There are several known major Earth colonies, and perhaps dozens (or more) colonies of humans who were not officially affiliated with Earth. There are probably tens of thousands of Starfleet vessels, and if what we've seen is any guide, the vast majority of the individuals serving are Human.

So roughly how many humans, are there, total, in the Star Trek universe? (Yes, I know the Star Trek universe covers several hundred years.) Tens of billions? Hundreds? Trillions?

  • There's no evidence that the vast majority of Starfleet members are human. All we know is that the headquarters of Starfleet is on Earth, and that Earth/Mars/Sol-based ships are crewed primarily by humans. In fact, TNG and DS9 episodes mention ships based on Vulcan and other homeworlds that are crewed by those respective species. – Lèse majesté Aug 11 '13 at 3:07
  • Indeed. While the demographics of the Federation do appear to be slanted towards humans, this is probably a case of selection bias; most of the ships we see are human-crewed, therefore we assume the rest to be human-crewed. As early as TOS there were ships crewed entirely by Vulcans. It is safe to assume that as the Federation added other member-species, it would also decrease the percentage of all- or mostly-human crews. – James Sheridan Aug 11 '13 at 3:14
  • It would certainly help if you could pin down what time period you're asking about. First Contact took place shortly after WWIII, with the impression (to me) being that the population after the war was less than the modern day, although it would seem to have recovered by the 2150s when ENT was set. (I have no exact numbers, although Memory Alpha says around 600 million humans died in the war.. so my impressions could well be wrong) – Izkata Aug 11 '13 at 3:18
  • 1
    Keep in mind that First Contact takes place in Montana, where the population is pretty sparse to begin with. – Bob Warwick Aug 11 '13 at 3:27
  • 1
    The population figure of 9 billion in First Contact is given before the Borg and the Enterprise-E travel back in time to the period following WWIII. So the 9 billion figure should be correct for the 24th century. I agree, the exact time period should have been nailed down further. – James Sheridan Aug 11 '13 at 4:10

As James wrote, Earth has 9 billion in First Contact.

There might have been a slight baby boom after WWIII, but developed societies tend to move towards negative population growth, so perhaps Earth's population reaches 10 billion before this happens.

On Mars, the next largest human population, there are 133.8 million (ST: Star Charts), and Luna has 50.2 million (ST: Star Charts and First Contact) by the late 24th century. That adds up to 10.184 billion.

Other human populations:

  • Deneva colony had just under a million (TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!") by the 23rd century.
  • Alpha Eridani II had a population of 12 million (ST: Maps) by the 23rd century.
  • Moab IV/the Genome colony has a few thousand colonists (TNG: "The Masterpiece Society") by the 24th century.
  • The Skagaran colony had 6000 humans (ENT: "The North Star") by the time they were discovered in the 2150s.
  • The 37's colony had over 100,000 in 2371. (VOY: "The 37's")
  • The Mariposa and Bringloid V colonies totalled only 60 (TNG: "Up the Long Ladder") by the 24th century.

Many other human colonies were similarly wiped out or reduced to only a dozen or perhaps a few dozen colonists by the time they were contacted by Starfleet.

Other non-destroyed human colonies mentioned but whose populations are unknown:

  • Turkana IV (birthplace of Tasha Yar)
  • Tendara colony (birthplace of Seven of Nine)
  • Vega colony / Vega IX (where mirror universe Kirk killed 5000 parents to teach a lesson to a group of psychic children who incited rebellion)
  • Earth colony II
  • Earth colony 5 (Alpha V)
  • Proxima colony
  • Alpha Centauri colony

Then there are of course penal colonies and mining colonies, but these generally don't have very significant populations. So if you add up the confirmed population figures, that only totals about 10.2 billion. We can be generous and add another billion for the colonies with unknown populations (though, given the average figures, they're likely to total to only 100 million at most), so that gives us 11.2 billion.

The Federation has 700 colonies (website for Star Trek: TMP) by the 23rd century, and that's split between 120 worlds. Earth, we know, is one of the younger (in terms of space-faring history) species, though we're portrayed as having a greater spirit of exploration. Given all of this, and considering the small (<1 million) populations on most colonies, it's hard to imagine there being more than 12 billion humans by the 24th century.

We know that a Federation census reported 985 billion individuals in 2370. Assuming all individuals are member species (of which there should be around 183, assuming one species per member) and not Federation affiliates (of which there are 7128), then that averages out to 5.38 billion individuals per species.

So I think the 12 billion uppper limit by the 24th century is reasonable, assuming that we're not an especially populous or prolific species. (The census was apparently from the Star Trek: Star Charts, not a canonical source.)

