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Mark Sawyer

How many people live in Westeros? in each kingdom?

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I doubt there are more than 3 millions in the entire continent, much of it desert, moutains and forests.

I don't know the number, but its without a doubt not 3 million. This would mean that more than 1/3rd of the entire population lived in King's Landing, Oldtown, and Lannispot alone, and thats absurd.

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I don't know the number, but its without a doubt not 3 million. This would mean that more than 1/3rd of the entire population lived in King's Landing, Oldtown, and Lannispot alone, and thats absurd.

Not, really, is actually quite possible, since the rural areas tend to have a very low population density, plus evrythin i said before about the enviroment.

Is problably more than 3 millions, but that was just a guess, and is definetly less than 20 millions.

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I can't begin to estimate, but I remember it being stated in one of the books that the Iron Islands have over 1 million people.

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Not, really, is actually quite possible, since the rural areas tend to have a very low population density, plus evrythin i said before about the enviroment.

No. Those 3 cities do not contain 1 out of every 3 people in Westeros.

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Not, really, is actually quite possible, since the rural areas tend to have a very low population density, plus evrythin i said before about the enviroment.

Is problably more than 3 millions, but that was just a guess, and is definetly less than 20 millions.

No, it's not possible...

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No. Thosse 3 cities do not contain 1 out of every 3 people in Westeros.

The part of the iron island having 1 million sounds implausible for me in a place that's so barren of natural resources that they have to live of pillagin other places, but this a fantasy series, Martin could just come out and say westeros has 100 million people and what could i say about that?

I really don't think westeros has 20 millions, but if you guys do then why don't you try and explain me how you've reached this conclusion?

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The part of the iron island having 1 million sounds implausible for me in a place that's so barren of natural resources that they have to live of pillagin other places, but this a fantasy series, Martin could just come out and say westeros has 100 million people and what could i say about that?

I really don't think westeros has 20 millions, but if you guys do then why don't you try and explain me how you've reached this conclusion?

It's mostly based on their army numbers. We know that Robb had 20,000 men, the Reach 100,000, Tywin about 40,000, the Riverlands 20,000 etc. BrightBlueEyes for example multiplied those numbers by 50 to get his final numbers. His estimations seem the most accurate to me. Looking at history seems to back up those estimates as well. During the Wars of the Roses for example (from which GoT takes some influence) England was able to support about 45,000 troops from a population of 3 million. This seems to indicate that most of the 7 Kingdoms would have a population of at least a few millions to support such armies.

France alone had more than 15 million people in the 15th century, and a lot of people seem to consider it the equivalent of the Reach. It's not that impossible to have a 20 million population in the whole of Westeros (remember it's the size of South America).

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It's mostly based on their army numbers. We know that Robb had 20,000 men, the Reach 100,000, Tywin about 40,000, the Riverlands 20,000 etc. BrightBlueEyes for example multiplied those numbers by 50 to get his final numbers. His estimations seem the most accurate to me. Looking at history seems to back up those estimates as well. During the Wars of the Roses for example (from which GoT takes some influence) England was able to support about 45,000 troops from a population of 3 million. This seems to indicate that most of the 7 Kingdoms would have a population of at least a few millions to support such armies.

France alone had more than 15 million people in the 15th century, and a lot of people seem to consider it the equivalent of the Reach. It's not that impossible to have a 20 million population in the whole of Westeros (remember it's the size of South America).

You can't compare a fantasy story with real life to reach those numbers, what you can do is use information from the books, i higly doubt the reach has 100k, i believe at most theur strenght could reach 80k, riverlands couldn't possibly have 20k if robb brought 20k from the north and the riverlands had the same number they would have done a lot more damage to the lannister forces.

My guess is the entire continent would have less than 10 million if i use a smaller estimative for their armies strenght.

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The urbanisation rate during the Middle Ages was something like 2-3%. Meaning that if Westeros has a urbanised population of 1 million, then the total population must be between 30 and 50 million.

In areas like the North, the urbanisation rate is significantly lower, as a much more agrarian lifestyle is followed, with people living off the land in a more spread out format than in other areas. So in the North, I would put the urbanisation rate at only 1% or even 0.5%.

So if White Harbor has a population of about 50 000, and Barrowton a population of maybe 10 000, that gives the North a population of about 6 million people.

Furthermore, during the Middle Ages England had a population of about 2 million people, but a large army of the time contained maybe 8000-12000 soldiers. Work it out. That's less than 0.5% of the population.

So the army sizes are truly only a tiny fraction of the population of Westeros.

Also, smaller, more densely populated areas like the Westerlands or the Riverlands will be able to raise larger armies in comparison to their population sizes, due to the proximity to towns and cities of most of the population.

