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This article is considered accurate for the current version (2.5) of the game.
Demographics in a multispecies empire

Population, also known as Population units or Pop.png Pop, is the center of productivity and political action within the empire. They provide resources by working on districts and buildings, and Influence.png influence if they are part of a specific faction.


Each planet has four variables that determine its demographical direction. A planet can have only one growing Pop, one declining Pop and one assembling Pop at any time.

Pop Growth represents the increase in population from natural reproduction and immigration. A new pop appears after 100 Growth Points have been accumulated. The default rate is +3 Monthly Pop Growth Points, which it modified by many factors. Any species existing on the planet or which has immigration access to the planet may be selected to grow there. When choosing a species to grow, planets will generally prioritize species that are under-represented on the planet and have citizenship equal to that of the already existing species. Habitability is a major factor in Pop growth. Pops with very low habitability for a planet will only slowly reproduce or migrate to it or may not at all. Species can be chosen manually for Growth if the Population Controls Policy is set to Allowed.

Pop Decline represents the decrease of certain Species on the planet due to purging or severe overcrowding. A pop will disappear after 100 Decline Points have been accumulated. By default, decline rate is -5 Monthly Pop Decline Points. Overcrowded planets that have over-represented species will have those species begin to decline in numbers and be replaced by newly growing, under-represented species that have equal citizenship. By default, declining species will lose 1 pop every 20 months. Purging a particular species will cause that species to decline more rapidly depending on the purge species right.

Pop Assembly represents a planet's capacity for constructing Trait mechanical.png Mechanical or Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Pops. Job roboticist.png Roboticist Jobs add +2 Monthly Pop Assembly Points and Job replicator.png Replicator Jobs add +1 Monthly Pop Assembly Points. Once 100 Assembly Points are reached a new robot pop is created on the planet. Non-sentient robotic pops do not migrate but can create overcrowding and unemployment. The constructed template is the one with the highest number of used trait points but can always be changed manually.


Migration is calculated by subtracting Emigration Push from Immigration Pull, both of which are determined by factors such as housing, stability and unemployment. A planet with more emigration than immigration will have their growth lowered and the amount lowered will be added to potential immigration targets. Planets with higher immigration pull will receive a greater share of this migration, which is converted directly into pop growth. Signing migration treaties will allow migration to and from other empires and accepting refugees will also create immigration from planets outside the empire borders. When a new planet is colonized existing worlds will get +50 Emigration Push while the new colony will get +100 Immigration Pull.

Growth weight[edit]

The exact mechanics by which a new Pop is selected for growing/assembly is not fully known. However a bunch of values could be extracted from the defines file.

Name Value Description
OVERCROWDING_NO_GROWTH_THRESHOLD 1.5 At this pop/housing ratio, pops start declining
OVERCROWDING_DECLINE_THRESHOLD 2.0 At this pop/housing ratio, growth stops entirely
NEW_POP_SPECIES_RANDOMNESS 1.0 The higher this is, the more random species selection of new pops will be
NEW_POP_SAME_SPECIES_WEIGHT 1.0 The higher this is, the more new pops will be weighted by number of same or subspecies pops
NEW_POP_EXACT_SPECIES_WEIGHT 0.5 The higher this is, the more new pops will be weighted by number of exact same species pops
NEW_POP_SLAVERY_WEIGHT 0.5 The higher this is, the more new pops will tend to be balanced between enslaved and non-enslaved species
NEW_POP_SPECIES_DIV 0.5 The higher this is, the more planets will tend to grow species that are underrepresented on the planet
NEW_POP_HABITABILITY_THRESHOLD 0.6 If habitability is under this, apply exponentially increasing penalties to new pop weight
NEW_POP_HOMEWORLD_MULT 2 Pops have increased weight for growing on their homeworld
NEW_POP_GROWTH_MOD_MULT 0.66 How much does species growth trait matter for new pop weight
NEW_POP_IMMIGRATION_MOD_MULT 1 How much does species immigration growth trait matter for new pop weight (when there is immigration)
POP_DECLINE_THRESHOLD 3.0 A species will decline when there is another species with a growth priority this many times higher


