Population of Federation and humans in it

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Population of Federation and humans in it

Post by Picard578 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:23 am

I've been looking over at Ex Astris Scientia:
http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/incon ... federation

And it mentions:
Still, with "only" several billion humans (Earth plus colonies) among a trillion, it remains a problem why humans are that dominant in the Federation. Maybe it is just that humans like to travel and to explore that they are seen everywhere.
The question is, how many humans could there, conceivably, be? When I did calculations for my setting, I used following calculator:

Now, lifespans etc. were different, since I made up a new species (space vampires, essentially), but point is that population ended with 100 billion within 247 years, and 200 billion in 300 years. I used starting point 6 billion, which Earth had in 1999. Between 1999 and 2349 is 350 years. So assuming 2.5 fertility rate, 30 years first birth, and 120 years human age, there should be some 63 billion humans in the Federation, out of cca 1 trillion - so 6,3%. Fertility rate of 3,0 and 25 years first birth age would push this up to 571 billion, which is a lot. 30 years first birth age would give some 313 billion. All and all, it is not impossible - if still rather unlikely - for humans to be dominant species in Federation. Or else 900 billion casualties referred to in DS9 is a small percentage of populace - assuming 150 species with similar populace, total populace of Federation could be anywhere between 9,45 and 85,65 trillion. Of course, 900 billion math is obvious: 150 member worlds * 6 billion = 900 billion, so think tank was seemingly implying that it would take complete extermination of each species homeworld - but little else - for Federation as a whole to surrender; but this tells little about total population of UFP. Now in World War II Soviet Union - while victorious - took 14,2% casualties. This would seem to suggest maybe 6,34 trillion people in Federation. Using Japan for an upper limit - seeing how it surrendered after "only" two major cities were nuked - it suffered 1,8% of casualties. This in turn would suggest an upper limit of 50 trillion people in Federation.

All and all, numbers are all over the place.

But then again, if we assume that humanity kept following current "progressive" policies, it ought to have gone extinct by 24th century, so YMMV.

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Re: Population of Federation and humans in it

Post by 2046 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:47 pm

Figuring out potential human birth rates is a tough problem. On the one hand we have Frontier America and exceptionally large families, whereas on the other hand we have modern America with a much lower birth-rate. The same is true in other developed countries, such as in European examples, or Japan.

Another aspect is the likely emergence of easy, 100% effective, long-term birth control.

In the Star Trek example, there is also a bit of bottleneck in regards to assorted Wars, such as World War 3. Even ignoring direct casualties, the Post-Atomic Horror did not seem a child-friendly environment, and we have indications from Enterprise that Colonel Green's reputation comes from killing mutants and others with genetic damage after the nuclear exchanges.

If I were to merely draw a line of guesstimated human birthrates and population, it would reach a low point circa now-ish in the Trek history, start climbing after First Contact, steady out some through Enterprise until we start getting some meaningful colonies going, and then the 23rd Century would see a solid rise (with dips for certain unfortunate events like Deneva).

By the 24th Century, you have two competing influences. On the one hand, post-scarcity economics means that, unlike today, it's not expensive to breed. (In modern America a large family is insanely expensive, done properly.) One would expect that many families would opt to have many children if they could.

On the other hand, cultural viewpoints about shared responsibility and bettering humanity, plus birth control availability, might keep birthrates relatively lower than the hedonistic predilections and large family desires might otherwise suggest. If anything, it's possible the colonial period of the 23rd Century represented a zenith of birthrates, with the 24th merely showing continued progression.

As far as on-screen evidence, it doesn't seem, off the top of my head, that any of the characters come from unusually large families by modern standards. The captains that have siblings only have one or two, and there are many only-child characters. Considering the common view that Starfleet types are more traditional than others, this would seem to go against high rates.

That said, I don't recall many Earthmen from colony worlds showing up, either. That's odd enough by itself.

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