An Imperius city with 9 population until the next level, as shown by the blue segments. The white dots indicate that 3 units belong to this city.

The population of each city is used to determine city upgrades and the number of units the city can support. Every city has a set of population bars under its name representing how much population the city needs to upgrade. The amount of population required to upgrade a city is one more than the city's current level, e.g., it takes two population to upgrade a city from level 1 to level 2. How much population a city currently has is represented by the number of filled in (blue) population bars.

The maximum number of units a city can support is equal to the number of population bars it has. Dots in the population bars of a city represent the units supported by that city; if every population bar has a dot in it, no more units can be trained in that city until it is upgraded (which increases the number of population bars it has by one). 

Gaining Population

Population can be gained by harvesting resources, constructing buildings, or forming city connections.

Item Population Provided Cost (stars) Population per Star Technology Required
Harvest fruit 1 2 0.5 Organization
Hunt animal 1 2 0.5 Hunting
Lumber Hut 1 2 0.5 Forestry
Fishing 1 2 0.5 Fishing
Port 2 10 0.2 Sailing
Farm 2 5 0.4 Farming
Mine 2 5 0.4 Mining
Sawmill 1 per adjacent Lumber Hut* 5 varies Mathematics
Windmill 1 per adjacent Farm* 5 varies Construction
Forge 2 per adjacent Mine* 5 varies Smithery
Temple 1 20 0.05 Free Spirit
Water Temple Aquatism
Mountain Temple Meditation
Forest Temple 1 15 0.07 Spiritualism
City connections 1 in both the capital and connected city for every connection 2 per road varies Roads

*In friendly territory
City connections may be formed using Ports or Outposts only if one of those can be placed adjacent to the capital.

It is theoretically possible (barring the technical limitations of the game) for tribes other than ∑∫ỹriȱŋ to produce infinite population using captured Sanctuaries, which attract wild animals that can then be hunted. However, this produces population too slowly to be practically useful.

Losing Population

If a building is destroyed or a city connection is lost, then the population it provides will also be lost.

If enough population is lost, a city could have negative population, shown as red population bars. (This typically occurs to a capital after losing many city connections.) Each negative population decreases the income the city provides by one star (up to the point where the city no longer provides any income), so it is typically in the interest of players to neutralize any negative population as soon as possible. However, negative population does not impact the number of units a city can support.

Ruin Rewards
Battleship, Explorer, Navalon, Population Growth, Stars, Super Unit, Technology
City Upgrades
Workshop, Explorer City Wall, Resources Border Growth, Population Growth Park, Super Unit
Game Mechanics
AI Relationships, City Connections, Combat, Movement, Population, Ruins, Score, Stars, Technology, Terrain, Tribes, Unit Abilities, Unit Skills, Unit Stats
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