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I've spotted a few questions about the Borg and the number of ships in Starfleet. This led me to think about what the best estimate of the size of the Borg collective is at any time in the standard time line? I realise that it's probably mind-bogglingly large, but still so is space.

A good answer could probably be broken down into a few snapshots across time, e.g. when they are first encountered, when Voyager finds them in the Delta Quadrant, etc.

Any answer should stick to the standard timeline, but cookies may be rewarded for including alternate timelines.

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  • 13
    This is unanswerable. You have to be specific about what point in time.
    – bitmask
    Apr 2, 2012 at 23:15
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    This is a good question, but the comment is certainly correct. Maybe we could modify it to be "what is the best estimate of the size of the collective at any time?" Apr 3, 2012 at 1:45
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    Anywhere between 42 and
    – Naftali
    Apr 3, 2012 at 17:06
  • 11
    Technically, just one.
    – Jared
    Apr 3, 2012 at 21:43
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    This is kind of like asking how many ships Starfleet has. First, a point in time is crucial to giving any sort of answer, and second, we simply don't know enough about the Borg to give even an educated guess, like we can for Starfleet ships. The Borg, as a nebulous enemy faction, simply have as many cubes as are necessary to be a threat. One is quite a threat by itself as was seen in TNG, but VOY:"Hope and Fear" contains an anecdote alluding to the fact that the Borg can send hundreds of cubes to assimilate a new race.
    – KeithS
    Apr 3, 2012 at 23:26

6 Answers 6

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In Voyager: Dark Frontier Janeway pays a visit to the Borg Queen in Unimatrix 01 to recover Seven. When they drop out of transwarp, Tuvok makes the statement

"I'm detecting thousands of integrated substructures, trillions of life-forms... all Borg".

If there's any validity to Memory Alpha, this page specifies there are three other unimatrixes. Assuming they're also similarly populous, that places the lower bound of Borg population numbers (as of 2375) into the trillions, possibly even tens of trillions.

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    I've taken the liberty of augmenting your answer with cybernetic technology.
    – Valorum
    May 25, 2015 at 9:40
  • This gives us an order of magnitude, but are we to believe that almost all Borg are in a Unimatrix? Feb 8, 2022 at 16:25
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My best guess would be somewhere in the range of 20-100 Billion. I have been re watching Voyager and in season 6 episode 26 (in show around 2376-77)in unimatrix 0 a it is said that only ~1 in 1,000,000 drones go there when regenerating. Seven later states that nobody knew for sure, but axem told her there could be 10s of thousands, and possibly more drones that go there. I know it probably isn't as specific as anyone reading this was hoping for, but I can't think of anything more accurate.

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"Axum told me there could be tens of thousands, maybe more."

and

"...maybe 1 in a million."

Both of these quotes are from Unimatrix Zero Part 1, Voyager. That leaves us with at least 10 billion drones. Later in Voyager (season 5 episodes 15-16, "Dark Frontier"), we're told that Unimatrix 1 alone has "trillions" of drones (according to Tuvok: "I'm detecting thousands of integrated substructures, trillions of lifeforms, all Borg.") in it. Though it may be safe to assume that 1 has the most drones in it, the other Unimatrixes add a staggering amount to that, not to mention the field drones. Even Star Trek doesn't know.

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    Welcome to the site! There are some good ideas here, but this is a four year old question, actually closer to 5 now. Why resurrect it if you can't be bothered to look up the episode? Answers that are well-referenced and supported should do well here, but those that aren't risk being downvoted or forgotten. It's always worth including as much relevant information as you can :)
    – Au101
    Jan 2, 2017 at 23:20
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The memory alpha article on Borg states that in 1484 they only had a handful of star-systems. Assuming that the average Star Trek system has a handful of well populated planets (as seems to be the case, I don't know the population density of a solar system) and each is roughly as populated as earth (which is probably less now than it would be in the 23rd century but that should adjust for any over estimations I make) I'd say around that time, they probably had somewhere between 610^9-310^10 drones. I'm going to invent a new unit a NY(~20M people, as of date of answer), equivalent to the population of new york to get across the magnitude of this. This equates to roughly 3-15 kilaNYs

Comes the year 2373 the article states they had assimilated "thousands of worlds" again, some simple maths gives us this about about 6*10^12 or 3 MegaNYs. Since then there has been no known growth in the collective though they seems likely there are thousands more further into the future.

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    Population of New York, what year? ducks ;)
    – user5650
    Apr 4, 2012 at 15:26
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    And that'd be ~20 M people, wouldn't it?
    – Mark Hurd
    Sep 12, 2012 at 6:10
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Short answer: Trillions

Currently watching Voyager: Dark Fronteir where Janeway sends the Delta Flyer into a Borg colony on a rescue mission to retrieve Seven.

Upon arrival Tuvok states: "I'm detecting thousands of integrated substructure, trillions of life forms; all Borg."

So there you go. Strait from Tuvok. There could be reference to smaller populations, but this was from a sensor reading by a Vulcan.

Could be a more accurate reference out there but this is the largest colony I've heard of... And damn... That's a lotta Borg.

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  • How does this answer differ from (or in any way improve upon) the answers above that say the same thing?
    – Valorum
    Aug 23, 2015 at 14:04
  • I rejected the suggested edit as it came from a second "Rod Serling" account and have no way to confirm that they are both you. If you wish to delete your answer, log in with your original account and you can delete it.
    – phantom42
    Aug 23, 2015 at 14:40
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Geoffrey Mandel's Star Trek : Star Charts (which isn't generally considered fully canon but was at certainly 'advised upon' by Senior Trek Designer Michael Okuda) indicates that the population of the primary Borg planet of Arehaz (AKA 'Borg Prime') has a combined population of over 50 Trillion.

Added to the "trillions" of lifeforms mentioned by Tuvok in Voy: Dark Frontier, and taking into account that this was only one of six Borg Hubs, we can conservatively estimate the lower bound of their population as being around 60-70 trillion lifeforms.

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