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Mark Sawyer

How many people live in Westeros? in each kingdom?

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Well, if we go by the army sizes the different kingdoms raise in the War of the Five Kings, and assume that they represent 1-2% of the population (medieval levels of production, administration and infrastructure made it pretty much impossible to keep much larger forces than this for longer periods of time) then we will get figures roughly like these.

The North: 35 000 men (though it should be noted that many of these were raised several years after the first army, meaning that the total strength of the north at a time is probably more like 30 000) The North is poorer, larger and much harsher to live in than the rest of Westeros, so I doubt that they are able to call more than 1% of their population to arms at a time. This gives us a population of about 3 million.

The Riverlands: 25 000 in total perhaps? By the time they join Robb they have already lost many men in the battle of the Golden Tooth, as well as having many more back guarding their castles, so this sounds about right. The Riverlands are probably comparatively wealthier than the North, and the armies they raise don't have to travel very far to get to the war (though I doubt the Riverlords are too happy about this little bonus :dunce: ) , so 2% of their population at arms sounds alright. This gives us a population of about 1,2-1,3 million people. This is pretty small, but the fact that the Riverlands were never a kingdom, as well as the lack of any cities, seems to support the idea that they don't have very many inhabitants.

The Vale: Stated by Littlefinger (or some other guy in the book, I forget who) to field "30 000 swords". Considering that the Vale repeatedly is described as quite lush and wealthy 1,5% of the population at arms sounds reasonable. This gives us a population of about 2,2 million people in The Vale.

The Crownlands we don't really have a figure for, but considering that KL itself probably has about 300 000 inhabitants, and that in addition to keeping 6000 guards just for the city itself they are also the base for the Royal Fleet (which consists of hundreds of ships and their crew)and a bunch of men that Stannis convinced to join him, then a population of well over 1 million seems necessary.

The Westerlands: Tywin marches into the Riverlands with about 40 000 men unless I am mistaken, these are later to be reinforced by 10 000 men with Lord Stafford (though the poor man got munched on by a wolf before he had the chance). So 50 000 men in total, unless they have a fleet as well. Not sure if it is stated in the books whether they rebuilt it or not. Considering that the huge wealth of Casterly Rock (as well as Tywin's keys to the Royal Treasury) should mean that they'd be able to afford arming and feeding more soldiers than normal, and that Lord Stafford had to "scrape the barrel" for recruits for his reinforcing army, this army may well be as much as 2% of the Westerland populace. This should give us a population of about 2.5 million people.

The Stormlands: 20- 25 000 (the troops that go with Renly and Stannis). In the books they are repeatedly described as poor and rather undeveloped, so I doubt that they can arm more than 1% of their people at a time, so about 2-2,5 milion inhabitants then.

The Reach: This one is the real killer! They muster 60 000 men for Renly's invasion force, and unless I am mistaken they are said to be keeping 30 000 men back for guarding Highgarden, Oldtown and other locations. They also have the Redwyne fleet, which consists several hundred ships. Assuming an average of 50 men a ship (though I'm not sure how large their warships are), and about 300 ships, that gives us another 15 000 men serving in the navy. So a military strength of about 105 000 men in total, give or take ten thousand or so. The Reach is extremely lush and the main food exporter of Westeros, so they probably can arm as much as 2% of their population without their economy collapsing. This gives us a population of 5,1 million people or so. However, I'm not sure if Mace Tyrell has really mustered the full strength of the Reach yet, so their population and army size could be even larger!

Dorne: No solid information as of yet. Quentyn claims "50 000 spears", but that seems like utter bullshit considering that Doran, who is the commander of the Dornish military, states in the book that they are the weakest of the Seven Kingdoms in terms of manpower. So perhaps 20 000 is more likely? Comes down to opinion here I guess. The Dornish country however is very harsh to live, farm and travel in. So 1% of their population under arms is as much as they can afford. It's not like they seem to export anything (bar peppers...) or have any real cities either. So perhaps 2 million inhabitants in Dorne then.

