Created By: FREDDE on March 23, 2011 Last Edited By: Theharbo on September 19, 2017
Troped

Absurdly Huge Population

The setting is in the future. A consequence of this is a population so huge it's inconcievable.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Parallel draft: Overpopulation Crisis

Rolling Updates

Launching this, alongside Overpopulation Crisis, in six hours unless someone halts it.
It's the future- either close or distant. You have the ray guns, the jet packs, and the spaceships. But you need a way of making things seem more 'real', more grounded in reality. How?

Up the population by a couple of billions, that's how! Despite Earth's current population growth slowing down and estimated to peter out around between the 9th to the 13th billion barring outside influence as third-world developing countries go through The four stages of demographic transition, the concept of 'of course there will be more people in the future, duh!' is one that seems self-evident to many readers, and thus it is an easy way to get across how far into the future you are, with populations only growing bigger as you get further and further into the future. These populations will often be so mind bogglingly huge that they are unfathomable to our current worldview.

How such a large population came to be or is sustained, is rarely addressed, though there's sometimes an in-show justification (often involving colonising other planets and simply needing more people to populate them so a modern society could function). It's popular in Space Operas with their sprawling Space Filling Empires.

This trope can easily collide with Science Marches On and Society Marches On, since figures which match this trope in older fiction can these days be not just plausible, but reality. Make Room! Make Room! has seven billion people on Earthnote , while Isaac Asimov's short story "The Winnowing" has humanity starving at sixnote .

Often overlaps with Overpopulation Crisis when the enormous population size begins to cause problems, but settings can have massive populations without suffering negative consequences as well.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Fifth Element, the President of Earth mentions "some 100 billion of my fellow citizens", although these might not all be on Earth.
  • Star Wars: Plays with the usual connotations of the trope in that the Star Wars setting as a whole takes place "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." Yet this is easy to mistake for taking place in the future with sci-fi tech and City Planets. One such is Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Republic and later the Galactic Empire, has a population topping a trillion all by itself according to a reference book published prior to The Force Awakens' release.
  • Soylent Green (and the Harry Harrison novel that inspired it, Make Room! Make Room!) have a 21st-century New York City populated by 35-40 million people. If that growth is representative of the rest of the planet, that means around 35 billion people live on Earth.

    Literature 
  • The Millennial Project: Colonizing The Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps considers the intellectual consequences of living in a society where there are "5 billion billion people". While there would be many problems, such a society could invest vast intellectual resources solving those problems.
  • Isaac Asimov
    • Foundation
      • In Foundation, there are 25 million inhabited planets in the galaxy, and while the total population is said to be quadrillions of people, no exact numbers given. While this means the setting as a whole qualifies, the average inhabited planet doesn't: even if we take "quadrillions" of people to mean "100 quadrillions", this gives each planet a population of 4 billion.
      • The planet Trantor is the capital of the Galactic Empire. In Foundation and Empire, the population of administrators alone on the planet is said to be 400 billion. In later stories, Asimov realized how impossible that was and lowered the figure to a more reasonable (?) 40 billion. He also said that its population was fed by the combined output of 20 farm planets.
    • "The Last Question" mentions "a trillion, trillion, trillion" people, spread all over the universe.
    • The short story "2430 A.D." is about shutting down the last remnants of the last zoo, so that Earth can finally have its perfect, stable society... no animals, no plants except for edible plankton, and as many humans as the planet can support - fifteen trillion.
  • Aeon 14: The colony ship GSS Intrepid around which the story revolves has a population/crew of millions all on its own, and individual space stations with populations in the hundreds of billions are described: a 9th millennium 1600-kilometer space station with 150 billion residents is seen as only mildly impressive by protagonist Tanis Richards.
  • Robert Silverberg's novel The World Inside is set on Earth in the year 2381, when the population of the planet has reached 75 billion people. Population growth has skyrocketed due to a quasi-religious belief in human reproduction as the highest possible good. Most of the action occurs in a massive three-kilometer high city-tower called Urban Monad (Urbmon) 116. Most of humanity lives in these mammoth thousand-floor skyscrapers arranged in "constellations", where the shadow of one building does not fall upon another. The population is supported by the conversion of all of the Earth's habitable land area not taken up by Urbmons to agriculture.
  • Discussed in Stand on Zanzibar (written in 1968, set in 2010). With the world population reaching seven billionnote , society is definitely beginning to feel the stress of the huge population, but, as pointed out in the comment that gave the book its name, you could still fit them all, standing shoulder to shoulder, on the island of Zanzibar.
  • In The Starchild Trilogy by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson, the population of Earth has reached the thirteen billion mark.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Hive cities often reach the tens of billions in population, the vast majority of which are impoverished scavengers feeding on the refuse of the upper atmospheric spires where the nobility lives. The Imperium of Man even outright states in regards to its Forever War with the rest of the galaxy: "We count the lives of planets, not men." - implying the Imperium has grown so vast the population changes so rapidly that when you finished counting, you'd have to restart again - and a callous disregard for the invidual humans they send into the meatgrinder.

