyone know a good "base minimum" population for a sustainable medeival city?

    Edit: Boy do I look dumb with that typo "medeival" lol.

    Sorry for the bad title. Let me try to explain in better detail.

    I am creating a fantasy game, with a very large world composed of 8 regions or "kingdoms". I have done a lot of research on creating Medieval Demographics, such as Medieval Demographics Made Easy, along with tons of research on medieval life, jobs, travel speeds, and so much more.

    I sifted through what felt like at least 30 pages of the "Reference Material" and found some gems. However, this is too much information to sift through to find what I need. I figured I could ask someone with greater knowledge of semi-realistic medieval world building.




    PROBLEM: My continent is 2.6 million sq miles, or a bit smaller than Australia. I followed the Medieval Demographics Made Easy. However, the results were insane.

    The suggested 30-120 population per sq mile, ended up with a world population of 150 million people. This doesn't make sense to me, as google has told me that Europe in the 14th century only had 80 million people.
    My world, actually includes a lot of land that goes below the 30, and only a small section that goes above 100. The average density is 58, which according to Medieval Demographics Made Easy, is only slightly more populated than the least populous area (British Isles, 40 density) in 14th century Europe.
    Yet my nation is actually MUCH smaller than Europe, which according to google is almost 4 million square miles.

    So my continent is 65% the size of Europe, but with almost double the population...despite having much LOWER average density and mostly "Hills" type ariability? And this is my taking the suggested 30% "mostly ice land" and making it 10%. So according to the description, my population density should be much higher.


    I thought this was a reliable source, but the numbers seem horrifically inaccurate in the formulas used. The facts, I naturally assume are true. They just don't match the formulas, even when I lower my suggested density a good amount.

    Going to another reference material, I find that "The Domesday Book, Penned by Brandon Blackmoor" uses a range of 10 to 45 max. The 45 being very fertile land, instead of the 100-120 MDME suggests. This is an enormous difference, with little explanation.


    I am not interested in randomly making up numbers, when they are so far off from reality. I could just make up my own numbers using reference material if I wanted that. Or just randomly throw out numbers and see what sticks.

    I notice that in Blackmoor's site, he uses a % of land that is ariable, based on the type of land. However, this doesn't effect the population. Why would the ariability not effect the population density? This doesn't seem to make sense either.


    Am I doing something wrong? Misread the equations?
    Continent Area: 2.6 million square miles

    Population Density: 8 Regions (average 58.75 density)
    Icy North & Tundra: (10 density) @ 330,000 sq miles
    Chilly Mountains (30 density) @ 270,000 sq miles
    Lush Highlands (100 density) @ 280,000 sq miles
    Enchanted Magical Growth Forest (120 density) @ 310,000 sq miles
    Plains & Massive Grasslands & Fields (80 density) @ 310,000 sq miles
    Desert region, but with an enormous and thriving oasis and set of islands (50 density) @ 400,000 sq miles
    Jungle region (60 density) @ 400,000 sq miles
    Lava-like region (20 density, because most inhabitants are demons immune to fire and lava, but still lower than MDME's minimum) @ 300,000 sq miles
    Current Population according to MDME's numbers, despite worse land and less land: 144.8 million, compared to 14th century Europe's 80 million and the 14th Century Earth's 360 million population (meaning almost half of the world's population is in "65% of Europe". This isn't suppose to be China/India type populous.)



    Question: Are there any other reference materials I may have missed, to help me create the world and region population quickly, or through excel mathematics?

    Honestly, I am thinking of just making up unrealistic numbers for the sake of simplicity, and forsaking a semi-realistic simulation, for at the very most a unrealistic fantasy world simulation. By this, I mean instead of 150 million, it'll probably be a continent pop of only 3 million.
    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-24-2013 at 02:23 AM. Reason: Corrected my data

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