Population is a measure of how many people live in your current game. The total number of inhabitants worldwide is given in the lower-left corner of the screen. You can left-click on the population total to display how many people of each civilization class live in your world. See the screenshot to the right for an example, showing all civilization levels' population totals plus total ships and military units.

Population is also broken down per-island. If you click on a city marketplace, the total population for that island is listed on the "Inhabitant overview" tab.

Anno 1404-population worldwidewithbreakdown

Population overview display.

Anno 1404-population inhabitantoverview

Inhabitant overview tab.

Population levelsEdit

City population growth icon

Population is broken down into ten different levels for each island, listed as roman numerals I through X on the City list (F12 by default). When you reach each level, the game notifies you and displayed the icon to the left in your news bar. The following chart lists each population level:

Rank Population level Requirements
Anno 1404-citylistexample

An example City list (F12 shortcut)

I Small Settlement [1] Default level of all islands
II Small Settlement [2] 1 Peasant / 1 Nomad
III Settlement 90 Peasants / 145 Nomads
IV Village 355 Citizens / 295 Nomads
V Small Town 510 Patricians / 440 Nomads
VI City 1190 Patricians / 1040 Envoys
VII Major City 950 Noblemen / 1740 Envoys
VIII Commercial Center 2200 Noblemen / 3480 Envoys
IX Metropolis 3500 Noblemen / 5240 Envoys
X Cosmopolitan City 7500 Noblemen / 10000 Envoys

Anno 1404-population levels

A Metropolis city, showing 7 out of 8 ranks.

You can also check what population size your city is by left-clicking on an island warehouse (not market buildings).

A display in the upper-right corner of the screen will show what population level your city has reached, but confusingly this display only shows eight total ranks, since it skips the first two "Small Settlement" levels.

Skipping the first two ranks from the above chart, the eight ranking symbols represent Settlement, Village, Small Town, City, Major City, Commercial Center, Metropolis, and Cosmopolitan City.

Civilization levels Edit

Anno 1404 makes a distinction between the terms "population" and "civilization." Population measures the number of people, referred to as "inhabitants" in Anno 1404, either on an island or worldwide, as discussed in the population sections.

The term "civilization" refers to how advanced or sophisticated your various cities are, and is measured by what inhabitant civilization levels are present in a given city. Civilization levels (also called classes) are the different social groups that make up your cities.

Each civilization class lives in a 3x3 house type (the only exception being the unique Beggar class that has a 4x3 house type). All regular houses start out as either peasant or nomad houses, and the inhabitants upgrade their houses as their needs are met. See Ascension Rights and Needs.

There are a total of seven different civilization classes in Anno 1404:


Anno 1404-civlevel portraits peasant

Peasants are the default class that move in when houses are built in the Occident. They are the lowest of the four occidental classes (excluding beggars). They represent the common folk of society, wanting only the simple necessities of life. A peasant house can hold up to 8 peasants.

Peasants need Food, Drink, Community, and Faith. Basic needs are Community and Food, without these your peasants will start moving out.

Peasants need for Community is satisfied by an occidental marketplace (or an Imperial Cathedral, interestingly). Food is satisfied by fish. Drink is satisfied by cider. Faith is satisfied by having a chapel, a church, or a cathedral in the neighborhood.


Anno 1404-civlevel portraits citizen

Citizens are the second class, representing the "middle class" of society, being just well-off enough to desire more refined goods. A citizen house can house up to 15 citizens.

Citizens need Food, Drink, Clothing, Community, Faith, and Amusement.

Food is satisfied by spices. Clothing by linen garments. Amusement by a tavern in the neighborhood (or an Imperial Cathedral, strangely). These are in addition to all the needs of peasants, which citizens also require.


Anno 1404-civlevel portraits patrician

Patricians are the third class, representing the well-to-do business class, the entrepreneurs and financiers of society. Accordingly, they desire much more refined and exotic goods and services. A patrician house can house up to 25 patricians.

Patricians initially need Food, Drink, Clothing, Community, Faith, Amusement, Property, and Security. They later develop additional desires for more Property.

