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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Census : Randland 996NE


Noah Ruan
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I just find it amazing that Randland has so many people - and no running water. You would think the dark one would have more rats running around with no aqueducts or irrigation system. Only that one town - the one where the Shaido fell to Perrin...cant recall the name had an plumbing system I just dont recall what it was.

 

Actually there is a reference to drains in tEotW, when Rand and Mat are speaking with Basel Gill.  Just because they do not go to every single home in a city or unknown in rural communities does not mean they don't exist, merely that it is uncommon.  Also, it is enough that we have to read about all those dresses, do you really want details on every cities plumbing?

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It seems like Rand-Land is supposed to have occurred in a similar time to the 1300's in our own timeline. World population in the 1300's was around 350 million people. This is even after the Black Plague and the Mongol Invasions.

They're far more advanced then that, a lot of their tech is from the 16-1700s with the notable exception of gunpowder weapons.

The cannon was brought to Europe around about the latter part of the Hundred Years War. 

All phases of technology do not linearly advanced at once. Just because they are lagging in one area, does not negate all the progress they have made in others.

 

Rakers are equivalent to Clipper ships from the turn of the 19th century, the steamcars like the one built in Cairhien weren't built until the middle of the 19th century. The telescopes they have indicate their optics are equivalent to 18th century work. Aludra skips 400 years of development inventing 18th century field artillery right off the bat.

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Yeah, you can't draw a straight analogy between Randland and a point in actual history, because it draws from a ton of different cultures and periods in time. I tend to think of it as early 18th century Europe with strong Asian cultural influences but with a lot of technological growth stunted since the 14th or 15th century.

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Yeah, you can't draw a straight analogy between Randland and a point in actual history, because it draws from a ton of different cultures and periods in time. I tend to think of it as early 18th century Europe with strong Asian cultural influences but with a lot of technological growth stunted since the 14th or 15th century.

Aside from gunpowder weapons, where are they stunted?

 

Architecture, fashion and transport all seem 18th century. The Two Rivers looks like the American colonial frontier and Cairhien looks like a cleaner, healthier, more angular Paris.

Edited by Charlz Guybon
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Jordan stated that Tar Valon has around 500,000 whilst cities like Caemlyn and Tear has more along the lines of 300,000. Beyond that numbers are a bit uncertain.

My previous guess wasn't that bad then. biggrin.gif

 

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We have very little evidence about populations in randland, but we do know more about the aiel. The combined aiel armies including the shaido was nearing 1 million, since the majority were men except the maidens you can probably guess there are more than 2x that many aiel, so at least 2 million aiel in the waste. I would guess though that randland is much denser population even though it is all wilderness. So still expect tens of millions

there.

When you say "tens" I have a hard time picturing more than 20, frankly I don't think its even that. If the above claim about TV and capitals is true, it should be closer to 10 or maybe even less. Look at the number of nations and how few "big" cities there are in addition to the capitals. Most capitals are likely to be smaller than Caemlyn but say 300,000 each and there is 500,000 (TV) + 13*300,000) = 4.4 million (this should be exaggerated enough to include independent regions/cities like Falme, Two Rivers etc). Add Mayene and Far Madding at 300,000 each (doubtfully) and we are at 5 million. If the population in nations outside the capitals match the capitals we are at 8.9 million. If the population outside capitals is twice the capitals we are at 12.8 million.

 

 

I can't in any way vouch for what I just wrote (its way too rough and sloppy) but given the claim i based it on I'm already exaggerating a lot (assuming every capital is the same population as Caemlyn which they are clearly not). In short, I don't think the 500k + 300k claim can support a population above 15 million no matter how you count, in fact it indicates an even lower population.

In a preindustrial society, the ratio of rural to urban is 9 to 1. Just taking the capitals into account you can extrapolate a population near 100 million, that's not even taking into account smaller cities and towns (which would be considered urban areas).

 

 

Exactly.  The numbers do seem more consistent than I'd first assumed.

 

If:

1 - Cities range from 300,000-600,000 with Tar Valon at 700,000

2 - Andor is c. 10,000

3- Those with the capability to channel are 1%

4 - The proportion of 'sparkers' can be calculated from the Seanchan experience; damane operating from 300-600 years dependant on strength; sul'dam for 30-60 years as they don't channel, 3-5 sul'dam per damane, you do get 30:1 to 50:1 for non-sparkers to sparkers.