    Video Games 
  • EV Nova: All the Auroran capital worlds have populations in the high tens of billions (Heraan approaches 90 billion residents) stuck in large Arcologies.
  • In StarCraft, Earth's population is around 23 billion by 2301.
  • In Galactic Civilizations a planet's population is limited only by the number and quality of farms can be built on it. Earth has a potential population of 50 billion. Colony Ships and troop transports transfer population in units of a million, and the basic ships can carry 500 of those units.
    Web Comic 
  • In Schlock Mercenary the Sol system has a population greater than a trillion in the 31st century, Earth alone hosts 200 billion people, 4.62 billion of whom are concentrated in the capital megalopolis of Dom Atlantis.
    Web Original 
  • Played with in Orion's Arm. The population of "baseline" (not substantially genetically modified) humans falls from 15 billion to 2 billion between 2400 and 2900 A.D., and are considered an Endangered Species in the very far future (c. 10,000 - 20,000 A.D.). However, in that same far future, our genetically modified descendants number in the hundreds of thousands of billions.

Community Feedback Replies: 80
  • March 23, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    one Tag Line for Star Trek First Contact was "Planet Earth: population 9 Billion. None human".
  • March 23, 2011
    Ekuran
  • March 23, 2011
    rjung
    Both Soylent Green (and the Harry Harrison novel that inspired it, Make Room! Make Room!) have a 21st-century New York City populated by 35-40 million people. It's suggested that the rest of the planet is no better off.
  • March 23, 2011
    Rolf
    Very typical in "early future" Larry Nivon books. Earth have a city. Yeah world-wide city. Oceans is not included but whatever there is land its part of city. Before that they had "Super cities". Usa only had 3 of em, coving good parts of usa.

    Star Wars Catinina world city so big that theres only tiny patch of natural ground left, and it was part of extremely large and tall mountain. This city has been digging downwards too, according to certain novels.
  • March 23, 2011
    Fanra
    This trope is almost too common to use, as every single novel about the future has a larger population unless there is a major disaster. Indeed, past predictions about the current population (2011) were even higher then they are today, AIDS has slowed down the growth. Even with AIDS, the population continues to increase and unless some highly unlikely inventions (food replicators?) happens, massive collapse is inevitable soon.

    • Real Life: This is the greatest problem facing humanity. Poverty, unemployment, high energy prices, war, etc. are all directly or indirectly caused by this. In order to give everyone in the world a decent minimal standard of living would require the resources of three Earths. The rise of the standard of living in China and India is starting to strain the resources of the planet. Before this, most of the world resources went to the USA and other Western nations. There isn't enough for everyone.
    • Isaac Asimov wrote many essays on the issue of overpopulation. He felt this is the greatest problem facing humanity. He was highly annoyed that society has ignored this problem.
    • Robert Silverberg's novel The World Inside is set on Earth in the year 2381, when the population of the planet has reached 75 billion people. Population growth has skyrocketed due to a quasi-religious belief in human reproduction as the highest possible good. Most of the action occurs in a massive three-kilometer high city-tower called Urban Monad (Urbmon) 116. Most of humanity lives in these mammoth thousand-floor skyscrapers arranged in "constellations", where the shadow of one building does not fall upon another. The population is supported by the conversion of all of the Earth's habitable land area not taken up by Urbmons to agriculture.
  • March 24, 2011
    Frank75
    Judge Dredd may apply.

