A Modest Proposal, or Why Cities Should Eat Pops

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"Urban areas in countries who are often below replacement level fertility when not factoring in migration don't have replacement level fertility." Shocking, really. While fertility tends to be lower in urban areas, them being below replacement levels is usually due to the country at large being below replacement levels and is not an universal truth.

A quick look at various African urban centers, Indian ones, etc shows that they very much have positive birth rates. It's a cultural thing more than anything. Ohio was brought up here as a "net producer" of people. Overall US children per woman are at 1.8, that's below replacement value. Ohio seems to fall squarely into that. So Ohio itself isn't really able to export people in the long term. As it'll soon hit the point where it itself will experience negative growth.

 
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Cat_Fuzz

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"Urban areas in countries who are often below replacement level fertility when not factoring in migration don't have replacement level fertility." Shocking, really. While fertility tends to be lower in urban areas, them being below replacement levels is usually due to the country at large being below replacement levels and is not an universal truth.

A quick look at various African urban centers, Indian ones, etc shows that they very much have positive birth rates. It's a cultural thing more than anything. Ohio was brought up here as a "net producer" of people. Overall US children per woman are at 1.8, that's below replacement value. Ohio seems to fall squarely into that. So Ohio itself isn't really able to export people in the long term. As it'll soon hit the point where it itself will experience negative growth.

But the countries you list have higher birth rates largely due to poverty, not culture. Poverty and high population rates are linked due to high infant mortality rates (so there is a desire to have more kids as some won’t survive to adulthood).

Conversely reproduction rates are lower in wealthier countries (where cities usually have centralised wealth) because there isn’t that fear of child death, plus associated high costs of childcare / maintenance.

However to the OPs point, I think as a game mechanic it would be too confusing to most players, where their densely populated cities are producing fewer pops. It cleaner and simpler to understand as it sits now.

EDIT: Link
 
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HFY

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A quick look at various African urban centers, Indian ones, etc shows that they very much have positive birth rates.

We looked into India on the first page:
Here's one which might surprise you: Indian census data has recent total fertility rate at 2.4 in rural areas, 1.7 in urban. Replacement TFR is somewhere between 2.1 and 2.3, so that's a pretty stark contrast.

If you've got better data than the Indian census, post the source and the data.
 

unknownenlord

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I would like to at least be able to mod in the negative growth aspect, without a hacky purge implementation.

Edit to avoid double posts, wars should not be the only loss of pops as that only really impacts losers of wars and ends up snowballing
 
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Gyrvendal

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This is a cool idea, and I would totally support it if this were a game about IRL human populations like eg Victoria III. But Stellaris is supposed to model strange and exotic alien cultures, not to mention gestalts, etc. I don't think your logic would apply to all of them. And for balancing reasons you'd have to force it, making it immersion breaking IMO
 
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HFY

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This is a cool idea, and I would totally support it if this were a game about IRL human populations like eg Victoria III. But Stellaris is supposed to model strange and exotic alien cultures, not to mention gestalts, etc. I don't think your logic would apply to all of them. And for balancing reasons you'd have to force it, making it immersion breaking IMO

1 - Gestalts use pop assembly and don't have "urban" districts or designations, so they'd need their own mechanics separate from this.

2 - We see the same sorts of impaired growth in non-humans, like the rat experiments I linked earlier. That said, regular empire aliens in Stellaris are already quite human in nearly all measurable ways.
 
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ZeeHero

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Just a reminder to make sure your assumptions about population are in no way inspired by Malthus as crackpots debunked decades ago are not evidence.
 
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currylambchop

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1 - Gestalts use pop assembly and don't have "urban" districts or designations, so they'd need their own mechanics separate from this.

2 - We see the same sorts of impaired growth in non-humans, like the rat experiments I linked earlier. That said, regular empire aliens in Stellaris are already quite human in nearly all measurable ways.
There wouldn’t be the same behaviour if there was social engineering done in the society to encourage or discourage population growth in either the rural or urban regions. China is quite a rural country and has stagnated population growth, while urban USA exceeds it in population growth.
 

HFY

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There wouldn’t be the same behaviour if there was social engineering done in the society to encourage or discourage population growth in either the rural or urban regions. China is quite a rural country and has stagnated population growth, while urban USA exceeds it in population growth.

China is heavily engineered, of course. You don't go from ~20% urban population in 1980 to ~65% urban population in 2020 without a heavy hand pushing.

Also, China has (in the past) done the equivalent of clicking the "discourage growth" button.
 

