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In the last few episodes of season 4, several population numbers are given:

Each of those numbers is repeated several times and no alternative numbers are ever given. However, various details create confusion in the counts.

Sky People population in 412

Based on the above, there were a total of 464 people vying for the 100 Sky People spots during episode "The Chosen".

  • 464 likely includes Raven since the Sky People's leaders (Kane, Jaha, Abby, Clarke, and Bellamy) were already planning to bring her to the bunker when they were speaking about the need to cull 364 people.
  • 464 may exclude Monty and Harper. It is unclear that they knew that Monty was still coming from Arkadia. It is also unclear if they knew how many people he would bring.
    • When the truck crashed, Bellamy radioed Monty. It is unclear if Bellamy radioed because he knew that Monty was driving towards Polis or if he was just trying to determine what slim options they had.
  • 464 may include Niylah and Emori. While they are Grounders, they entered the bunker with the Sky People.
    • Jaha said that they will be "sending 364 of our own people to their deaths." The words "our own people" may exclude Grounders. However, Abby later says "364 people die" because of her decision (to help Bellamy open the doors) without clarifying the number only refers to Sky People (at that point, she is aware that Emori lost her spot within the bunker).
    • When Abby talks with Emori, it is clear that Emori was not included in the essential personnel nor in the lottery, which implies she was not considered as part of "our own people".
    • However, later when an angry member of the crowd demands to know if Niylah's name is being put into the lottery, Kane hesitates to reply, suggesting she might be included.
  • 464 assumes Octavia took one of the Sky People spots for herself.
    • She was the Sky People Champion and she would obviously get a spot.
    • In "The Other Side", Octavia says, "Skaikru gets 100 [spots], same as everybody else. Bellamy gets one of them. The rest is up to you." However, she does not mention herself, making it unclear if she is counted as another Sky People spot, as a different clan's spot, or as an extra spot above the 1,200 total.
    • In "Praimfaya", Indra tells Octavia that "1,200 people are waiting your orders". This may imply that Octavia is an extra person above the 1,200 limit. However, Indra may have used the total population number which includes Octavia or rounded the population number for ease of speech.
  • The population list in "Heavy Lies the Crown" says there were 500 people in Arkadia. Given the roundness of many of the numbers on the list, this is likely an approximation. 500 people minus 33 known Sky People deaths (after Clarke's list was written in "The Four Horsemen" but before the culling in "The Chosen") equals 467 population. This is three more than 464, which means 500 was the population rounded up or there were more than 33 deaths or both.
    • Assuming initial population of 497 and 33 deaths, that's 6.64 deaths per 100 people. Assuming initial population of 500 and 36 deaths, that's 7.2 deaths per 100 people. Either way, it rounds to 7 deaths in a sample of 100 people.

Bunker population in 411

Based on the above, there were a total of 461 people in the bunker during episode "The Other Side".

  • Assumes 464 counts Octavia, Raven, Emori, and Niylah but excludes Monty and Harper.
  • Of the 464, three were not in the bunker during "The Other Side": Octavia, Kane, and Raven.
  • Once the bunker was open, 364 of the 461 lost spots within the bunker, i.e. only 97 were given spots. (The other three spots were guaranteed to Octavia, Kane, and Raven.)

Sky People lottery

The Sky People's leaders decided to hold a lottery. Abby says that there is only 80 lottery spots, the rest going to essential personnel and children under 16.

  • The 20 guaranteed spots is number of essential personnel plus the number of children under 16.
    • It is directly stated that Bellamy, Clarke, Raven, Abby, and Kane all had guaranteed spots.
    • While not directly stated, it is implied that Jaha and Jackson were also essential personnel. Abby said, "We'll need to prioritize doctors and engineers" when they were discussing who should get spots. Jackson is a doctor and Jaha is an engineer. Also:
      • Jaha: Hardy assumes Jaha will be alive to take care of his son after the culling; Jaha is included in the decision making process; Jaha is third on Clarke's list (even higher than Raven) implying his essential status.
      • Jackson: Abby would not have been able to give away her spot if there was not another doctor guaranteed a spot; when Nathan Miller's name is pulled during the lottery, he celebrates with Jackson; when Kane steps away from the lottery bowl, he asks Jackson to take over; Jackson is second on Clarke's list (Abby is first) implying his essential status.
    • Assuming Octavia is counted towards Sky People's total, then she would also have one of the 20 guaranteed spots.
    • Since they had to specifically set aside spots for children, this means that children are counted against the 100 spot total.
      • Since "children" is used, it means that that there are at least two. One is Ethan Hardy.
      • Based on the eight people above having guaranteed spots, that means there are no more than 12 children under 16.
        • Given the population of 464, this is extremely disproportionate. If we assume equal number of people of each age and everyone living until 80, then there should be approximately 93 children under 16.
        • Before the 100 were sent to Earth, the Ark had a population of at least 2,659. That included 100 juvenile delinquents, as well as, non-delinquent children. Even if we assume all children were delinquents (which is known to be false), that is 1 juvenile per 16.59 people. At that rate, there would be 28 juveniles in the bunker.
        • For such a low juvenile count, either children disproportional died during the events of the series or 16 years before the start of the series even stricter population rules were introduced making the majority of juveniles (delinquent and not) 16 or older.
        • The population list in "Heavy Lies the Crown" might be saying that there were 30 children out of 500 people in Arkadia. If that is the case, then over half the children died before the culling.
  • After several Sky People turn on Niylah, Octavia declares her safe and gives her one of Sky People's spots. However, the number of lottery spots available does not decrease. This seems to imply that Niylah already had a guaranteed spot, though that would be odd.
  • After Abby gives up her 'safe' spot, the number of lottery spots increases to 81.

