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Hi all,
I'm too nerdy for my own good, so the other day I put together an entirely too complicated spreadsheet to take UN real-world population projections and then apply the effects from the two VITAS plagues and a slightly increased mortality rate to figure out with the population of the 6th world would be in 2070.

I came up with a global metahuman population of 6,392,233,078; about 300 million fewer folks than we've got today. That's with a 1 in 10000 increase in mortality rate.
After figuring that the mortality rate would likely be increased by 1 in 500, I get a slightly smaller number: 6,357,728,821; which doesn't change a whole heck of a lot except for the additional 34.5 million people who died.

Anyway, the reason for this geeky abuse of math was my attempts to figure out what population density would be in the sixth world, particulalary in my home state of Wisconsin. You see, as I see it, the wilderness in the 6th world is an even scarier place than the cities, and so most sane people would have fled the rural areas of the world in favor of the relative safety of the cities. The NAN is the exception to this, obviously, but for metro areas in fairly rural Midwestern states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa and the like, the could expect to see a fairly large influx of refugees from the their rural villages and independent farms. With global populaiton actually down slightly from 2008 levels, the effects of this population compression don't seem that they would have too drastic an effect on cities, particularly when combined with 6th World innovations like Arcologies and other, less drastic, types of corp housing developments.

I think where the major change in city structure will be is in the suburbs and exurbs. I see the exurbs as being ghost-towned; too distant from the city centers except by bullet train. First ring suburbs would tend to be absorbed by the metroplexes - though probably retaining some of their own individuality, while second ring suburbs that survive would likely become armed and gated communities for the ultra-rich.

I'm very interested to see your thoughts on 6th world population trends. Whaddaya think?
Did you also take into account lower birth rates among the industrialized nations? That is a big problem in Europe and Japan (the U.S. birth rate is still about even). Also note for Wisconsin, you would have gotten hit by the refugees from the Souix nation.

Note that Madagascar (vistas I or II), Tazmania, and portions of Amazonia are completely depopulated. As well the lack of a large population in the inland/central part of Australia.

I think the world population has propbably decreased some what more than that. Propbably around 5 billion (India and China were particularly hard hit by Vistas I).
on the other hand people move a lots in america in the six world...

note; this is theorycaly discution they do not represent profond belives,

many people flee the native nations to the C.A.S. and U.C.A.S. ... city would go balisticaly overcrowded simply by the fear of encoutering an awaken rabit or an awaken cow in the wild ... now imagine all the nasty things that lurks in the woods stalking around your defenceless childrens?
- orcs even in urban environnement have a highger birth rate thand any others races, that would turn calculation more difficult to do... a generation of elfs and a generation of troll don't last the same in lengh .
- yes birth rate are down in industrial country... but remember that the more people are literate the less children ... and in the 70's were back on a post literate world... icon use, sms and voice recognition programs are the norme ... people are lazzy so many would'nt botter read anymore. (hey help file are video today or known as tutorial) .. look the simpson the hillbilly's exemple nyahnyah.gif

rich people get longer lifespan and smaller famely. Oh ... and some rich nation (as in Free Quebec) give's money to famely who get's more kids... as a results many poorer do more children to increase their montly incomes. (do more children you get more money ... it's attractive only to the poor)
their's a lot and a lots of poor peoples in the 70's !
Here is another Canadian perspective.

In your estimation that population flees the wild places, you should also take into account that Shadowrun suggests that most non-native people are ejected from the NAN lands. Presumably similar things happen elsewhere in the world. A cursory glance through the NAN volumes 1 and 2 suggests roughly 5% of the population there reains 'pinkskin'. I'm not sure whether that is optimistic or not.

Here in Canada, for example, some 20% to 25% of the population lives in regions taken back by NAN. This is about 6 to 8 million people. Most of that number are non-native and would be resettled in central or eastern Canada. Québec is already nervous about receiving non-French-speaking immigrants, so it probably would not want to take many resettlers. The separation of Québec would similarly cause the exodus of some English-speaking people and maybe even some First Nations people.

Most of those being resettled would be from cities, as the distribution even today is at least 80% of the Canadian population being urban. So they would likely go to urban centres during resettlement. Your suggestion that the rural areas may be too scary may be balanced by the fact that this mass movement of peoples would cause huge stress on the resettlers themselves, and more so on the receiving cities and on the government services trying to pay for it all. Some people may be told, "Too bad. We have a place for you here (rural village X). Take it or leave it."