Food is satisfied by bread. Drink by beer. Clothing by leather jerkins. Faith is by being in the influence of either a chapel and church or just a cathedral. Property by books and later candlesticks. Security by being in the influence of a debtor's prison (or an Imperial Cathedral, strangely). These are in addition to the needs of citizens, which patricians also require.


Anno 1404-civlevel portraits noble

Noblemen are the fourth and highest class, representing the most sophisticated and rich upper-class of society. Due to their affluence, they desire the most exquisite and exotic goods and services of all inhabitants, and tend to be quite snobbish about it. A noblemen house can house up to 40 noblemen.

Noblemen need Food, Drinks, Clothing, Community, Faith, Entertainment, Possessions, and Security.

Food is satisfied by meat. Drink by wine. Clothing by fur coats and later brocade robes. Faith is satisfied by having a church in the neighborhood (chapels won't work, although an Imperial Cathedral will). Property by having glasses. These are in addition to the needs of patricians, which noblemen also require.


Anno 1404-civlevel portraits nomad

Nomads are the default class that move in when oriental houses are built. They represent the common oriental populace, having simple needs at first but slightly more refined needs as times goes by. A nomad house can house up to 15 nomads.

Nomads initially need Food, Drink, and Community. They later develop desires for Property and Faith once enough nomads move in.

Food is satisfied by dates. Drink by milk. Community by a bazaar. Faith by access to a mosque or Sultan's mosque. Property by carpets.


Anno 1404-civlevel portraits envoy

Envoys are the second and highest oriental class, representing experienced traders and ambassadors, having fine tastes for luxury goods. An envoy house can house up to 25 envoys.

Envoys initially need Food, Drink, Property, Community, Faith, and Amusement. They later develop a taste for fancy Food, Drink, and Property once enough envoys move in.

Food is satisfied by marzipan. Drink by coffee. Property by pearl necklaces and perfume. Faith by having a Mosque. Amusement by having a bath house nearby. These are in addition to the needs of nomads, which envoys also require.


Anno 1404-civlevel portraits beggar

Beggars are unique since they don't move in by building houses. Rather, beggars approach islands by ship when a city on that island reaches the status of 'Small Town', (510 Patricians), or in rare cases, with larger cities just reaching the status 'Village', asking to stay in your cities. More beggars will continue to show up occasionally. Upon having more than one city with the required status they will randomly choose one to approach You have the option of either accepting or rejecting them. Note that beggars only approach Occident cities; beggars will never sail to Orient cities.

Rejecting beggars can result in them coming back as Bandits and attacking your city. If you have the add-on Anno 1404: Venice, you will be offered 10 coin per patrician and 5 coin per nobleman for a total of between 5,000 and 25,000 coins if you reject them.

Accepting beggars has the advantage of granting additional Ascension Rights for Peasants, which allows more Peasants to ascend to Citizens. Upon accepting beggars into any of your cities, the alms house opens up on the citizen building construction tab.

All beggars are initially dumped onto the streets of your settlement. While there they cost you between -0.2 and -1.7 coins each and also increase the chance of infection and plague in your city.

If an alms house is built and has all its needs fully satisfied, beggars will move in, taking them off the streets and they will no longer contribute anything negative. They will, however, consume their needs goods of cider and fish. It is interesting to note that beggars have totally identical needs as peasants (fish for food, cider for drink, and community and faith). An alms house can hold up to 500 beggars. Also note beggars do not pay any taxes at all.

Overall, it is always recommended to build alms houses for beggars. A quick way to tell if you need more alms houses is to click on the detailed balance overview in the bottom-left of the screen and see if there's a negative red number for the beggars. You can also click on the population overview in the bottom-left corner of the screen, and hover over the beggar icon and a tooltip will tell you how many beggars are in alms houses relative to the total beggars worldwide.

Advancement Edit

In order to grow your Cities, you want to ascend as many Inhabitants to higher classes as possible. This represents economic growth and prosperity. Unlike prior Anno games, you can never have all your Inhabitants become wealthy folk. Anno 1404 institutes a sort of pyramid-hierarchy or classes, where only certain numbers of people can reach the top. The factors for ascendancy, are listed below.

House Capacity Edit

Before a house can advance, it must be at full capacity.

The population will only move in if they are being taxed at light or dark green levels.

At the yellow level no one will move in or out.