PedroLuiz

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Where I live (Brazil) people might move out of the big cities when they retire (at sixtyish), and definitely not before unless they are civil engineers touring the country after construction work. I
there is a lot more work on the countryside than on SP and RJ nowadays, and data also suggest we are seeing the reversal of migration patterns the decade present and the past one
 

PedroLuiz

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People leaving ohio to go to california did not age well CA Is so much worse now, people would be doing the opposite.
well, they are
net migration US.png
 

Zetesofos

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Yeah I agree :)

Here I proposed a pop growth mechanic, which will eventually lead to negative pop growth on densely populated planets

Seems like a neat idea. I feel like you could maybe do an even simplier setup though by just applying a modifier to a planets pop growth rate based on what type of districts and/or buildings you have built?
 

PedroLuiz

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"Urban areas in countries who are often below replacement level fertility when not factoring in migration don't have replacement level fertility." Shocking, really. While fertility tends to be lower in urban areas, them being below replacement levels is usually due to the country at large being below replacement levels and is not an universal truth.
the fertility rate in Mumbai was only 1.4 per woman already in 2011 (even tho India's fertility rate is still above the replacement rate for 3 more years)
 
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PedroLuiz

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Conversely reproduction rates are lower in wealthier countries (where cities usually have centralised wealth) because there isn’t that fear of child death, plus associated high costs of childcare / maintenance.
only 93 countries (and territories) have above replacement fertility and, while most of those countries do include most of the world's poorest regions, the remaining 134 states include a whole lot of people that you would not count as wealthier countries (Bangladesh, El Salvador, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Iran, Mongolia, and Thailand for example), in fact, as urbanization spreads the below-replacement wealth threshold seems to be decreasing as nations become less fertile faster than they become wealthier
 
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Horologer

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There's a citation in the thread from year 40 Ancient Rome complaining about this same happening.

From what we can tell, historical cities don't seem to have reproduced above rate of replacement.

It's not limited to our species, either. Here's one non-human experiment.
Again, these aren't grounds for extrapolation. Mice aren't sapient, and ancient cities were subject to constraints that modern cities don't have to deal with.

Very few things in the game are perfectly realistic -- it's a wargame with no military logistics, for example.

Do you honestly think this mechanic would be LESS realistic than the current empire-wide malus which the default settings provide?
No, I don't the current empire-wide malus is at all realistic. I personally think it's kludgy, unintuitive, and for the most part it fails at being an effective anti-snowball mechanism. So I usually either play with it off or turned down to the lowest setting. But I don't think this is a suitable replacement either. It's better in some ways, but it's still complicated and somewhat unintuitive. I don't see what it does to stop snowballing, either. It probably would make just spamming foundries and labs more difficult, but that just makes growth in general harder.

On the subject of whether this is realistic or not, take the graph posted near the beginning of the thread:
Here's one from the CDC talking about data from 2007 to 2017: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db323.htm#section_1 -- no surprise the data shows a widening gap between rural and urban birth rates, with urban being much lower.

Graph from the above:
RojFDK9.gif
The data here partly contradicts the premise of the system proposed. For one thing, as this graph demonstrates, fertility rates in metro areas were at the replacement rate (albeit definitely on the low end) not even two decades ago. In fact, a quick pass through some literature suggests that urban fertility rates were often well above the replacement rate in the United States, and only began to decline sharply within the past few decades. So cities right now might be population sinks, but in the past that has certainly not always been the case.

Another issue is that rural areas are now also well below replacement rate (or at least they were in 2017, and I doubt that's changed). So they're also a population sink, which means if you're simply importing existing trends into the game, the total number of pops in game would only go down over time. Obviously, that's not going to work under Stellaris' current economic system.
 
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Sir Roderick

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The decline of cities natality was because of hedonism cause from materialism in older times and also egalitarianism added to it that caused new laws to be passed that decreased natality even more, also public spending actually increased natality, here's proof:



The case of Milan is emblematic. The phenomenon in the mid-nineteenth century assumed great importance. Between 1845 and 1864 85,267 children were abandoned in the Pia Casa degli Esposte and the Partorienti in Santa Caterina alla Ruota in Milan, with an average of 4,263 foundlings per year. That was about 30% of the children born in the city. In fact, working families could not support more than 4-5 children at a time and each new birth was a problem for the family economy, also because working women often worked and did not have much time to devote to the care of small children. [7] This phenomenon created an accentuation of the fertility of Milanese women, especially workers. In fact, given the restraining effects on fertility created by breastfeeding, in the absence of contraceptives, women abandoned their children and immediately became ready for a new pregnancy. Thus the Milanese workers, in the mid-nineteenth century, gave birth to an average of 13.7 children against 8.4 of the national average. [8]

This dynamic was common to several large cities.
Suffice it to say that in the working-class and poor neighborhoods of Naples in the early eighties of the nineteenth century a birth rate of 50 ‰ [9] was touched against a national birth rate of 38 ‰. [10]
 
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