To whatever degree the placement is controlled by officials or not, many cities in central Canada would grow tremendously. Toronto is already a centre for immigration (which is why the UN labels it the most multicultural city in the world) and would probably be targeted for the lion's share of the urban resettlers. Toronto proper is currently 2.5 million, and the immediate surrounding urbanization, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), expands that to 5 million. Add the contiguous urbanization that spreads east and west along the Great Lakes' shores, and there are about 10 million people within 2 hours drive of downtown of Toronto. By the time of the retaking of land by NAN at the Treaty of Denver in 2018, that's going to be up by some, but let's leave it at that level because even with diseases I don't think it will drop much either. Recent experiences with SARS and influenza have taught Canadian medical authorities a lot about how to deal with plagues.

So there is an urbanization of 10 million that will receive a large chunk of the 6-8 million resettlers. Let's say 5 million, with the other 3 million spreading throughout the rest of Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces. Even if your numbers differ, the physical and emotional problems of rapid growth on this scale would be enormous.

What would happen?

Farmland in central Canada would be paved over. Crime would rise. Hatred for NAN would be endemic. Taxes would rise. People would pull together as in times of war. Standards of living would drop for the majority. A period of at least a decade of hard times would ensue. People would get on with life.

What wouldn't happen? I think the Shadowrun timeline/history is wrong in several key aspects.

Québec would not separate from the rest of Canada, at least in part because a large chunk of the north of Québec would also go to NAN, as that region is predominantly First Nations as it is right now, and therefore would have been included in the Denver negotiations. Plus it has little historical connection to the traditional Francophone lands along the St. Lawrence River. Without the huge income from resources and hydro-electricity, the very practical Québecois would not condemn themselves to poverty-stricken isolation in North America, even in the face of strident calls to rekindle a French nation in North America from the separatist minority.

As it stands now, there is only one province that could survive independence, and that is Ontario. Despite the current economic crisis that is threatening the hugely important auto industry, on which Ontario is dependent, 40% of the industry in Canada is in that province and about 35% of the population, which would burgeon to about 45% after resettlement from NAN. In Canada's current financial organization, the wealthy provinces help out the rest to ensure equality of services to Canadians everywhere. Before the current blip in the economy, Ontario was spending 20 billion dollars a year to help the rest of the country. A good part of that goes to Québec, which the separatist element tends to gloss over. The last depression was terrible. We survived it. We all, Americans and Canadians, will come out of this depression, too. In the Shadowrun timeline, this current depression doesn't happen, but other bad things like it do. I see a similar outcome for central and eastern Canada to the above.

Ontario as well as the remainder of Canada would fiercely resist unification with the United States for reasons too numerous to list here and perhaps too introspective to explain. The Atlantic Provinces would go for unification only if they were abandoned by Ontario and Québec. Québec would go independent only if Ontario bailed out. Ontario, if it bailed out, would go it alone, and probably be one of the biggest success stories of North America in the long run. Now, they may be taken over by invasion, but that's another thread in itself.

In short order the NAN would discover that the urbanized, industrialized centres don't work without people. Lots of people. Where they will find them, I don't know. I suspect that after the euphoria of nation-building would come a hard fall. They too would pull together and survive it, but it would look a lot different from what I see in the books. For one thing, I suspect there would be various levels of highly subsidised immigration and downright poaching of people from other NAN nations. (As was the tradition for centuries before the pinkskins came.) If that didn't help enough, a new appreciation for people of all racial backgrounds would develop, and borders would start to open. By the time of SR4, the 2070's, I think the demographics would be very different from the NAN volumes. Either more diverse, or far less urban/industrialized.

OK, I'll shut up now.

QUOTE (pbangarth @ Dec 19 2008, 09:00 PM) *
In your estimation that population flees the wild places, you should also take into account that Shadowrun suggests that most non-native people are ejected from the NAN lands.

Definition of native was pretty damm shaky when NAN was created, so many just turned "natives" add got on with therir lives.
Depending on how many applied that rule to themselves, then, my numbers could be way off. 'Course they could be anyway. twirl.gif

You also forget that the population has been hit by at least 2 pandemic events that cut swathes of the global population and given the metrics for population growth and the assymetric impact of pandemic illness on birth rates as those areas with poor healthcare often correlates with high birthrates, so stock recovery will be heavily impacted leading to the lower overall figures you see.