    In Chung Kuo, each continent is covered by one mega-city.
  • March 24, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    At least half the examples in the tropes Mega City and City Planet probably qualify.

    See also Dyson Sphere, Abusing The Kardashev Scale For Fun And Profit.
  • March 16, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    One - Year Bump

    Literature:

    Web Original:
    • Double Subverted in Orions Arm. The population of "baseline" (not substantially genetically modified) humans falls from 15 billion to 2 billion between 2400 and 2900 A.D., and are considered an Endangered Species in the very far future (c. 10,000 - 20,000 A.D.). However, in that same far future, our genetically modified descendants number in the hundreds of thousands of billions.
  • June 3, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Actually, based on current rates of declining fertility, the human population is projected to start declining in the twenty-first centuries. And predications over the last century have generally turned out to be higher population that actually occurred.
  • June 3, 2012
    animeg3282
    Eh, I hope so, but I'm sure there some fictional example of the earth in 2025 having 20 billion people.
  • June 3, 2012
    Bisected8
  • June 3, 2012
    DanielCase
    I'm not so sure this, as conceived, would generate a lot of examples. With the exception of fiction from ca. 1970 like Stand On Zanzibar, Soylent Green (and its very different source novel, as mentioned above), the TOS episode "The Mark of Gideon" (not set on Earth, either) and JG Ballard's early '60s short story "Billenium" (which beat Robert Silverberg to his idea of a double-digit billion population crowded into dense urban confines so enough land exists to grow everyone's food), when that issue was very much on people's minds, there's very little sf that even mentions how large the population is. Perhaps it would be better reconceptualized as a trope covering the few overpopulation narratives in general.
  • June 3, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Possible page quote:
    One thing you will discover
    When you get next to one another
    Is everybody needs some elbow room, elbow room.
    It's nice when you're kinda cozy, but
    Not when you're tangled nose to nosey, oh,
    Everybody needs some elbow, needs a little elbow room.
    --Schoolhouse Rock, "Elbow Room" (about the Louisiana Purchase and Westward expansion)
  • June 4, 2012
    Frank75
    Two notes: a) Stand On Zanzibar, as The Other Wiki knows, refers to the fact that you could put all of the world population on the small African island of Zanzibar. If all of them managed to stand up in a disciplined way, without anyone starting chaos. But still - even if Earth's population tripled, we'd be far from a planet-wide city, even if you think such a city would be awesome. b) While the population is still growing, in many countries the birthrate has fallen below replacement levels (~ 2.1 children / woman). Not only most western and eastern European countries, but also some Muslim ones like Turkey, Tunisia and even ayatollah-reigned Iran.
  • June 4, 2012
    Omeganian
    In Foundation, there are 25 million inhabited planets in the galaxy. Quadrillions of people, although there are no exact numbers given.

    The Last Question mentions "a trillion, trillion, trillion" people, spread all over the universe.
  • June 4, 2012
    Lyendith
    I read somewhere that the human population would top somewhere between 9 and 10 billion in a few decades (the planet can feed 12 billion)... the population in some rich countries like Germany or Russia is already starting to fall. So scenarios with 20 billion on earth people don't have any kind of realism.
  • June 4, 2012
    DanielCase
    When all those nightmares fed by Malthus years ago and Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb" that inspired this genre were fresh in everyone's minds, the assumption that no one questioned was that population growth would be evenly distributed. That has turned out not to be the case. As noted, some countries like Italy and Japan are seeing their populations decline. It is now projected that 8 billion will be the first population landmark that we reach (assuming, as I think we can, that the human race will largely be living on Earth for that timespan) in more time then it took to get to the previous one. Sixteen years elapsed between six billion (1995) and seven billion (2011); it's expected that we'll not hit eight billion until the 2030s.

