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Old February 26th, 2019, 07:40 PM
nobby-w nobby-w is offline
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Some studies about space habitats and other related topics came up with some figures:
  • Several hundred is the minimum necessary to maintain sufficient genetic diversity.
  • About 100,000-200,000 is the minimum to maintain a self-sustaining economy.
  • About 500,000-1,000,000 is the minimum to maintain a culture with more esoteric functions such as research universities.
That would imply that population 6 is really the minimum to sustain a technological society without external support. How high a tech level this could sustain is left as an exercise for the reader, but one could presume that at least TL8-10 could be sustained in this way, and maybe higher levels of technology. If the R&D was available externally (i.e. the intellectual property could be purchased) then an arbitrarily high tech level could be sustained under these circumstances. Even if the world is not primarily industrial, it could have enough industry to be self-sustaining and perhaps import some items externally.

Smaller populations with any significant technology base would have to be dependent on external parties by this reasoning.

You could stipulate a larger population as being needed to sustain higher tech levels without access to external sources of intellectual property and R&D.
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