I know basically nothing about the MCU except what I've gleaned from looking around here. But this answer started me thinking.

As I understand it, the Snap "vanished" 50% of all people (rather than, say, 50% of each person). It's apparently impossible, then, for half a person to vanish. In the linked answer, the poster mentions that one estimate of the population of (real-world) San Francisco at the time of the movie is 883,305. Half this number is 441,162.5. Since half a person can't vanish, it seems like (assuming this estimate is right) exactly half the population of San Francisco can't have vanished.

Which leads me to wonder: were there any significantly-populated areas where much more (say 55% or more) or much less (say 45% or less) of the population survived? Is the largest such area (in terms either of population or of difference from 50% survival) known, mentioned, or discussed?

The comment has been made that the snap affected all living beings, not only people. The question still remains - were there sizable areas in which many more than 50%, or many less than 50%, of living beings were affected?

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    We know some individual families were disproportionately snapped like the Bartons, maybe that made up for the half person...
    – Skooba
    Sep 5, 2019 at 14:56
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    basically your asking if the snap rounded up or down? The snap didn't vanish half the people in a given place, it removed half the living creatures in the universe. So if the total number of living beings in the universe adds up to an odd number then possibly the snap rounded up or maybe it rounded down. SO maybe there is a bird, or a slug or a fly that survived when it shouldn't have, or vice versa an insect that got vanished.
    – Richard C
    Sep 5, 2019 at 15:15
  • @richard no, I'm not. I understand your point about people vs lining things, but my question still stands. If, for example, my cat was the only living thing in my bedroom at the snap, then either the snap would vanish 0% of the living things in my bedroom, or it would vanish 100% of them. I'm asking whether there are any sizable areas like my bedroom - areas in which the local percentage of beings vanished differs markedly from the average (50%). Sep 5, 2019 at 18:04
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    Zero out of six of the original Avengers got Snapped, a 1 in 64 chance if it’s truly random.
    – Mike Scott
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:34
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    the fact is there is no information about the statistical spread of the snap, Barton and his family where in a sparsely populated area and he was the only one not snapped To my mind the Snap didn't work like that. Thanos wanted half the life in the universe gone to save the other half. So when he snapped he would have had to have set some rules so as not to risk leaving some planets fully populated and others empty. So logically the thought as he snapped was probably. remove half the living things in the universe, even it out across the universe in terms of density of population of a species
    – Richard C
    Sep 6, 2019 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


There is no hard evidence on this but we can infer from Thanos' intentions for his snap what happened. Thanos wants to kill half of all life on a planet over the entire universe. We know this because it is what he used to do.

Gamora: The entire time I knew Thanos, he only ever had one goal: To bring balance to the Universe by wiping out half of all life. He used to kill people planet by planet, massacre by massacre...

Avengers: Infinity War

Taking that in conjunction with the below quote and it makes sense it wiped out 50% of all life on each planet.

Thanos: Little one, it's a simple calculus. This universe is finite, its resources finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correction.

Avengers: Infinity War

So we've established he's killing half of all life across the universe on each planet but what about on the planetary level. Well it wouldn't make much sense to wipe out 100% of a species and not touch another species considering he's trying to balance out life to make resources last. Therefore, it must be 50% of each species being wiped out.

Moving to the species level and we have a nice quote from Thanos how the 50% is calculated.

Thanos: But at random, dispassionate, fair to rich and poor alike. They called me a madman. And what I predicted came to pass.

Avengers: Infinity War

This means that for each species he is only randomly wiping out 50% of them. With a few billion people it would be somewhat uniform across the planet but it won't be exactly 50% in each area because it is random. Therefore, we can say it will be roughly 50% in any given area but considering it's random we can't say anything with certainty and as far as I know we have no official information on how uniform it is.

For example, the Barton family is all wiped out except for Clint and they live in the middle of nowhere in a safe house so their distribution is more heavily skewed, 80% snapped. Whereas if we look at the Blip video in Spider-Man: Far From Home we see it looks to be roughly 50% of those in the gym vanishing (haven't counted to be accurate).

Essentially the more people, the close the percentage should be to 50% but like I said it's random so we can't say with any confidence what the percentage is in any given area.

It's also worth noting that in an early version of the script the memorials were shown to be in every city. If the effects of the snap weren't too uniform the likelihood is that these wouldn't have been in every city. As it was cut we don't get to see them but the impression I get from the below quote is all the memorials were similar. This would suggest a similar scale of dustings across the country which suggests uniformity.

And that theme of loss is continued when Scott Lang visits a memorial to the dead in San Francisco.

McFEELY We used to have beats in the script where there are those in every city. Millions of names.

MARKUS It’s that sense of collective trauma and the fact that if you weren’t killed, you wake up the next day — the trauma happened and I’m still here. How do we deal with this? That was the Stan Lee trick. Where’s the anxiety coming from? Now that they have Power X.

The New York Times, ‘Avengers: Endgame’: The Screenwriters Answer Every Question You Might Have

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    Too bad Thanos never learned about exponential growth. All that effort to buy just a few decades.
    – Shamshiel
    Sep 5, 2019 at 22:38
  • So essentially you're saying "they never mention anything about how uniform the result is." Sep 5, 2019 at 23:59
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    @MattGutting There's no off the cuff remark or hard figures no but we can infer from what Thanos' motivations are that it should be somewhat uniform. Of course families who live on their own in the middle of nowhere like the Bartons prove that somewhat wrong.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Sep 6, 2019 at 8:03
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    Other potentially confounding factors are a) population counts aren't always accurate (if 70% of the homeless population disappeared, would people notice as much as it, say, 70% of the Kardashians disappeared?) and b) there was likely a drop in population in some areas in addition to those snapped, from planes suddenly crashing as pilots disappear to babies whose parents were snapped.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 30, 2019 at 14:29
  • @FuzzyBoots For your point a, I'm not sure it matters too much in terms of my answer because I'm not really talking about what people perceived to happen. For b) in universe the names on the memorials are referred to as the "Vanished". As those who died because of the effects of the snap didn't vanish they wouldn't have been counted as the "Vanished".
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Sep 30, 2019 at 15:14

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