    The exception to this, and the real locus of the bulk of the world's population growth, is the continent that can least afford this: Africa. By the time we hit eight billion worldwide, Nigeria will have about as many people as the United States does currently ... living in an area the size of Arizona and New Mexico put together. Now that's standing on Zanzibar.
  • June 4, 2012
    jatay3
    That may be true Goldfirtha, but assuming practical interstellar travel and planets that can be settled by humans, there is no reason for this trend to continue. If anything the reverse as it would be in everyone's interest to have a large population now; the Mega Corp needs laborors, The Empire needs soldiers, and the colonists need someone to drive their farm machinery, robots being for whatever reason insufficient to the needs of the growing human empire.
  • June 4, 2012
    animeg3282
    OK, but do we have any examples of this in works or suggestions for the description?
  • June 6, 2012
    DanielCase
    The handful already mentioned, and the works in this blog post would be a good list to start. I don't see it (ahem) growing quickly, because as I said these works are generally a creation of the 1960s and there don't seen to have been many new ones in the last 20 years (because, I suspect, it became apparent that in the developed world at least the worst fears weren't coming to pass).
  • June 6, 2012
    DanielCase
    "This trope is almost too common to use, as every single novel about the future has a larger population unless there is a major disaster." Indeed, but the point of it as a trope is that it is for works where the population growth, and often its strain on the available resources, is an essential aspect of the story.
  • August 4, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Test.
  • August 4, 2016
    DAN004
    Either the trope, or at least the name, screams "well duh" to me. If there's no Depopulation Bomb then this will happen in any case of future setting, right?
  • August 5, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    I think this one can be narrowed to cases of Future Overpopulation such as Soylent Green. It looks like there's a bug with the editor for this one, though.
  • August 5, 2016
    Arivne
    Although the Description doesn't specifically say so, it appears to be written with the assumption that the planet involved is Earth. This should probably be expanded to include any over-populated planet.

    Literature
    • Three of George RR Martin's Haviland Tuf stories (''Loaves and Fishes", "Second Helpings" and "Manna from Heaven") chronicle his encounters with the people of the planet S'uthlam ("Malthus" Backwards Name). Their religion has the doctrine that all life is sacred and that humans should therefore breed as much as possible. As a result their planet is dangerously overpopulated.
  • August 5, 2016
    Snicka
    Future Overpopulation is the most concise title I can think of.
  • August 5, 2016
    KingZeal
    • Mass Effect: Even after the development of Faster Than Light Travel, it's noted In Universe that in the late 22nd Century, Earth is still vastly overpopulated, with over 11 billion humans and an unknown number of aliens living on the planet, and dealing with problems caused by environmental damage which peaked a century ago. Earth's overpopulation and pollution is mocked by many aliens in the series, as an indication of humanity's inability to get its own "house in order", so to speak. A possible origin for protagonist Commander Shepard is to have grown up in a gang of orphan criminals in a polluted megatropolis on Earth.
  • August 5, 2016
    zarpaulus
    Frequently combined with Population Control.

    • A recurring theme in many of Robert Heinlein's novels, to which the solution is always Faster Than Light Travel:
      • When the Howards' families return to Earth at the end of Methuselahs Children they find that the planet has become so crowded that there's literally no room left for them, fortunately one of the Howards has invented FTL and offers it freely. Still, in the distant sequel Time Enough For Love Lazarus Long mentions in one of his stories that at one point Earth's government declared everyone over 70 to be legally dead in an attempt at population control.
      • In Tunnel In The Sky China apparently conquered Australia and paved over the entire continent to make room for its growing population before the Portal Network was developed, now they chuck hordes of settlers to new worlds through the gates.
      • In Starship Troopers Rico writes an essay on how war is always the result of overpopulation, from the Crusades to the current Bug War. And that humanity doesn't dare institute Population Control else some other species like the Bugs expand first and wipe them out for more real estate.
  • August 5, 2016
    StarSword
    Maybe Absurd Future Overpopulation?

