I'm guessing the war with the machines initially cost a lot of lives, but whilst in the Matrix there is very little reason to die.

How many people are still feeding into the Matrix at the beginning of the film?

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    If I remember clearly, someone in The Matrix Reloaded says that the Matrix is about 10 times as big as New York City. Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 21:23

2 Answers 2


This is specifically answered in an earlier version of the Matrix Reloaded script; The Matrix has 6.5 Billion human occupants.

Neo : I can. But if I destroy the Matrix, everyone within it will die.

SMITH snorts.

SMITH : I take it the great Morpheus failed to mention this?

NEO looks up at him, but his expression doesn’t change.

NEO : How many people are in it?

SMITH holsters his weapon. He speaks matter-of-factly.

SMITH : Six and a half billion.

There are a couple of canon quotes from the films that back this up.

First we have Smith's quote from the original Matrix film;

Agent Smith: Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at its beauty, its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious.

Note, that he uses the plural so evidently there are more than one billion.

The Architect indicates that some 1% of the total population of the Matrix subconsciously reject the program. Zion's population (of 250,000) seems to be comprised of those people who most violently oppose the programming of the Matrix (perhaps 1:10000?) which again potentially reflects a population into the billions.

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    Between Zion being half pure borne, and only young people being pulled out of the matrix as a matter of resistance policy, those numbers make no sense.
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 18:12
  • @cde - Do we know what proportion of Zionese are pure-borne?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 19:01
  • From the various scenes, and tank and dozer age, a significant enough amount. But mainly remember that agents actively track people who might break out, and even neo was considered too old to normally break out.
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 19:04
  • @cde - Hmm. Possibly worthy of its own question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 19:24
  • I've always wondered. To the point of one by one counting whenever it shows the towers. No joke I'm guessing it's at least 1 Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 23:07

In The Matrix Agent Smith says to Morpheus:

Have you ever stood and stared at it? Marveled at its beauty, its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious.

So unless Smith is lying or deluded, the machines had a human population in the billions plugged into the Matrix. Smith later said the Matrix was designed to match the peak of human civilization, which assuming that was 1999 had an estimated population of about 6 billion.

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    Mind you, the Matrix doesn't necessarily have to be a perfect clone of 1999. They could easily rewrite history slightly if they needed the population to be lower or higher. Presumably they'd have to, since it seems unlikely that the number of surviving humans (by the time of the third Matrix) would perfectly match the 1999 world history. There's possibly other things that have been rewritten, but it's obviously easier to use the real world history than have to come up with fiction without any plot holes.
    – Kat
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 22:47

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