Iron Islands: Well, they are stated to possess a navy of 1000 longships, which sounds completely drugged up and ridiculous for so small and destitute islands! But I guess if we estimate 20 men a ship (longships being much smaller than regular warships) and that they have a thousand ships, we get 20 000 men. Well, well. Perhaps keeping a navy isn't as resource intensive even for these poor islands as an army would be (perhaps they can supply themselves much easier, considering how much faster they travel and such) so let's say they compromise 2% of the Ironborn then, giving us a population for the Iron Islands of about 1 million people. Sounds a bit ridiculous, but there it is.

Total population of Westeros: Roughly 20 million, give or take.

Sounds reasonable enough I guess. Out of these, less than 1 million should be living in the main cities. Perhaps 300 000 in Kings Landing, 250 000 in Oldtown, 150 000 in Lannisport, 60 000 each for Gulltown and White Harbor (pretty sure I've seen those numbers thrown around here) and what, 20 000 in Barrowton? Then a considerable number of people would live either in towns, such as Pennytree and Maidenpool, or inside the countless castles and keeps erected across Westeros. Sunspear in particular seems, according to Arianne Martell, to have so many inhabitants that it almost could be a city. Wintertown around Winterfell is perhaps a more common example.

The vast majority of the population would live in small farming communities and villages spread across the countryside, however.

Those are my two cents!

I think this is the most accurate answer. Just remember that King's Landind has about 500,000 inhabitants. If add up the population of the larger cities of Westeros and taking in consideration that back in those times only 5% of the people lived in cities, we can get that the total population of Westeros will be approximately 25 million.

King' Landing (500,000), Old Town (400,000), Lannisport (250,000), Gulltown and White Harbour (100,000). These cities make up a total 1.25 million and dividing that by 5%(.05), we get 25 million.

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Also, I don't think half of the population of the Crownlands will live in King's Landing. So, the Crownlands will have at least a population 2 million.

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I think this is the most accurate answer. Just remember that King's Landind has about 500,000 inhabitants. If add up the population of the larger cities of Westeros and taking in consideration that back in those times only 5% of the people lived in cities, we can get that the total population of Westeros will be approximately 25 million.

King' Landing (500,000), Old Town (400,000), Lannisport (250,000), Gulltown and White Harbour (100,000). These cities make up a total 1.25 million and dividing that by 5%(.05), we get 25 million.

I made that post over a year ago and have changed my views on that kind of stuff quite a bit since then. I think around 40 million sounds about right, especially since that is what Ran (board admin) also seems to think and he knows GRRM personally and keeps in contact with him quite a lot if the rumours be true. There is a youtube video of him talking about this, but I have no idea how to find it.

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I made that post over a year ago and have changed my views on that kind of stuff quite a bit since then. I think around 40 million sounds about right, especially since that is what Ran (board admin) also seems to think and he knows GRRM personally and keeps in contact with him quite a lot if the rumours be true. There is a youtube video of him talking about this, but I have no idea how to find it.

there you go.

My personal opinion is 40-45 millions divided as following:

the North: 6 millions

the Riverlands: 5,5 millions

the Westerlands: 5 millions

the Vale: 4,5 millions

the Crownlands: 2,5 millions

the Stormlands: 3,5 millions

Dorne: 3 millions

the Reach: 10,5 millions (just for the ease of doing the math;)

the Iron Isles: 0,5 millions (500 000)

this sums up to 41 million inhabitants in westeros.

The major cities I believe are divided as following:

King's Landing: 500 000

Old Town: 300-450 000

Lannisport: 100-150 000

Gulltown: 70-90 000

White Harbor: 50-70 000

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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.

These estimates are very unseemly to me. The problem is, all estimates we make will be based on logic and reasoning, but there is no reason to suggest GRRM is as logical or knowledgeable as his fans on some of these finer topics. Besides, there are thousands of us and one of him. Although it makes sense that the North's population would be several million or more, he is quite clear, after summoning 20,000 men, they are down to green boys and grey men. While it is demographically impossible, I am not even sure the North could have a population much greater than 1 million given the cannon. Perhaps the North does and characters are exaggerating, or it is simply the areas just outside the castles that are so depopulated ATM, but yea, that is what is said.

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One strong criticism I have towards the author is the lack of those kinds of information.

Why not just expicitly say the number of ppl in each country? Or at least an estimate?

Same with the timespan in/between chapters. I hate that.

It serves for him tho, so he'll never get criatively sieged by these restrictions -- in other words, it won't get back and bite him in his fatass, as a lot of authors have done.