Sky People 100 spots

Sky People were given exactly 100 spots in the bunker.

  • Clarke's list of 100 people (written in "The Four Horsemen") was the primary selector. Presumable all people spared who were not on the list took spots of people who died.
    • At least 4 adults (16 or older) not on the list were given spots: Kane, Nathan, Costa, and Niylah.
    • Any children (under 16) not on Clarke's list were also given spots. There was between 2-12 children with at least one (Ethan) not included on Clarke's list.
      • While young children like Ethan may have been seen as liabilities for Clarke's list, preteen and teen girls would have been good choices, since after 5 years in a bunker they would be old enough to bear children. So we should not assume all children were excluded just because one was excluded.
    • At least 33 Sky People died after Clarke's list was written but before the culling. Since there were approximately 500 Sky People, that is 6.6 dead per 100 people. At that rate, approximately 7 people on Clarke's list would be dead and thus freeing up spots. Those spots could be given to people not on the list, like those mentioned above.
  • Grounders were not given extra spots for children and it was explicitly stated that children count against the total. There is no logical reason to believe that Sky People were given extra spots for children. (Unless you believe Sky People children to be more special & more worthy than Grounder children...)
  • Clarke, Bellamy, and Raven are on the list, but they failed to return to the bunker, leaving the total used spots at 97.
    • Since the three of them were not expected to arrive to the bunker until after Octavia's deadline, it would be logical to leave their spots open.
      • If Kane and Jaha gave away those three spots, what were they planning to do if Clarke, Bellamy, and Raven actually showed up? Have a third culling?
      • If Kane and Jaha saved the spots, then there would be no way to fill them after Bellamy and Clarke contacted them to say they were not coming. (Unless they decided to open the bunker and call out to anyone outside that three spots opened up...)
    • Right before Kane and Jaha gassed their people, Jaha reiterated that 364 people would have to be killed. This means they were still expecting Clarke, Bellamy, and Raven. (If they knew they were not coming, then Jaha would have said 361.)

Sky People culling

Due to over population, 364 Sky People had to be culled.

  • Since Murphy was part of the Sky People count, that reduces the actually culled number by one.
  • If Emori was part of the Sky People count, then that reduces the actually culled number by one.
  • However, if Niylah and Emori were not part of the Sky People count, then that increases the to be culled number to 366. Since Murphy and Emori left before the culling, that reduced the actual culled number to 364.
    • It is unclear if Niylah and Emori were included in the Sky People count. While Jaha said "364 of our own people" will be culled, Abby also used the same number without qualifying it to "our own people" (and she was aware of Niylah and Emori at that time).
  • If Monty and Harper were included in the Sky People count, then that reduces the actual culled number by two.
  • If Clarke's, Bellamy's, and Raven's spots were filled, then three less people would have been culled.

Based on the above (and assuming Sky People did not receive extra spots above 100), 357 to 364 people were actually culled.

Bunker population in 413

The bunker can support 1,200 people for five years.

  • It is possible, though unlikely, that Octavia took an extra spot (i.e. the 1,201st spot) for herself.
    • In "The Other Side", Octavia says, "Skaikru gets 100 [spots], same as everybody else. Bellamy gets one of them. The rest is up to you." However, she does not mention herself, making it unclear if she is counted as another Sky People spot, as a different clan's spot, or as an extra spot above the 1,200 total.
    • In "Praimfaya", Indra tells Octavia that "1,200 people are waiting your orders". This may imply that Octavia is an extra person above the 1,200 limit. However, Indra may have used the total population number which includes Octavia or rounded the population number for ease of speech.
  • It is possible that Clarke's, Bellamy's, and Raven's spots were never filled, leaving 1,197 people in the bunker.
  • It is unlikely that a 1% difference (i.e. 12 extra people) would make a significant difference in resource use. That said, Grounders have no reason to give extra spots to Sky People when their clans were not given extra spots.
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