Is there a good estimate (books or supplementary canon material) of how many Men there were on Arda at the time of the War of the Ring? I am OK with an answer either for Arda as a whole, or at least for the principal countries involved (Gondor, Rohan, Mordor, Easterlings).

NOTE: Whilst I've read the books and done some preliminary research, I can't pin down a figure for the number of men in Arda (or any of the other regions). To be honest, I'm just curious, but I think it might help me phrase another question

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    Related meta discussions: meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/q/2236/1027 & meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/q/2237/1027
    – user1027
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 18:13
  • I would suspect that no census was ever done on the fictional planet.
    – Chad
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 20:06
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    @Chad - Arda is not fictional. It's supposed to be an "alternate past Earth". Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 20:49
  • @DVK - ... so you are claiming that lord of the rings is actually a work of non-fiction? A documentary?
    – Chad
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 16:02
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    @Chad - leaving aside that I can name some "documentaries" that have more fiction than LOTR, no, what I'm claiming is that since it's meant to represent Earth N years back, the approach of approximaiting the population using archeological Earth data is not implausible nor invalid. Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


There is no good canon estimate that I have been able to find. I will try to be well reasoned and suggest that since TLOTR is set in our universe(ish), and Tolkien has given a date of about 6000 years in the past, we could go off of population estimates for that time period.

If we were to look at the Fourth Millenium BC we find that the population was about 7 million.

As an aside, it is rather sobering in an era that has seen the likes of Stalin, Hitler and Mao killing tens of millions apiece, to think that 6000 years ago there were only about 7 million of us.

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