 

This would imply that, if Caemlyn (as one of the largest cities) had 500,000 population, one in 20 of all Andorians live in the capital city.  That can fit with a ratio of 4:1 to 9:1 for rural to urban (I can't see much over 20% urban being possible without more modern agricultural techniques; 10% urban was more common throughout European history until the Industrial Revolution.  So Andor could have urban-outside-of-Caemlyn population of 500,000 to 1,500,000 in towns and cities across Andor.  That doesn't boggle the mind even slightly.

 

In Andor alone you'd have 100,000 potential channelers living (50,000 male; 50,000 female).  Of these, you'd have c. 1,000 to 1,800 sparkers of each gender.  A touch high, but doable, given that Aes Sedai don't go everywhere (none had been through the Two Rivers looking for talent in generations) and that with Aes Sedai reputations, not many people would actually go out of their way to seek them out.

 

Andor is likely to be the highest population.  Wild-ass guess time:

 

Cairhien c. 5,000,000 (half Andor's; would be higher apart from still recovering from the depredations of the Aiel War)

Tear: c. 3,000,000 to 5,000,000.  Only one big city, so if that's on the 300,000 to 500,000 scale, about a tenth of all Tairens live in the capital, which would look about right.

Illian: c. 3,000,000 to 5,000,000.  Similar to Tear.

Altara, Amadicia, Ghealdan, Murandy probably add up to about one to 1.5 Andors in total.  So 10,000,000 to 15,000,000 in total.

I'd Put Arad Doman at Tairen levels as well, so a total of 3,000,000 to 5,000,000

The Borderlands totalling about one Andor in total - quite spread out and well-governed, but suffering from the depredations of the Blight.  Another 10,000,000

Mayene plus Almoth Plain, plus the Plains of Maredo plus the Black Hills plus the Haddon Mirk plus other areas - in total maybe another 2,000,000-3,000,000  (sheer guess - Almoth plain looks reasonably populated for an abandoned kingdom, Far Madding and surrounding areas ditto.

Tar Valon plus surrounding supporting areas, at least 3,500,000 (4:1 ratio of rural to urban).  Up to 5,000,000

 

Total of 50 million to 65 million in the Westlands.  These are fairly loose estimates and I'd think that these numbers could be seen as "1 standard deviation" figures around a mean of 57 million.  So - fairly loosely, a figure of 40-75 million is likely in my opinion for the Westlands.

 

Really soft figures of similar numbers for Seanchan and Shara would put world population at 120-225 million plus the Lands of the Madmen.  So somewhere between an eighth and a quarter of a billion humans worldwide.

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We also really only have one sure reference that I can remember; the scene where Logain is talking with the Sea Folk and they get the news about the Amayar all dying.  In that scene, Logain tells the Sea Folk that Rand requires them to send their fastest ships to help transport food "for about a million people".  The Sea Folk are able to do this but it would take nearly every ship they have so we can sort of surmise that the Sea Folk, at least, have a smaller population but large enough that if they HAD to, they could handle 1,000,000 people...though it would probably take all of their resources.

 

I think Logain was talking about Tear or Illian?  So we definitely have populations in the millions.

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Population of this world is very small

 

Yep.

 

The debate has been interesting. Reading the various theories about low numbers versus high numbers.

However, I think there is a flaw in both arguments.

RJ was not constructing a world where everything met strict rules of life. Rather a land with enough realism that it was believable enough. His real aim was to tell a story that required huge armies. Lots of trollocs. Invading armies and settlers. And who knows what else.

His army situation is unsustainable in real terms, particularly during the long winter. The borderland armies could never have enough food without travelling all over randland - certainly not enough in local areas where little distance could be covered due to snowy conditions.

The Ail certainly couldn't sustain themselves in the three fold land when you consider it's desert make up.

All these are to provide a back drop that seems believable as in a film (movie)

My impression is that RJ wants the land to feel empty with a relatively small population but needs to have all this support for the armies as a necessary evil.

 

We don't need to go that far, I mean Rand/Perrin has to eat massive amount food in every day (my weight is similar to theirs), but they eat a little bread and they are not hungry anymore. 