Because nobody knows.

I mean that quite literally: nobody knows the population of Westeros. Certainly, nobody in Westeros knows the population of Westeros. GRRM probably doesn't either, because it's not important.

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I can say with absolute certainty that GRRM tries to keep things easy. A year in the series is a year in our world, 24 hours is exactly the same span of time, and a mile in the books is a standard mile. He has enough difficulty keeping track of things not to throw in unique measurements to try and keep track of as well.

OTOH, I think it's probably true that Westeros is not, in fact, the size of South America. Unless there's a lot more of it going North beyond the map than we know, anyways. The Seven Kingdoms-proper seems to be less than the size of Europe itself by maybe 25 percent, but it's very stretched out. I think that that fact has thrown GRRM, so that South America seemed nearer the mark to him than Europe with its rather different appearance.

As to population densities, I'm glad to say that other people have applied medieval population density figures to Westeros before. When I did it, I came up with roughly 40 million there, as well. However, one has to take into account what the books show as differences from our history.

I think one thing that needs to be factored in is that the population of places like the Reach is more diffuse than, say, high medieval France. There's five cities in Westeros, period, according to Martin. There are certainly many more towns and villages than we see on the maps, but the beginnings of real urbanization as seen in France (or Italy) hasn't happened. I'm thinking that's a combination of just being what GRRM wants, and perhaps being motivated by the notion that the supply needs of cities make them exceedingly unattractive whenever a particularly long, harsh winter rolls around.

And the fact that the North seems to have huge swathes of completely empty areas -- the Gift is all but abandoned, the barrowlands are a vast and rather empty plain, etc.; characters regularly travel for days without seeing sight of anyone -- drags the numbers dow; it's as if the population density of Medieval Scandinavia were spread out across the whole of Western Europe. Dorne isn't too populous either, given the desert and the mountains, and not a great deal of evidence that the river valleys are intensely inhabited. Between them, they're half the size of the whole realm.

Josiah Russel estimated that in 1340, Europe had a population of about 75 million. Factoring in that the Seven Kingdoms is approximately 25% smaller, you're down to 60 million. Factoring in the fact that you have to change the proportions to account for the very low densities of the North and Dorne, you cut that down even more. And then factor the evident lack of urbanization and it comes down even more.

So, 40 million, give or take, feels right. The fact that the old, dirty "rule of thumb" happens to fit this pretty well when you look at military mobilization -- a rule of thumb I suspect GRRM is familiar with, and may be the whole extent of his knowledge of medieval demography -- just seems to be an additional support for the figure.

A good way of looking at it. I think this is not only a question that wont be answered, but one that cannot be answered. I doubt even GRRM could come up with an estimate that fit in perfectly with both cannon and logic (drawn from earth's history).

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Because nobody knows.

I mean that quite literally: nobody knows the population of Westeros. Certainly, nobody in Westeros knows the population of Westeros. GRRM probably doesn't either, because it's not important.

/thread

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Im pretty sure the North has less people than most of the other kingdoms... I do agree however that the Reach is the most populous but i disagree with everyone saying the north is one of the most populated, the land is tough and they haven't had multiple invasions over the centuries

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Im pretty sure the North has less people than most of the other kingdoms... I do agree however that the Reach is the most populous but i disagree with everyone saying the north is one of the most populated, the land is tough and they haven't had multiple invasions over the centuries

The North is over 10 times the size of Scotland, it could have a population density of 0,1 per square miles and still have quite a large population. If we consider the fact that medieval scotland had a population density of 15(Free Northman will have to correct me on this one), and the size of scotland is ≈ 30 000 sqm we get 450 000 people, 10 times that is 4 500 000, remember that this is as rough an estimate as their is. Don't confuse density with overall population.

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i think the problem is that there are just too few cities, towns and villages in westeros. doesn't seem realistic. i mean in germany we got 800 year old towns everywhere, you can't spit without hitting one. in westeros the civilization must have spreaded from points and not, as in the books, just settled on different points hundreds of miles away. so imo its just a flaw, but not a really important one.