If your policies allow, Resettlement will instantly move a pop from one planet to another. This costs an amount of energy, modified by the pop's stratum. Resettlement cost can be reduced by the following:

Source Cost
Tradition adaptability appropriation.png Appropriation tradition -33%
Tradition versatility operational proxies.png Operational Proxies tradition -33%
Civic corvee system.png Corvee System civic -25%
Trait primitive.png Starborn trait -25%
Nomadic.png Nomadic trait -25%
Sedentary.png Sedentary trait +25%


Each pop in an empire has a base Mod pop happiness.png happiness rating. It ranges from 0% to 100% and has a base level of 50%, and together with the Stratum's Mod pop political power.png political power determines the Approval Rating, in addition to the following effects:

  • Each point of Happiness above 50 adds +1% Mod pop government ethic attraction.png Governing Ethics Attraction to free pops and +2% Authoritarian.png Authoritarian Ethics Attraction to slaves.
  • Each point of Happiness below 50 adds −1% Mod pop government ethic attraction.png Governing Ethics Attraction to free pops and +10% Egalitarian.png Egalitarian Ethics Attraction to slaves.
  • Each point of Happiness above 50 gives each pop −0.02 Job criminal.png Crime, up to 0 per pop at 100% Happiness
  • Each point of Happiness below 50 gives each pop +0.02 Job criminal.png Crime, up to +2 per pop at 0% Happiness

Fortunately, there are also many ways to improve happiness in an empire. Planetary edicts, civics, traditions, buildings, planet modifiers and ruler traits can positively affect happiness. Events may have an impact on planetary or empire happiness for a limited time as well.

Approval Rating[edit]

Pop Approval Rating is a measure of the population's support towards the empire. It is determined by the average Mod pop happiness.png Happiness of each Stratum, weighted by Mod pop political power.png Political Power.

Approval Rating ranges from 0% to 100% and has a base level of 50%.

  • Each point of Approval Rating above 50% adds +0.6 Stability.png Stability, up to +30 at 100% Approval Rating.
  • Each point of Approval Rating below 50% adds −1 Stability.png Stability, up to −50 at 0% Approval Rating.


Most organic pops consume Food.png 1 Food per month. Lithoid pops consume Minerals.png 1 Mineral per month. Robots instead consume Energy Credits.png 1 Energy per month. In addition, biological pops that are not part of a Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empire require a certain amount of Consumer goods.png consumer goods based on their living standards. Synthetics that are given Citizen rights require it as well.


Housing represent the living space available for pops to live comfortably. Housing is primarily provided by districts, with City districts giving more housing than their resource-focused alternatives. Each pop requires 1 unit of housing by default but the housing demands of individual pops can change due to a variety of factors. If the number of pops exceeds the amount of housing it will cause Stability.png stability to drop by and a flat +50 planet emigration push.

As a rule of thumb, each resource district exactly pays for itself in terms of housing, while the pops that work building jobs need city districts (or housing buildings) for their housing, though the capital building provides some buffer before cities are needed. This applies equally to ecumenopolises. The Civic agrarian idyll.png Agrarian Idyll civic gives extra housing to resource districts, allowing the empire to house its pops working building jobs mostly via resource districts.


Amenities represent the infrastructure and jobs dedicated to fulfilling the needs of the population. Individualist empires obtain amenities from a variety of jobs while Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires obtain them primarily from Job maintenance drone.png Maintenance Drone jobs. High amenities cause increased Mod pop happiness.png happiness to biological pops and increased stability in Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness empires, while insufficient amenities will lower them.

The formula for extra amenities contributing Mod pop happiness.png happiness is . In other words, it scales from +0% with 0 extra amenities, to +20% with twice as many amenities as necessary.

Total amenities consumed for most organics is population + 5, so if a planet has 27 pops and 13 extra amenities, this produces or Mod pop happiness.png +8% happiness.