Population densities in clustering zones will have risen, I would imagine by a substantial degree although I don't have the fluff figures to hand. With increasing mechanisation further reducing the necessary rural population level, while the improved drones cut down on the number of workers required in manufacturing transport and similar roles leading to an increased concentration of the meta population in skilled crafts, knowledge and service industries as well as an increased level of long term NEETs. The advantages of the sprawl to all these groups are reasonably clear, as well as their general advantages to workers and employers in terms of reducing the costs involved in labour markets and industry level economies of sclae.

Given the use of skillwired worker in the 2070s as exampled in books providing a counter to drones impact in the work place, I'd say that the extent of that shift is limited enough to cause a significant shift in employment trends. A specialised drone will give a comparitive service to a wired human in most repetitive tasks and the soft overides the gain of expertise over time, initiative and ingenuity. You may well keep a few of your maintenece workers or guards with the right softs as it allows one to step in and plug the gap in the line, but to my mind drones offer a number of benefit, not least in terms of lower long term cost, assuming continuing rules on tax deductbility for non-AA+ corps. Not to mention its just cooler IMO nyahnyah.gif.
FYI: I am a civil engineer who spent 7 years consulting for various small utilities (~100,000 people). I saw how badly thing went when the one person who knew it all retired/transferred/quit/died.

One thing that gets ignored when people talk about Vitas and the Crashes is the technological inflection point. The technological inflection point is the point at which a community has sufficient technology that their productivity increases. What tends to get forgotten is that when the technology stops working or can't be maintained, productivity plummets. When that "productivity" is really enabling the basic necessities of life (water, food, heat) or commerce (power, communications) things go very, very wrong when productivity drops.

Note: this has virtually no impact on non-industrialized regions where the populace isn't dependent on a 20th century tech base.

See, when you have a large community (New York City, London, LA, etc) that gets hit by a plague (Vitas) there's a larger than normal death toll due to direct effect, mainly that close proximity results in increased transmission vectors and overwhelm emergency services. However there are fairly few deaths due to secondary losses, meaning there are enough experienced people that if someone vital dies, a replacement can be found even it requires hitting the nursing homes to find retirees.

So small communities tend to suffer disproportionately from secondary losses from Vitas 1 & 2. Their low population densities may insulate them from disease but it also makes them low on the disaster relief priority list. Plus, they have very little redundancy in personnel, either directly (large organizations with multiple experts) or indirectly (retirees or people with needed skills but working in a different field, e.g. I now work in the medical industry doing IT work).

Most rural utilities have fewer than two dozen staff, most of which have various technical skill but only a couple of people who understand the systems in detail. Meaning that when the events that are statistically-rare-but-all-too-probable-in-a-global-catastrophe happen and those three people die of Vitas, the entire region dies; not in a "corpses stacked like cordwood" sense but in the "ghost town" version.

All it takes is one of the "core" utilities dying to kill a community in short order: water, sewage, power, communications. People will put up with a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks without those things but then it turns into New Orleans with a mass exodus.

Even if the population can survive, the industries may not, killing the community slowly but just as certainly. Small businesses rarely have sufficient resources (fiscal, material, or manpower) to survive an extended period of non-productivity. Without the businesses the tax base dries up, property values drop, and small communities that otherwise weathered the catastrophe still die.

Now look at the secondary effects of Crashes. Big cities have major problems because they are so technology based but they also have a deeper pool of assets (building materials, vehicles, equipment, laborers) to enable work-arounds. In a big city when the water treatment plant runs low on chlorine or the gas stations are running low on fuel there may be less effective but still functional alternatives like running trucks on industrial alchohol scavenged from industry or stretching the chlorine supply by mixing it with ammonia to create monochloramine (which often gives water a funny taste but is still safe).

Plus they have the advantage of numbers. Their size automatically makes them a priority for many suppliers. When the groceries are out of food they can send people to the distributors and by dint of being a big city usually get enough to scrape, especially since they probably have, or can commandeer, the necessary vehicle to transport what they need and can do so by force if necessary.