    Video Games:
    • EV Nova: All the Auroran capital worlds are insanely polluted and overpopulated, with the populations in the high tens of billions stuck in large arcologies. The only planet in the Federation that even comes close is Viking.
  • August 5, 2016
    zarpaulus
    • In George R.R. Martin's Tuf Voyaging the planet S'uthlam suffers from massive overpopulation, about 34 billion, due to a native religion that believes humanity can evolve into gods and that population is the primary driver of evolution. All land on the planet is either cities or farmland, animals other than livestock are considered vermin and eradicated, much of their food is produced in factories from petrochemicals, but they have a lot of geniuses and some of the most advanced technology in human space as a result of their massive population. Tuf comes to S'uthlam to outfit his Lost Technology seedship, but the government tries to seize it under some pretext so they can use it to conquer other planets. Twice Tuf attempts to appease them with new food crops from his ship's gene banks, and suggests instating some form of Population Control, but both times the people take it as a reason to breed even more. The third time he gets fed up and spikes their new crop with a Sterility Plague.
  • August 5, 2016
    Generality
    • In The Fifth Element, the President of Earth mentions "some 100 billion of my fellow citizens", although these might not all be on Earth.
  • August 6, 2016
    Metroid26
    In Decision at Doona overpopulation is so bad that the roads are completely packed with people and stepping on someones heel is the equivalent of rear-ending them with a car for us. Mobile Suit Gundam emphasizes that War Is Hell by noting that the first week of the war cost both sides half of their respective populations. This casualty count is later noted to be greater than the earths entire population at the time of airing.
  • December 23, 2016
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • Aeon 14: The colony ship GSS Intrepid around which the story revolves has a population/crew of millions, and individual space stations with populations in the hundreds of billions are described.
  • December 23, 2016
    Xtifr
    Music:

    • Pink Floyd's obscure early single, "Point Me at the Sky" suggests this scenario.
      If you survive
      Till Two Thousand and Five,
      I hope you're exceedingly thin;
      For if you are stout,
      You will have to breathe out
      While the people around you breathe in.
  • December 23, 2016
    StarSword
    I guess I'll take this over. I'll run some Rolling Updates after dinner.
  • December 23, 2016
    Omeganian
    The Hive books by T. J. Bass feature an Earth with underground cities fitting three trillion people deliberately bred to need as little as possible.
  • December 23, 2016
    Chabal2
    Warhammer 40 K: Hive cities often reach the billions in population, the vast majority of which are impoverished scavengers feeding on the refuse of the upper atmospheric spires where the nobility lives. Exacerbating this problem is the fact that many hives are the only inhabitable locations on a planet (usually a Death World), and thus have to import gargantuan quantities of food from offworld just to meet the bare minimum requirements of most of its population (and since space travel is about as safe as sailing before the invention of the compass...). Hive cities are among the Imperial Guard's (which numbers in the trillions) and Space Marines' (most Chapters have at least a thousand warriors, not counting support staff) best recruiting grounds, both in terms of quantity and quality, and press-ganging vast amounts of criminal gangs is one of the more efficient ways of population control.
  • December 25, 2016
    Martine34
    How ridiculous can it be, when we add a billion to the population every ten years? I mean already, if we took all the people in the world, and gave them no more then a tiny London sized flat, with literally no room to walk around outside, people would take up over half of the United States. And this is not accounting for the area needed to grow food for them, or any kind of lumber to provide them with housing. So basically, it would take over half of North America to provide humans with the most awful depressing existence imaginable. By 2059, if nothing changes, this existence will have come true everywhere on Earth. So, I have only seen works that do NOT take into account the severity of overpopulation.
  • December 26, 2016
    Xtifr
    Literature:
    • Discussed in Stand On Zanzibar (written in 1968, set in 2010). With the world population reaching seven billionnote , society is definitely beginning to feel the stress of overpopulation, but, as pointed out in the comment that gave the book its name, you could still fit them all, standing shoulder to shoulder, on the island of Zanzibar.
    • In The Starchild Trilogy by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson, the population of Earth has reached the thirteen billion mark, and the only thing which has prevented chaos and a massive die-off is the dictatorial control of the powerful computer known as "The Plan of Man".
    • In The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K Dick, all the planets of the solar system have been colonized, but Earth is still so overpopulated that the government has had to institute a draft to get people moving to the colonies fast enough. Life on the colonies isn't terrible, but it's harsh enough that volunteers don't begin to keep up with Earth's needs. Deferments are available for those with sufficiently important jobs, but this just adds an extra fear to the fear of losing your job.