All pops get Mod pop happiness.png −2% happiness for each amenity a planet is lacking.


Strata represent pops' social classes. The higher a pop's stratum, the more political power they have and the more Consumer goods.png consumer goods and housing they use.

If a pop takes a job above its stratum it will be promoted to the higher stratum. If there are no available jobs of equal or higher Stratum the pop will become unemployed, slowly demoting in stratum and causing Mod pop happiness.png happiness penalties at most levels of living standards.

Stratum Hierarchy position Requirements Description
Pop cat ruler.png Ruler 1 Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness The heads of leadership and administration on a planet are vital to its management, uneasy though they may rest.
Specialist Specialist 2 Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness These are the workers who provide advanced goods and services in highly-specialized fields.
Pop cat worker.png Worker 3 Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness These general laborers form the backbone of industrial and agricultural production, manufacturing and basic services.
Pop cat complex drone.png Complex Drone 1 Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness These drones perform complex tasks that require a high degree of specialization.
Pop cat simple drone.png Menial Drone 2 Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness These drones are tasked with basic industrial production and the provision of general services.
Job bio trophy.png Bio-Trophy 1 Biological species in a Civic machine servitor.png Rogue Servitor empire Sheltered from harm, suffering, and even their own self-destructive tendencies, Bio-Trophies want nothing; their every need tended to and provided by a team of tireless servitors.
Job criminal.png Criminal 0 High Job criminal.png Crime Career criminals living beyond the reach of the law.
Job criminal.png Deviant Drone 0 High Job criminal.png Deviancy in Auth hive mind.png Hive Mind empires Deviants who have rejected the will of the Hive Mind.
Job criminal.png Corrupt Drone 0 High Job criminal.png Deviancy in Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence empires Corrupted drone units operating outside the parameters set by the core intelligence.
Job purge.png Undesirable 0 Undesirables citizenship Those that have no place in society will be removed from it. Permanently.
Pop cat assimilation.png Assimilation 0 Assimilation citizenship These pops are being modified to better suit our society.
Job bio trophy.png Pre-sapient 0 Pre-sapients Simple beasts to an extent, and yet their behavior betrays some degree of intelligence...
Job fe hedonist.png Precursor 1 Fallen Empire The dominant species in an ancient Fallen Empire, these precursors live among technological marvels that the younger races can only dream of.
Job fe xeno ward.png Primitive 2 Alien pops on The Preserve Endangered primitive species that are kept preserved in a perfect replica of their natural environment.


Xenophobe.pngFanatic Xenophobe.png Xenophobe and Authoritarian.pngFanatic Authoritarian.png Authoritarian empires can gift organic alien species with the Slavery citizenship; its effect is dependent on the type of Slavery you choose to employ.

Authoritarian.png Authoritarian empires have access to the Civic slaver guilds.png Slaver Guilds or Civic indentured assets.png Indentured Assets civics, which will enslave up to 40% of pops on every planet regardless of citizenship if there are not enough alien pops with Slavery citizenship to fill the quota.

Robots are automatically enslaved if the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology is researched and Artificial Intelligence Policy is set to Servitude. In Synthetic Dawn.png Synthetic Dawn this may cause an AI rebellion.

Enslaved pops also use only Amenities.png 0.75 amenities and Housing.png 0.75 housing instead of 1, and can be further reduced if the Slavery Type is Servitude or Livestock. They also get -50% Mod pop resettlement cost mult.png Resettlement Cost. Enslaved pops cannot join Factions and have only 25% Mod pop political power.png Political Power, or 18.7% if a Slave Processing Facility is present on the planet. However they can still increase Job criminal.png Crime if they're too unhappy.

Low Stability.png Stability is more dangerous when enslaved pops are present on a planet. Normally dangerous events can only occur if it's lower than 25 but if any pop is enslaved it must be kept above 40.