This does not mean that the Westerlands is necessarily more populated than the North. It just means that the North's population density is vastly lower.

If we go with an overall urbanisation rate of 3%, and city sizes as follows:

King's Landing - 500 000

Old Town - 250 000

Lannisport -120 000

Gulltown - 60 000

White Harbor - 50 000

that would put the population of Westeros at about 30 million.

I would then break it down as follows:

The Reach - 8 million

The Westerlands - 5 million

The North - 5 million

The Riverlands - 3 million

The Vale - 3 million

The Stormlands - 3 million

Dorne -2 million

Crownlands -1.5 million - including King's Landing

Iron Islands -1 million

That would also succeed in giving Westeros a population density that is at least believable, although still incredibly low compared to medieval Europe.

As an example, if Westeros below the Wall has a rough surface area of 3 million square miles, then about 30 million people would give it an average population density of 10 people per square mile. This compares to an average population density for medieval England of about 40 people per square mile, and for cold, hilly, infertile Scotland of about 20 people per square mile.

30 million people for Westeros is probably the absolute lowest estimate, I would say.

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There is only one "correct" answer for the population of Westeros and it's ZERO. All those little people are imaginary and live inside the head of GRRM.

But since Westeros is closely based on England during the Middle Ages... I think it's reasonable to assume the population is similar also.

I doubt there are more than 3 millions in the entire continent, much of it desert, moutains and forests.

Good guess! That's about the population of England during the Middle Ages.

  • 1100 -3.25 million.[2]
  • 1315 - Between 4 and 6 million.[2]
  • 1350 - 3 million or less.[3]
  • 1541 - 2,774,000 [note 1][4]
  • 1601 - 4,110,000 [4]
  • 1651 - 5,228,000 [4]
  • 1701 - 5,058,000 [4]
  • 1751 - 5,772,000 [4]
  • 1801 - 8,308,000

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There is only one "correct" answer for the population of Westeros and it's ZERO. All those little people are imaginary and live inside the head of GRRM.

But since Westeros is closely based on England during the Middle Ages... I think it's reasonable to assume the population is similar also.

Good guess! That's about the population of England during the Middle Ages.

  • 1100 -3.25 million.[2]
  • 1315 - Between 4 and 6 million.[2]
  • 1350 - 3 million or less.[3]
  • 1541 - 2,774,000 [note 1][4]
  • 1601 - 4,110,000 [4]
  • 1651 - 5,228,000 [4]
  • 1701 - 5,058,000 [4]
  • 1751 - 5,772,000 [4]
  • 1801 - 8,308,000

A population of just 3 million, with 1 million living in the cities of King's Landing, Old Town, Lannisport, Gulltown and White Harbor, would give you an urbanisation rate of over 30%. In the real world, a 30% urbanisation rate was not reached until 1950 - yes, 1950, halfway through the 20th century.

As recently as 1900 it was still only 13%, and in medieval times it was below 3%. Martin knows all of this. He is an expert in historical fiction.

Given the size of the major cities in Westeros, it is impossible for Westeros to have a population of less than 30 million. In fact, urbanisation also refers to the population of large towns, which Martin has not even bothered telling us about, but which undoubtedly exist. Towns like Barrowton in the North for example.

Most likely there will be as many people living in all of these smaller towns combined, as in all of the great cities combined. So that would double the urban population of Westeros, giving Westeros a population closer to 50 or 60 million, than 30 million.

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(This info comes from the IceandFire wikia)

Total Population of Westeros: 75 million

The population is divided by the provinces as follows (Note: these numbers are estimates):

  • The North: 15 million
  • The Vale: 10 million
  • The Stormlands: 15 million
  • The Reach (including Riverlands): 25 million
  • The Westerlands: 15 million
  • The Iron Islands: 2 million
  • Dorne and the southern provinces: 10 million

Other sources state that the population is much less than that (like the poster above me), so I'm not certain.

Well we know from the books the reach is the most populous region in westeros and dorne is the least. The North and the stormlands have around the same population , the norths population is 2/5s of the reach. The riverlands should not be included with the reach. the lands watered by the river trident are very populated more so then the stormlands and the north and probably more then the westerlands.the vale has a bigger population then the north too. and im feeling these number might be a little big but could be right most ppl back then lived in rurals areas not in cities

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There is only one "correct" answer for the population of Westeros and it's ZERO. All those little people are imaginary and live inside the head of GRRM.

But since Westeros is closely based on England during the Middle Ages... I think it's reasonable to assume the population is similar also.

Good guess! That's about the population of England during the Middle Ages.