    Please leave The Starchild Trilogy as a red-link. First, that's what you're supposed to do anyway, and second, I plan to have a page there fairly soon.
  • December 26, 2016
    Mr.Bubbles
    In Video Game/Starcraft, Earth's population is around 23 billion by 2301.
  • December 26, 2016
    zarpaulus
    @Martine 34: Because, while the total population has been growing, the growth rate has been steadily dropping since child mortality in developed countries became negligible. There was a brief spike before people realized that they could expect all of their kids to survive to adulthood, but after that reproduction slowed to the point where in some countries there are barely any children.
  • December 26, 2016
    CactusFace
    • Stellaris: If you assume that one population unit equals one billion humen, then earth can hold 16 billion people without any problems. Larger planets can hold even more people, with the largest size being capable of holding up to 25 billion people. If your empire becomes sufficiently big, your population might even go into the trillions.
  • December 26, 2016
    zarpaulus
    ^ PO Ps in Stellaris are abstracted units of measurement rather than hard units like "billions". Especially given that one of the preset empires is comprised of fungoids whose "individuals" can stretch across several miles.

    • In Galactic Civilizations a planet's population is limited only by the number and quality of farms can be built on it, Earth has a potential population of 50 billion. Colony Ships and troop transports transfer population in units of a million, and the basic ships can carry 500 of those units.
  • December 26, 2016
    CactusFace
    ^ I was only refering to humen in stellaris. Earth starts with 8 pops and 8 billion people at 2200 sounds like a reasonable number.
  • December 27, 2016
    zarpaulus
    ^ There's a lot of discussion on how big a POP is supposed to be, some have suggested that each successive POP is exponentially larger than the previous one (explaining why they take longer to grow). Others think that they're groups of people willing or able to do government work, the proportion of which decreases as the planet becomes developed.

    Also consider that the urban slums where you'd expect a large portion of the population to reside are tile blockers.
  • December 27, 2016
    Leporidae
    Live Action TV
    • Overpopulation is what jumpstarts the plot in Terra Nova - the plot being "send some humans through a wormhole to an alternate Earth resembling the cretaceous period."
  • December 28, 2016
    Omeganian
    This trope can easily overlap with Technology Marches On, since figures which match this trope in older fiction can these days be not just plausible, but reality. Make Room Make Room has seven billion people on Earth. Isaac Asimov's short story "The Winnowing" has humanity starving at six.
  • December 28, 2016
    Xtifr
    ^ Except that Technology Marches On is an audience reaction, not a trope.
  • December 29, 2016
    StarSword
    ^Yeah, I changed that to Science Marches On when I added it to the description.
  • December 30, 2016
    Xtifr
    ^ That one's trivia. So it still doesn't overlap—but might be worth mentioning.

    eta: looking at the examples, I really think we have two separate tropes here! One I might call Ridiculous Future Population, where mankind has spread to a billion planets, and the other I might call The Perils Of Overpopulation, where society is threatened and The End Is Near.

    Also: related trope: Population Control.
  • December 30, 2016
    StarSword
    ^Yeah, I had been wondering about that bit myself: is "overpopulation bad" a separate trope from this, or should we keep examples of both that and "planet/other space object has enormous population" in the same trope? The problem is they usually go hand-in-hand: e.g. the old Star Wars Legends continuity mentioned at least once (the Visual Dictionaries) that Coruscant has to import the overwhelming majority of its food from offworld, which means a tremendous freighter fleet constantly servicing its needs.
  • December 30, 2016
    Xtifr
    Ancient Rome imported the overwhelming majority of its food in the days of the Caesars. I don't think that mere fact reaches "peril" territory.

    I think the examples mostly fit neatly into one or the other category. Some do fit both, it's true, but they seem separate enough for me. Ridiculous Population would be a setting trope, and Perils would be a plot trope.
  • December 30, 2016
    StarSword
    Okay, so maybe we make this trope "absurd population size" (less work rewriting the description), akin to Mile Long Ship, and fob off things like the Serenity example onto a new Overpopulation Is Bad draft (and copy over examples that fit both places, e.g. Sol in Aeon 14).
  • December 30, 2016
    DustSnitch
    [up] Sounds good, although Overpopulation Is Bad would probably overlap with Population Control.
  • December 31, 2016
    Omeganian
    Isaac Asimov's short story "2430 A.D." is about shutting down the last remnants of the last zoo, so that Earth can finally have its perfect, stable society... no animals, no plants except for edible plankton, and as many humans as the planet can support - fifteen trillion.
  • December 31, 2016
    StarSword
    ^^It does, but you can have one without the other: Population Control could be applied as a way to prevent Overpopulation Is Bad before the latter actually takes place, or you could have Overpopulation Is Bad without Population Control being thought of.
  • December 31, 2016
    StarSword
    Okay, sorted examples between this trope and Overpopulation Is Bad.
  • December 31, 2016
    Xtifr
    Ah good. Now I can suggest adding:

    Popular in Space Operas with their sprawling galactic civilizations.