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i think the problem is that there are just too few cities, towns and villages in westeros. doesn't seem realistic. i mean in germany we got 800 year old towns everywhere, you can't spit without hitting one. in westeros the civilization must have spreaded from points and not, as in the books, just settled on different points hundreds of miles away. so imo its just a flaw, but not a really important one.

Have the characters in the books traveled every inch of westeros? No! so how can you say there are too few towns and villages, and it is also worth mentioning that the 5 cities are as large as any in the middle ages.

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Given that north of the wall, even with huge casualties from the others, limited and primitive farming, and terrible conditions can gather up 100,000 people (not all fighters) I doubt that any mainland kingdom (except maybe Dorne) has a total population of less than 2 million.



I'd say that the north has maybe 2.5-3 million, the Riverlands about the same, the vale slightly less, the west about 2-2.5. The reach 3.5-4.5+, the Stormlands 1.5-2.5 million, the Crownlands (not really a kingdom but still a region) probably 2 million


This figures could be low, though I don't really see any of them being high, the north could have as many as 4-5 million, and the reach.



The seven kingdoms are really less developed than medieval Europe, but I can't see westeros having a total population less than say 20 million, given that it is (according to the south America analogy) 10-12 times the size of medieval England, which had about 1-2 million (some estimates are higher or lower).



What this implies for army sizes is that there should be about 400,000 total strength, this is probably too high, but not by such a great margin that the estimate is inaccurate.


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Given that north of the wall, even with huge casualties from the others, limited and primitive farming, and terrible conditions can gather up 100,000 people (not all fighters) I doubt that any mainland kingdom (except maybe Dorne) has a total population of less than 2 million.

I'd say that the north has maybe 2.5-3 million, the Riverlands about the same, the vale slightly less, the west about 2-2.5. The reach 3.5-4.5+, the Stormlands 1.5-2.5 million, the Crownlands (not really a kingdom but still a region) probably 2 million

This figures could be low, though I don't really see any of them being high, the north could have as many as 4-5 million, and the reach.

The seven kingdoms are really less developed than medieval Europe, but I can't see westeros having a total population less than say 20 million, given that it is (according to the south America analogy) 10-12 times the size of medieval England, which had about 1-2 million (some estimates are higher or lower).

What this implies for army sizes is that there should be about 400,000 total strength, this is probably too high, but not by such a great margin that the estimate is inaccurate.

1. The North was supposed to have 50,000 soldiers before the five-year gap was scrapped. The scrap forced GRRM to add about 12,000 more Northern soldiers. So the North has about 62,000 soldiers. Since the mobilization rate for the North must be quite low (and we see Northern lords wanting to go home to oversee the harvest, while no other lord we've seen does so), the North should have a population of about 9,000,000, assuming a 0.7% mobilization rate.

2. The Riverlands supposedly have 45,000 soldiers, a pretty normal mobilization rate so 4,500,000 people.

3. The Vale has 50,000. A mobilization rate of 1.1% should make around 4,500,000 Valemen.

4. The Reach has 100,000 men. A mobilization rate of 0.9% because of its size gives 11,000,000 Reachmen.

5. Stormlands have 35,000 soldiers. A mobilization rate of 1.2%, since the Stormlands are very militaristic, makes 3,000,000 Stormlanders.

6. The Crownlands have 20,000 soldiers, a mobilization rate of 1.1% gives 1,800,000 Crownlanders.

7. The Iron Islands have about 40,000 men, because they idolize war I'll give them a mobilization rate of 12%, which gives 330,000 Ironborn.

8. Dorne has 30,000 soldiers, with a mobilization rate of 1.3% you have 2,300,000 Dornishmen.

9. The Westerlands have 500,000 soldiers, with a normal mobilization rate 5,000,000 Westermen.

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7. The Iron Islands have about 40,000 men, because they idolize war I'll give them a mobilization rate of 12%, which gives 330,000 Ironborn.

A 12% mobilization rate is ridiculous. More like 5-10%.

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First of all I would like to say hi to the forum, as this is my first post. I have lurked the forum for some time, but decided to join now after finally finishing ADWD.

This is my estimate of the population of Westeros.

Method

My estimate is based on taking the size of the armies of the different regions, and then multiplying it with the average percentage of armies to populations in the 1300-1400s. The reason I used 1300-1400s is because i feel that the technology level of Westeros is most similar to the Late middle ages.