Slave Output can be affected by the following:

Source Slave Output
Civic slaver guilds.png Slaver Guilds civic +10%
Civic indentured assets.png Indentured Assets civic +10%
Leader trait iron fist.png Iron Fist governor trait +10%
Agenda Slave Optimization agenda +10%
Tradition domination vassal acculturation.png Workplace Motivators tradition +5%
Building Slave Processing Facility building +5%
PM Slave Riots.png Slave Riots planet modifier -100%

Ethics attraction modifiers[edit]

Ethics divergence is where a pop or group of pops decide to follow a different ethic than the general population. A materialist pop may decide to follow a more spiritual path and a pacifist culture might decide that peace is the path of the weak.

Each pop in an empire will only embrace a single, non-fanatic ethic. At the start of the game, the population will be made of the empire's governing ethics. As population expands and eventually is divided over various planets and sectors, certain segments may decide to adopt values that are different from the core values of the species due to various circumstances in and around the empire.

Each ethic has a certain attraction value attached for all pops, depending on both the empire's situation and their own. Each Pop can only switch ethics once per year. The exact values and options that influence the attraction levels of certain ethics can be found at ethics attraction. The attraction factors of ethics can be amplified by certain actions such as enacting policies or having traits.

Having a positive ethics attraction effect will let all actions that increase attraction to the government ethics result in even more attraction, and negative amounts will be decreased. With a modifier of 50%, an action that would increase attraction by 2 would instead increase by 3.

Hovering over a Pop's ethic will display the attraction towards all ethics.


Sentient Robot

Robots are artificial pops and can be constructed once the required technology becomes available. They have the Trait mechanical.png Mechanical trait, giving them Mod habitability.png +200% habitability on any planet. Robots can be given new traits via robo-modding and the template with the highest number of used trait points will be built by default. A different template can be specified for each planet.

The jobs a robot can have are limited by the highest robot technology researched. If an empire researches the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology, robots can be given sentience, which lets them be affected by Mod pop happiness.png happiness and have ethics.

Tech level Maximum stratum Can colonize Sentient
Tech robotic workers.png Robotic Workers Pop cat worker.png Worker (except Job technician.png Technician and Job clerk.png Clerk) No.png No.png
Tech droid workers.png Droids
  • Specialist Specialist (except Job researcher.png Researcher and Job culture worker.png Culture Worker) if AI policy is set to Servitude
  • Pop cat worker.png Worker if AI policy is set to Outlawed
Yes.png No.png
Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics
  • Pop cat ruler.png Ruler if AI policy is set to Citizen Rights
  • Specialist Specialist if AI policy is set to Servitude
  • Pop cat worker.png Worker if AI policy is set to Outlawed
Yes.png No.png if AI policy is set to Outlawed

Yes.png if AI policy is set to Servitude or Citizen Rights

Robots without Citizen Rights require 50% less Housing.png housing and Amenities.png amenities and do not need Consumer goods.png consumer goods. If a planet with sentient robots is captured by an empire that doesn't have the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology, they lose their sentience, and if a planet with non-sentient robots is captured by an empire that has the Tech synthetic workers.png Synthetics technology and does not have the Outlawed Artificial Intelligence policy, they are immediately given sentience. Spiritualist.pngFanatic Spiritualist.png Spiritualist empires cannot give them citizen rights.

As long as an empire with the Tech sentient ai.png Positronic AI technology has the Artificial Intelligence policy set to Servitude, there is a risk of them starting the AI rebellion event chain. See AI rebellion for details.


Purges represent the systematic elimination of specific pops or entire species from an empire and can be done on a per pop or species basis.

Targeted pop purging still requires applying the species-wide slavery at minimum and it is limited to a basic extermination, although without production penalty. Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness can purge their pops of any composition freely, with exception of Bio-Trophies.