 

 

As for the rest of the continent, vast swathes of it seem to be very nearly unpopulated. I just don't buy the hundreds of millions idea. Ireland had 8 million at the onset of the famine, but the only unpopulated bits were the un-farmable bits. Everywhere else was stuffed, and families were large enough.

From what we've seen so far, even in a backwater like Emond's Field, large families are not the norm - I think there were 4-5 children in Perrin's? - , and in Min's viewing about Elayne getting pregnant she mentions a herb Elayne could've taken as a contraceptive - from the way she said it, it was neither obscure nor difficult to procure. (Yay me, it's 2.32 am and I'm rhyming)

Then the Borderlanders are forever losing young men to Trollocs and the like, the Illianers and Tairens like nothing better than lopping each others heads off, the Domani and the Taraboners are as bad. The Mayeners seem to have all they can manage not being pushed into the sea by Tear.

I certainly wouldn't like to put a number on population - let's not forget the Tinkers, although it seems to be just Raen's band riding around in circles - but i ust don't see hundreds of millions.

 

Sorry if this is just a big pile of babble. *yawn*

 

 

Not at all, this is very well written post.

 

There are also vast areas of unsettled land that has not been in use for centuries, and borders of many nations have receded in recent years.

 

Yep.

 

I think that everyone is failing to realize just how sparsely populated Randland is. The only thing between Altara and Kandor is Andor.

 

Yep.

 

Another point on militarization is the difference between men fit for military service and actual standing forces.

 

Very good point.

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RJ, might get his numbers a bit skewed at times but no where as bad as Goodkind, where an army can lose a million men and it makes no difference. 

As he didn't put population numbers in the Big White Book, my guess is he intentionally keep the population vague to not paint himself in a corner later.  If you hardset a number then you are stuck with it, so say in later books he discovered that number was too low, then he is stuck.  So easier to simply not put a number down.  But I do question his numbers at times especially to the seanchen and the amount of men they can suddenly field (sure many are locals) but they equip and put out multiple armies of over 100,000.  In the last book their army is made out to be pretty huge.

 

Some examples Shaido had about 160,000 (shaido + defectors) when they attacked Cairhien.

7 clans with Rand doubled that so 320,000, leaving enough to defend their people in the waste

4 clans that were undecided had 160,000, leaving enough to defend thier holds in the waste.

That's 640,000, so considering just the Aiel there has to be over a million when you account for warriors, children, wise ones, and non warriors.

 

Rand land is sparsely populated and surely the population isn't in hundred of millions.  I'm not sure the size of Randland in comparison to say the US, but the US has a population of about 320.000.000 yet still has huge parts where you will see no one.  So its possible to have a lot of people and still have a lot of empty space.  Just means the people are living closer together.  Especially at that time as living out in the middle of nowhere can be dangerous. 

 

Worldwide there has to at least be at least a hundred million. When you take into account Randland, aiel, tinkers, Whitecloaks, Seanchean (probably a rather large population), Shara, Ogier, Isle of Madmen (though guess that population is pretty small), and the sea folk (probably a smaller population). 

Edited by Sabio
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As he didn't put population numbers in the Big White Book, my guess is he intentionally keep the population vague to not paint himself in a corner later.  If you hardset a number then you are stuck with it, so say in later books that numbers is too low then you are stuck.  So easier to simply not put a number down. 

 

I never thought of that, thanks! And he disowned BWB, so the 'guide' is just a idontknowwhatitis but not a  guide.

 

 

  In the last book their army is made out to be pretty huge.

 

You mean amol, not KOD, right? There was a huge thread about sanderson's totally false and bad numbers.

 

 

  I'm not sure the size of Randland in comparison to say the US

 

 

The Atha'an Miere disliked being very long away from salt water, and the nearest sea to Tar Valon lay four hundred leagues to the south.

 

Which number is obviously wrong.

 

 

Worldwide there has to at least be at least a hundred million. When you take into account Randland, aiel, tinkers, Whitecloaks, Seanchean (probably a rather large population), Shara, Ogier, Isle of Madmen (though guess that population is pretty small), and the sea folk (probably a smaller population). 

 

Agree.

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