Edit: As ilinamorato points out, the 9 billion figure is for the Borg Earth in the alternate timeline. First Contact shows the planet pretty much entirely technofied/assimilated: Screen grab from First Contact showing the Earth from orbit. The oceans appear dark brown. The clouds are greenish olive in color, and all land surface appears to be covered in silver or grey Borg-like constructions. Compare with Earth in the original timeline: Image of the original 24th century earth with white clouds, blue oceans, and continents with bare ground and vegetation, much like the Earth of today. Borg drones have no need for recreation, personal space, or other quality of life considerations. Their machine-like efficiency, spartan living requirements and complete disregard for the environment enable them to completely colonize the planet surface. Therefore, if there are only 9 billion life signs on the surface, we can assume this is the approximate upper limit of humanoid life that the planet can support.

The only figure we have on the Earth population in the regular timeline is the Star Trek: Star Charts 2370 census which found 4.2 billion humans on Earth at that time. Even though this isn't canon, it's reasonable to assume that there probably isn't much more than 9 billion humans on Earth in the 24th century.

  • 2
    Great work. I would only add that there are humans living outside the Federation which may have significant populations. In TOS they come across several human worlds that seem to have developed separately to Earth, largely due to the efforts of the Preservers and other species which transplanted primitive human cultures. Do you have a source for that Federation census? I didn't come across that when I double-checked the pop. figures on Memory Alpha, and if it was on one of the television shows or movies I managed to miss it. – James Sheridan Aug 11 '13 at 10:26
  • 1
    @James: True, outside of the Federation, there's no telling how many planets could have been seeded with humans by the Preservers. There's a very large portion of the galaxy that's unknown to Federation worlds or their allies. And it appears the census figure is from Star Trek: Star Charts, so it's not actually canon, and I don't know why it's in Memory Alpha. The Charts also have the 2370 census reporting only 4.2 billion humans on earth, which is a huge reduction from the First Contact figure. – Lèse majesté Aug 11 '13 at 12:59
  • 1
    I think you missed VOY's The '37s, with "over 100,000" humans in the Delta quadrant – Izkata Aug 11 '13 at 13:53
  • 4
    The nine billion is not the population at First Contact, it's the population of the alternate-timeline all-Borg Earth. See here: hark.com/clips/… Riker makes two comments about population in that movie: first, that 600 million people died in World War III (making it a perfect time to assimilate Earth), and second to Zefram Cochrane while looking at the moon, that 50 million people lived there in the 24th century. – ilinamorato Aug 12 '13 at 13:49
  • 1
    Right I'm just saying that if you read the answer from top to bottom, it appears self-contradictory, because despite the correction in the edit, the false statement is still there later on! I was wondering if you could integrate the corrections into the narrative so that everything fits together. I guess at least it would be clearer if the edit (well, it's a correction, not an edit, which is kind of my point) came at the end rather than the beginning. Anyway, just some friendly feedback! – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 10 '15 at 20:39

There aren't trillions, as the Tkon Empire, with a population in the trillions, was considered huge, considerably larger than the Federation with vastly superior technology. I would assume that the population of the Federation is in the trillions, but that no single species approaches that number.

A few non-canon sources - such as several of the draft screenplays for The Motion Picture - mention the population of Earth, but the total varies. The only canon source that mentions Earth's population is First Contact, which states it at 9 billion. We can probably safely assume that no single human colony has as many people as the homeworld. While we can't come up with a clear total from that, I feel that it is safe to assume a population of "tens of billions" for humans, both in the Federation and outside of it.

  • 3
    If I recall correctly, wasn't the "Nine Billion" figure from First Contact the number of Borg on the planet in the alternate timeline? – ilinamorato Aug 11 '13 at 3:31
  • No, the population figure for the Borg in the alternate timeline was a much smaller number. I believe it was ten million off the top of my head. I've even double-checked on Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki, and it states that the nine billion figure was of humans in First Contact. Here's the page: en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Population. – James Sheridan Aug 11 '13 at 4:14
  • 4
    Nope, the nine billion was the alternate timeline. I rewatched it yesterday. See here: hark.com/clips/… Data: The atmosphere contains high concentrations of methane, carbon monoxide and fluorine. Picard: Life signs? Data: Population approximately 9 billion...all Borg. – ilinamorato Aug 12 '13 at 13:44
  • 1
    Riker does mention to Cochrane that over 50 million people live on the moon in the 24th century, though. That may be what you're thinking of. – ilinamorato Aug 12 '13 at 13:46
  • 1
    It does say "Earth (Alternate Timeline)", but I can see the confusion that could arise there. I'll see if I can edit it. – ilinamorato Aug 13 '13 at 13:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.