Over some 15 millennia, the human population in New Eden increased from zero to ~144 trillion. (Yes, I have read different estimates. I’m just using this one for the purposes of this post.)
7703 A.D.: The EVE Gate opened; human population in New Eden is zero.
7987: colonization began; EVE Gate understood to be a wormhole, and the safe way to travel through it was confirmed. Why the 284-year delay? Figuring out what it was came first (and took ~20 years), then came sending more and more probes through (for another ~20 years), then daring pilots went on expeditions (perhaps just confirming there were worlds stable enough to warrant visiting on the other side), then legal experts were sent to officiate the decisions for first territories (taking another ~25 years), and finally terraformers went (for ~200 years), with colonists only at the tail-end of all that; colonists go when things are stable enough for colonies, not just terraforming devices, to exist/remain. Population: thousands.
8052: (65 years after 7987, the year colonists were first sent) first 5 colonies established, then several hundred more rapidly started (and those ~700 colonies… were likely on the 700 most-habitable worlds… which were likely in 700 different star systems… which were likely in the regions closest to the EVE Gate). Population: millions.
8061: The EVE Gate collapses, destroying many ships and even colonies/ecosystems in the supernova-like blast. Population: back down to thousands.
8100: many colonies perished by now; 4 decades without supplies and helpers still being sent… meant terraforming facilities/fleets that eventually broke down, not having set up enough local mining and other industries… because they were still terraforming.
8100-16,262: 8 millennia of the surviving colonies having no Space capabilities/funds; evolving to the worlds they are stuck on. Terraforming efforts stopped, worlds reverting back to previous states, etc… Population: lingering/fluctuating in the thousands-bracket, with only the most-habitable/successful worlds getting back into the millions.
16,262-23,326: 7 millennia of becoming global powers and getting back into Space, colonizing neighboring moons and worlds, finding and reactivating ancient jump-gates, etc., stripping entire worlds of their valuable resources to make fleets and re-terraform better candidates. Population goes to billions and eventually even hundreds of trillions… as those surviving ~70 colonies/worlds spread out to the thousands of other temperate ones plus many more.
Now for some math:
~80,000,000,000,000 estimated (by the game makers in ~2010; the lore population of all the non-capsuleers / NPCs in this galaxy), followed by ~144,000,000,000,000 in the 23000s (during the early 2020s)…
maybe 700 colonies x 10,000 people per colony existed in the 8000s…
so ~7,000,000 migrated there in the first decades,
then maybe 90% perished; down by ~6,300,000; down to ~700,000 spread out unevenly for the surviving colonies… which maybe numbered only ~70 by then?
so ~10,000 people in each of 70 colonies/systems…
700K to 144T over 8100 to 23000 A.D. = ~15,000 years to increase to a population 143,999,999,300,000 greater; that would be ~9.6B more (9,599,999,993) people per year on avg., not yet adjusted for a normal exponential increase to be realistic.
5,433 systems w/ working jump-gates over ~7,000 years of expansion = ~1 more system reconnected each of those years.
66,869 planets reached/known over 7,000 years = 10 more spotted/reached per year (i.e. ~1 system/year)
144T people evenly spread to 66,869 planets would be 2,153,464,236 per,
but some 3 trillion of them are in Space vessels, many worlds are barren or lava or gas, and obviously habitable and especially capital/home worlds will have billions more people than struggling, newer, and smaller worlds.
So let’s say 141T are on the planets and moons of New Eden,
7,000 planets are temperate,
and the majority of the 141T are there,
so maybe 80%? That’s ~16,114,285,714 people per temperate planet.
~16B over 15,000 years from colonization to current time… is ~1,066,666 more people present per year, again not yet adjusted for the standard exponential increase that we saw on Earth.
144T people, if spread out, planet to planet, so that each New Eden planet would have a population similar to Earth’s (~8B) would mean a need for 18,000 Earths… and New Eden has some 70K worlds plus stations. While there are only 7,000 temperate worlds, if you add in the barren and oceanic, and the possibility of facilities on the other types of worlds plus on the moons, and all the Space stations and other Space-faring vessels, this dispersion average works well enough.
Now let’s estimate how many of the 144T are on those ships.
Crew-size Estimates/Ranges per Ship-class:
Shuttle: 1; just the pilot/capsuleer
Frigate: 1-3; capsuleer plus zero or up to two other people
Industrial ship: 90
Space Station/s: (can range from hundreds to millions)
“Keepstar” giant Space station: 137,000,000
Let’s assume there are:
100 Keepstars at 137M ppl each (which would total: 13,700,000,000 ppl)
10,000 titans at 100K ppl (1,000,000,000)
100,000 dreads at 15K (1,500,000,000)
1,000,000 carriers at 10K (10,000,000,000)
10M battleships at 7K (70,000,000,000)
100M battlecr at 3k (300,000,000,000)
1B cruisers at 650 (650,000,000,000)
10B industrial ships at 90 (900,000,000,000)
100B frigates at 2 (200,000,000,000)
and 1T shuttles at 1 (1,000,000,000,000)
thus each smaller class of ship has a crew which numbers to a degree of magnitude more than its successive larger class’s crew, plus there are other stations and universities; there are likely billions more people in Space on those, too.
We now have a rough estimate of all New Eden Space personnel at: 3,146,200,000,000 people.
That is 2.184861111% of 144T, which is the historic IRL standard of 1-3% of any population; 1-3% serve in the military.
Conclusion: w/ some 16B people per temperate world in New Eden, and tech’ based on farming, Space travel, and augmentation, and roughly the same number of millennia since their primitive era that IRL Earth people have had to become Space-faring, the worlds and cities (including culture and demographics/vocations) of New Eden are a lot like modern IRL Earth in terms of population and function, just with bigger skyscrapers, more starports, and perhaps shorter people after millennia of adjusting to challenging worlds which were only partially terraformed.