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Mnemosyne - a picture of Solar System in the 27th century
So - since we're discussing this...

The population numbers given in the summary have been bothering me.

It is stated that as of 'now' (call it 2650 AD) the Kuiper Hegemony has a population of 30 billion with another 60 billion living in 'client polities' (not sure what that means in this context).

It is further stated that the KH started from a group of refugees fleeing Earth as a result of an interplanetary war that depopulated Earth. The war is stated to have started in 2601.

It is not currently stated how many people were in the group of initial refugees.

I had stated that the population numbers for this setting seemed high and also asked about the use of birth control since at least in RL more advanced nations tend to have greater use of birth control to allow people to control when they have children. Some nations such as China go further than leaving it to individual choice, but they may be considered an exception rather than the rule. Some European countries are experiencing negative population growth and the US is heading in that direction IIRC. A few decades ago population growth was higher (peaking at 2% in the 60s), but is now declining to the point where this page at least predicts it will take another 200 years for population to double again.

While it is certainly possible that something could happen to make people start breeding faster again, it does not seem sufficient to just say that 'people have kids' and 'population grew fast in the past' as a viable answer to 'why is the population this high?'.

Getting back to the solar system population numbers:

Playing around with this population calculator (which may not be the last word on the subject of course. We'd need to locate and use multiple calculators to determine if they all come to the same answers or how much difference there is), I get the following:

If the Kuiper Hegemony was founded in 2601 (not a given, the war presumably took time and transit to the Kuiper Belt presumably took time, but let's run with it), and it is 'now' 2651 or so, then they've been around for 50 years.

If they started out with 6 billion people (which seems like an extraordinary number of desperate refugees to lift out of Earth's gravity well and fly across the radius of the entire solar system in the aftermath of an apparently devastating war that might have still been ongoing while escape was being attempted) and a 1.2% growth rate they only have 10.8 billion people by 2651. To get to a core population of ~30 billion (I'm ignoring the client states for now since it's not clear where that population came from) they need a growth rate around 3.3% - higher than humans have ever managed before.

If we reduce the starting population or include the wider client state population, then the growth rate has to increase accordingly. At some point we presumably also hit the limits of natural human reproduction (pregnancy takes time, recovery from pregnancy takes time, children growing to breeding age takes time, etc.).

If we include the overall system population (which seems to be around 120 billion in round numbers so far), then the rate of population growth may also need to hit very high levels, although without knowing the starting population at the time of the war this is harder to figure. Emigration from Earth would presumably also be a factor prior to the war and possibly right after, although as currently written it seems that all the refugees from Earth went to the Kuiper Hegemony.

Taking a moment to consider the solar system as a whole - It is stated in the timeline that off-Earth population was 1 million people as of 2153.

Starting from that number and ignoring emigration from Earth we are looking at 498 years for population to grow.

At a growth rate of 1.2% we end up with 380 million people.

To get to approx the population number stated for the solar system we need growth rate of somewhere between 2.37 and 2.28%. Still higher than anything humans have managed historically. Of course, we may presume that prior to the war the space based population was not only growing internally, but was receiving some number of immigrants from Earth, which could increase both the overall population and the population of breeding age at a considerable rate, probably much higher than what straightforward reproduction could manage. Whether that influx would be sufficient to justify the above population growth rate is currently unclear.

Looping back to the KH - it looks like they would either need an extraordinary starting population and the ability to support the start of extraordinary population growth almost from day one or that they more recently began engaging in a dedicated program of even more extraordinary population growth using advanced technology (artificial wombs perhaps?). Such a thing would certainly be notable and would seem to deserve being included in the information about them.

Note also that as described so far (and bearing in mind that much of the solar system has not yet been described), the KH and its 'client states' have a population greater than the entire rest of the solar system combined.

There is also the question of who or what the client states are, where they are located, and where their population is coming from since they are double the core population of the KH.

Some things to think about,


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RE: Mnemosyne - a picture of Solar System in the 27th century - by Drashner1 - 05-19-2020, 02:04 AM

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