  • 1100 -3.25 million.[2]
  • 1315 - Between 4 and 6 million.[2]
  • 1350 - 3 million or less.[3]
  • 1541 - 2,774,000 [note 1][4]
  • 1601 - 4,110,000 [4]
  • 1651 - 5,228,000 [4]
  • 1701 - 5,058,000 [4]
  • 1751 - 5,772,000 [4]
  • 1801 - 8,308,000

I think these kind of comparisons are interesting, but not accurate considering that westeros has been stuck in the medieval period for a lot longer than europe was, so it would be safe to assume that the population growth would have stayed about the same for a longer period of time. I don't think that size estimates for the kingdoms are accurate either considering the estimated travel times between places as well.

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There is only one "correct" answer for the population of Westeros and it's ZERO. All those little people are imaginary and live inside the head of GRRM.

But since Westeros is closely based on England during the Middle Ages... I think it's reasonable to assume the population is similar also.

Good guess! That's about the population of England during the Middle Ages.

  • 1100 -3.25 million.[2]
  • 1315 - Between 4 and 6 million.[2]
  • 1350 - 3 million or less.[3]
  • 1541 - 2,774,000 [note 1][4]
  • 1601 - 4,110,000 [4]
  • 1651 - 5,228,000 [4]
  • 1701 - 5,058,000 [4]
  • 1751 - 5,772,000 [4]
  • 1801 - 8,308,000

Except that Westeros is approximately 28 times bigger than England...

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Slightly off topic, but would the area around the Free Cities be more or less populated than Westeros?

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To quote myself:

Using three different methods of estimating -- two based on estimating the total military force available the lords of Westeros and then extrapolating how much of the population they represented (one using the old rule-of-thumb that 1% of a nation's populace could be kept under arms, the other a more modern-method using estimates based on age-cohorts [extrapolated from the Carolingian era]), the other based by applying population density figures from roughly equivalent regions of medieval Europe [e.g. France for the Reach, Germany for the Vale, Scandinavia for the North, etc.]-- we've repeatedly come up with a figure of [approximately] 40 million.

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I think these kind of comparisons are interesting, but not accurate considering that westeros has been stuck in the medieval period for a lot longer than europe was, so it would be safe to assume that the population growth would have stayed about the same for a longer period of time. I don't think that size estimates for the kingdoms are accurate either considering the estimated travel times between places as well.

How does the medieval lifestyle influences population growth, and why?

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To quote myself:

Hi Ran

You've referred previously to Martin's changing opinion on the armed capability of the various regions. Over the years he seems to have downgraded Dorne and the Stormlands, and upgraded the North, or at least, retained the North at its original level while downgrading Dorne and the Stormlands which were both originally more or less equal to the North.

My question is:

When Martin says: "I'd say that the Vale and the North are about equal in terms of the number of men they can muster for war", and then goes on to qualify that by saying how it is more difficult for the North to gather men for war, and men are more reluctant to leave their fields and crops, is Martin saying that the North and the Vale have equal armed capabilties GIVEN these constraints, or is he saying they are equal if these constraints are IGNORED?

The reason I ask this is because if it is the former, then Martin is saying that the North has a higher population than the Vale, but due to its climate and geographical constraints, it cannot gather all of its young men to war, and therefore those that it can gather are equal to those that the Vale can gather.

If it is the latter, then he is saying that all other things being equal, the North has the same armed potential as the Vale, but this potential can never be reached, due to the North's climate.

Personally, I believe it is the former. In other words, the North has a much higher population than the Vale, the Stormlands or Dorne, but due to the North's unique constraints, the armed force it can effectively muster is about equal to that of the Vale.

What is your interpretation of his comments?

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Well we know from the books the reach is the most populous region in westeros and dorne is the least. The North and the stormlands have around the same population , the norths population is 2/5s of the reach. The riverlands should not be included with the reach. the lands watered by the river trident are very populated more so then the stormlands and the north and probably more then the westerlands.the vale has a bigger population then the north too. and im feeling these number might be a little big but could be right most ppl back then lived in rurals areas not in cities

Nowhere is it stated that the North and the Stormlands have the same population. In fact, the Stormlands most likely has a significantly lower population than the North.

The Stormlands may be able to muster a similar armed force to that of the North, but the North is able to muster a much smaller percentage of its population, due to its extreme size and labor intensive food production requirements.

Therefore, if the North and Stormlands can muster a similar number of men then the North probably has double the Stormlands population.

Martin has also indiretly stated that the Stormlands - which is geographically one of the smallest regions, is also quite sparsely populated, having quote :"a lot or rain, rocks and trees", but not much else.

Most likely the Stormlands and Dorne are virtually equal in terms of population size, with the North being significantly higher, and higher than the Vale as well, in sheer population numbers.

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