To find the percentage of armies to populations, I used 5 large battles in the time period 1300-1400s..

Battle of Agincourt, Battle of Grunewald, Battle of Bannockburn, Battle of Bosworth Fields and Battle of Towton. All of these battles were large and significant battles, so the parties involved probably used all the troops they could muster, making the analysis more accurate.

Analysis

At Agincourt, the English had about 8000 troops, and the French had about 20000 troops. Compared to the populations of the coutries at the time, which was about 3 million in England and 16 million in France, there would be 1 soldier per 375(3 million / 8000) people in England, and 1 soldier per 800 (16 million / 20000) people in France.

Using the same method I get: 1 soldier per 290 (8 million / 27500) people for Poland/Lithuania at the Battle of Grunewald. 1 soldier per 155 (3 million / 19350) people in England, and 1 soldier per 66 (500.000 / 7500) people in Scotland, at the Battle of Bannockburn. 1 soldier per 142 (3 million / 21000) people at the Bosworth fields. And 1 solder per 50 people (3 million / 60000) at Battle of Towton.

An average of all these estimates, is that during the Late middle ages, there would be on average of 1 soldier per 268,64 people.

By applying this average to the number of soldiers in the armies of Westeros, I can estimate the population.

In the War of the Five kings, we know that the different regions had this many soldiers in their armies:

North: 20000

Riverlands: 20000

Westerlands: 35000

Dorne: 25000

Vale: 25000

Reach: 60000

Stormlands: 30000

The number for Vale(Vale is told to be fertile, so it could support a lot of soldiers, but because of the mountains they probably have no more than 25k soldiers) and Dorne(It is told Dorne has 50k soldiers, but this is probably just the Dornishmen boasting, so the number is probably closer to 25k) are rough estimates, and the Reach and Stormlands is also conservative estimates.

By multiplying the average that I calculated above with the armies I end up with a population of:

North: (20k * 268,64) = 5 million

Riverlands: (20k * 268,64) = 5 million

Westerlands: (35k * 268,64) = 9 million

Dorne: (25k * 268,64) = 7 million

Vale: (25k * 268,64) = 7 million

Reach: (60k * 268,64) = 16 million

Stormlands: (30k * 268,64) = 8 million

Total Population of the Regions: 57 million (60-65million with Crownlands and Iron Isles).

As for the Crownlands, a rough estimate would be between 2-3 million(I did not find any troop counts for the Crownlands). The population of the Iron isles is also hard to estimate, as they do not really follow the feudal model, and they probably have a lot more soldiers per population than the other regions, seeing as reaving is such an important part of their culture. But the population of the iron isles is probably no more than 5 million, as the islands are so small.

Conclusion (TL:DR)

Population in Westeros is:

North: 5 million

Riverlands: 5 million

Westerlands: 9 million

Dorne: 7 million

Vale: 7 million

Reach: 16 million

Stormlands: 8 million

Crownlands: 2-3 million (guess)

Iron isles: 1-5 million (guess)

Total Population of the Regions: 57 million (60-65million with Crownlands and Iron Isles).

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@Prince Davos Martell: Welcome!!!

However, the North has about 62,000 soldiers. Robb needed to move fast so he couldn't get all his men.

The Riverlands have 45,000.

The Westerlands have 50,000.

Dorne has 30,000.

Vale has 50,000.

Reach has 105,000.

Stormlands has 35,000.

Remember, not every soldier went with Tywin, Robb, Renly, etc. They stayed home to guard their lands, they couldn't walk fast enough, or they didn't want to fight.

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snip

Welcome to the forums.

Nice to see a new face in those kind of discussions. Though you did use some wrong numbers. Actually, most of the information in this thread is a bit outdated.

The North got about 70,000 soldiers in total

The Vale about 50,000

The Riverlands 40,000-50,000

The Iron Islands 30,000-40,000

The Westerlands about 45,000

The Crownlands unknown, but low

The Stormlands about 30,000

The Reach about 100,000

Dorne about 30,000

And the percentage of soldiers raised averages about 1% of the total population, with some extremes in the North (probably 0.5%), the Reach (probably 1.5-2%) and the Iron Islands (probably 5-8%).

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12, armies are achieved by the use of a series of complex and inventive mirrors


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