When the town of Hooterville runs out of chlorine, gas, or food they can't force-requisition a dozen semis, fuel trucks, or chemical tankers even if they could convince the distributor to release the needed supplies, especially if Hooterville is a "bedroom community" that doesn't have any high priority products, like food or fuel.

There is a high benefit/cost ratio to targeting major population centers with disaster relief. It's easier to drop a megaton of rice and beans on NYC than it is to sprinkle a thousand 1-ton crates over Wyoming, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. I'm not saying that food wouldn't get to Wyoming, Nebraska and the Dakotas but that it would be taken to the regional centers rather than all the little townships and hamlets.

Sure, after Crash 1 people would have disaster recovery plans but very few small towns have the fiscal resources to actually amass the stockpiles to survive an actual disaster. Even if they do, they don't have enough to survive two, three, or four disasters!

Meaning that most small, non-farming communities in the industrialized nations died between Crash 1.0, Vitas 1 and Vitas 2, let alone Crash 2.0.

I wouldn't be surprised if many large communities in regions that have young or barely maintained infrastructures didn't suffer harshly as well, but they probably recovered as the factories or resources that caused the community to exist were still existent.
Thanks kigmatzomat, you elucidate some of the things to which I only alluded.

Just a side note on Canada: you need to check the timeline before you decide how things would play out. I know little about Canada's internal stresses so I'm merely going to set the stage for you.

2010 Vitas 1 kills 25% of the population. (32M -> 24M) (8M/24M NAN/non-NAN -> 6M/18M)

2018 NAN forms and boots out ~25% population. (6.3M assuming no increase in death rates and double birth rate for a couple years following Vitas) (Hey, the risk of dying tends to bring out all the "species propagation" instincts)

That means the non-NAN lands (19M following baby-boom and assuming no significant losses due to native americans emigrating to NAN) are up to 25M.
That probably isn't too rough even though the infrastructure was only built to handle 24M because roughly 1M people are <8 years old.

Those woes are eased in in 2022 when the post-NAN Canuck population drops back to ~24M following Vitas 2.
QUOTE (kigmatzomat @ Dec 19 2008, 08:09 PM) *
Just a side note on Canada: you need to check the timeline before you decide how things would play out. I know little about Canada's internal stresses so I'm merely going to set the stage for you.

2010 Vitas 1 kills 25% of the population. (32M -> 24M) (8M/24M NAN/non-NAN -> 6M/18M)

From SR4. p.25, under Vitas:
"It spread terrifyingly fast(ed.:from India), striking down approximately 25 percent of the world's population. Those areas worst hit were China, India, many African nations, some Third World cities, and outlying areas due to inadequate or nonexistent medical care and vaccines."

The -average- worldwide is 25%. Canada has the same land area as China but has 1/50th the population density, and has universal health care with experience dealing with viruses from Asia. The death rate here would be way less than the average.

2018 NAN forms and boots out ~25% population. (6.3M assuming no increase in death rates and double birth rate for a couple years following Vitas) (Hey, the risk of dying tends to bring out all the "species propagation" instincts)

From Native American Nations, Volume 1, p.75 or Volume 2, p. 59:
"The (Treaty of Denver) outlined a ten-year population adjustment plan that would relocate all non-Indians off lands belonging to NAN."

The NAN population doesn't nearly approach 75% of the total current population of the affected lands. Currently the First Nations population is about 1.2 million or approaching 4% of the Canadian population. Even with the reservations for corporations and associated non-NAN people it would not add up to 75% of the population staying. So out of a population of 32 million, reduced by, say, 5% (arbitrary figure, to be sure) to approximately 30 million, approximately 29 million would be located in the area that once supported approximately 24 million. In no more than 10 years, and probably less if NAN could work it, a 20% population growth of mostly adults needing housing, work, health care, infrastructure, etc.

That means the non-NAN lands (19M following baby-boom and assuming no significant losses due to native americans emigrating to NAN) are up to 25M.
That probably isn't too rough even though the infrastructure was only built to handle 24M because roughly 1M people are <8 years old.

Those woes are eased in in 2022 when the post-NAN Canuck population drops back to ~24M following Vitas 2.

So these numbers don't follow. And the response to Vitas 2 would be similarly effective for the same reasons, though a population made denser in some areas by immigration would suffer more.

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