    (The description may need some editing now that the tropes have been split—though you probably knew that. I think the second-to-last paragraph can probably be removed completely.)
  • January 9, 2017
    Omeganian
    "The Deadly Mission of Phineas Snodgrass" by Frederik Pohl. A man brings to the past some technological advancements like penicillin... but he neglects to bring birth control.
  • January 20, 2017
    Xtifr
    ^ That one sounds more like Overpopulation is Bad (see Starsword's last comment).
  • March 3, 2017
    Mr.Bubbles
    Scientology posits that the 76 planets under Xenu's jurisdiction had an average population of 178 billion.
  • March 3, 2017
    BreadBull
    One Doctor Who episode states that the population of Earth in the year 200,000 is 96 billion.
  • March 3, 2017
    zarpaulus
    • In The Expanse Earth has a population of 30 billion. While Mars actively encourages large families, one character supposedly has 40 siblings.
  • March 4, 2017
    Arivne
    Literature
  • March 4, 2017
    eroock
    ...
  • March 5, 2017
    Tuckerscreator
    • Zootopia: As Judy the rabbit leaves Bunnyburrow, we see its population sign, which is well over 81.4 million and increasing by three rabbits per second. It's a funny gag about rabbit breeding, but it does raise a whole lot of questions about Funny Animal rabbit lifespan and Bunnyburrow's resource capacity...
  • March 5, 2017
    Theharbo
    Human population growth is currently slowing down everywhere except Africa, and estimations by the UN target that humanity will never reach the 12th billion.
  • April 30, 2017
    zarpaulus
    • In Schlock Mercenary the Sol system has a population greater than a trillion in the 31st century, Earth alone hosts 200 billion people, 4.62 billion of whom are concentrated in the capital megalopolis of Dom Atlantis.
  • April 24, 2017
    Theharbo
    Updated the draft with updated numbers - some of the stuff in there clearly hadn't been edited since the draft was made in 2011.
  • April 24, 2017
    zarpaulus
    ^ Might want to apply Rolling Updates as well
  • June 22, 2017
    Theharbo
    I've weeded out information pertaining to Overpopulation Crisis. This trope is merely for the shorthand of "We're in the future, and you know this because our population is huge."
  • June 22, 2017
    hszmv1
    • While no exact figures are given, Star Trek Deep Space Nine notes that the human cost of the two year long Dominion War is well into the billions. The Cardassians are stated to lose at least 800 million civilian during the events of the final episode... 100 times the troops they lose in the entire war. To give you a comparison, Quark found that ordering the death of 28 million people in a small civil war to be needlessly cruel.
  • June 22, 2017
    tyrekecorrea
    What's the qualifier here?
  • June 23, 2017
    Theharbo
    ^ The population being larger than present used as a shorthand for 'we are in the future, you know this because the population is huge.'

    ^^ Can't really use that example without additional information. those billions/800 million could be a large part of the population, which wouldn't make it qualify for the trope.
  • June 23, 2017
    lakingsif
    Definitely needs a better title
  • June 23, 2017
    Theharbo
    ^ Agreed, the trope has come a long way since its original inception and subsequent split into Overpopulation Crisis.

    We Will Be More In The Future? Twenty Billions Into The Future? Enormous Future Population?

  • June 23, 2017
    SolipSchism
    There's an Example Indentation problem by way of Natter in the Foundation example under Literature. The example responds to itself.
  • June 23, 2017
    Getta
  • June 23, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ That sounds like a better title.
  • July 23, 2017
    Theharbo
    ^ and ^^ It's not about overpopulation. That was split off into another trope. It's about an increased population, certainly, but overpopulation implies there are too many people to be sustainable. This is about having so many people it seems impossible the we'll ever reach that number.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=giywpjxtq7xj6kdbct586rsl