Species-wide purging is done by setting the species' citizenship to Undesirables. Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness pops in empires of different authority are automatically set as Undesirables too. Therefore gaining planets from a Auth hive mind.png Hive Mind empire means that the planet will be lost when it is empty of pop if there is not at least 1 Pop of the conquering empire's species on it. There are also four special cases:

  • Pre-Sapients can only be purged if the Pre-Sapients policy is not set to Protected and are automatically purged if set to Extermination.
  • Robots are automatically purged if the Robotic Workers policy is set to Outlawed.
  • Synthetics can only be purged if the Artificial Intelligence policy is not set to Citizen Rights.
  • Empires with the Evolutionary Mastery ascension perk can change the citizenship of hive mind pops to Assimilation, which prevents them from being purged.

Having any pops marked as undesirable is a negative issue for Xenophile factions. Depending on the purge type, a timer will be started for all pops (see Purge time below). When the time runs out, the purge is completed: all remaining pops of that species will be removed from the empire's planets. Unless the purge type is Neutering or the pop was pre-sentient, robotic or a Gestalt Consciousness, an Diplomacy opinion.png opinion penalty will be applied to all other regular empires based on the number of pops purged, depending on various modifiers. If the empire has the same primary species as the purged pops, the penalty is always −25 per purged pop. These stack up to −1000, making genocide a dangerous approach.

There are multiple types of purges available, determined by the Purge Type species right.

Type Pop Monthly Decline Speed Happiness Requirements Description DLC
Displacement -10 −30%
  • Not Civic fanatic purifiers.pngCivic devouring swarm.pngCivic machine terminator.png Genocidal
  • Not available to Civic machine assimilator.png Driven Assimilator if the species has the Trait cybernetic.png Cybernetic trait
  • Not available to Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence if the species has the Auth machine intelligence.png Machine or Trait mechanical.png Mechanical traits
Affected Pops are expelled from the empire over time, left to find refuge outside our borders.

It's not that we drive them from their homes. Their homes are simply no longer theirs.

Extermination -35 −1000% Not Civic devouring swarm.png Devouring Swarm Affected Pops are systematically eradicated. This is the fastest form of Purging available.

The extermination squads are efficient. The dissolution of entire populations naturally takes time, but they get the job done.

Neutering -5 −20%
  • Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness
Affected Pops no longer grow and will die out over time, but gain only a moderate Mod pop happiness.png happiness penalty.

Think of it as a phasing-out of a people. Our nation goes to meet the future, only some will not be with us.

Forced Labor -15 −1000% Not Gestalt consciousness.png Gestalt Consciousness Affected pops are worked to death and can be used to produce Food.png food or Minerals.png minerals until their eventual demise.

With this final sacrifice, they will at least have been of some use.

Processing -20 −1000%
  • Not Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence
Affected pops are processed into nutrient-rich food sources, boosting Food.png food availability until death.

It is a sad but inescapable fact that some are destined to simply fuel the ambitions of their betters.

Chemical Processing -20 −1000% Auth machine intelligence.png Machine Intelligence Affected pops' physiologies are prepared for integration with the energy grid, where the chemical processes that sustain them are redirected to enrich our energy stores. The process is fatal, but death comes slowly.

They will soon attain a more efficient form.

Synthetic Dawn.png


Human Refugees

Pops from other empires may flee to escape purges, slavery, resettlement, crisis bombardment or as a result of land appropriation. Whether another empire is willing to accept those fleeing depends on its Refugees Policy. Refugees will not head for empires where they have the Undesirables Citizenship. Accepted refugee pops will get +20 Mod pop happiness.png Happiness for 10 years.

Once Refugees are generated they will head for any empire that will accept them with their Refugees Policy following the following order:

  1. Mod habitability.png Habitability at least 70% and Housing.png Housing at least 1
  2. Mod habitability.png Habitability at least 70%
  3. Mod habitability.png Habitability at least 50% and Housing.png Housing at least 1
  4. Mod habitability.png Habitability at least 50%
  5. Mod habitability.png Habitability at least 20% and Housing.png Housing at least 1
  6. Mod habitability.png Habitability at least 20%
  7. Housing.png Housing at least 1
  8. Any other planet

Pops with the Hive-minded.png Hive-Minded or Nerve Stapled.png Nerve Stapled traits cannot become refugees.


Game concepts