At the orange and red levels the population will move out. If the city is missing required items (for example fish) the population will be unhappy and automatically be in orange and red levels, causing them to move out and houses start to downgrade after most people have left those houses. When the satisfaction level remains red for a short period of time, people will start rampaging through the streets and cause damage to any structure they find. If this is the case with Peasants and Nomads their houses may also become desolate, a status wherein the house is completely deserted and needs time to be rebuilt once people start to move back in.

Occupancy per house per civilization level:

Peasants 8
Citizens 15
Patricians 25
Noblemen 40
Nomads 15
Envoys 25

Taxes Edit

The population will only advance if their satisfaction is euphoric (dark green tax rate). Make sure you set your tax rate at dark green if you want houses to ascend.

Needs Edit

All needs must be very well satisfied for a house to advance. What "very well satisfied" means varies; see the Needs page for more information.

Ascension rights Edit


Population pyramid used for manual ascension.

Ascension rights are granted to a certain number of houses per class to allow a house to advance to the next civilization level. To get more ascension rights for a specific civilization class, it is necessary to increase the number of houses of that level.

Ascension rights can be denied or released by clicking the marketplace and clicking the scroll at the top of the menu that pops up.

If Ascension rights are released, houses will automatically upgrade when all conditions are met: full capacity, all of their needs are fulfilled, their taxes are low, and you have the materials needed.

If Ascension rights are not released, houses can be manually upgraded. Click the upgradable house and click the upgrade button. You can also SHIFT+Click the upgrade button to upgrade as many houses of that type as allowed in one action.


When all of the population's needs are satisfied, the numbers of ascension rights granted are as follows[1].

  • Citizenships: 80% of the number of houses + number of beggars / 40 (improved by Beggar prince).
  • Trade priviliges (Patricians): 60% of number of houses with citizenship + number of Envoys / 110 (improved by The Envoys' favour).
  • Noble titles: 40% of the number of houses with trade privileges.
  • Number of beggars: 10% of number of Citizens + 20% of number of Patricians + 30% of number of Nobles. Observed numbers can be off by a maximum of 50 due to minimum size of beggar ships. It can take a while for all the beggars to arrive as they can spawn every 20 minutes (in ships carrying between 90 and 200).
  • Envoy licenses: 70% of the number of houses.

Note that ascension rights are not "lost" when used to upgrade a house: if you have 40 Patrician and 10 Noble houses, it counts as having 50 trade privileges and will grant 50 * 40% = 20 Noble titles (of which 10 are already in use).

In addition, there are items that grant additional ascension rights. These affect the base percentages only, not the bonus ascension rights from beggars/envoys. These can only be obtained once the Cathedral (for Occidental rights) or the Sultan's Mosque (for Oriental rights) is built. They can be bought from Lord Richard and the Grand Vizier, respectively. However, they effectively only have temporary (i.e., tactical) effects, as described here.

There is an online calculator that will let you quickly determine the number of houses needed to reach a target number of population. There are also easy ways to estimate it:

  • For Occidental populations, divide the target number of class population by its current number, then multiply the current number of houses by this. Let's say you want 2,200 Nobles (for glasses), and currently have 1,600 (wine) and 177 houses. 2,200 / 1,600 = 1.375; x 177 = ~243 houses. (This also tells you that you need to increase your consumable production by ~37.5%). This will not be an exact number since it will depend on beggars showing up, increasing Attainments, etc., but it's pretty quick and easy, and increased beggars or attainments will only make you over-shoot your target.
  • For Orientals, just divide the target number of Envoys by 17.5 (.7×25). Example: You need 2,600 Envoys to reach the Perfumery level. 2,600 / 17.5 = 148.6 houses (round up to 149). This will give you 45 Nomad houses (675 Nomads) and 104 Envoy houses (2,600 Envoys).

Materials Edit

In order for a house to advance to the next level, there must be enough materials in the warehouse.

Peasant to Citizen 1 Tools; 1 Wood
Citizen to Patrician 1 Tools; 1 Wood; 4 Stones
Patrician to Nobleman 1 Tools; 1 Wood; 3 Stones, 3 Glass
Nomad to Envoy 1 Tools; 1 Wood; 4 Mosaic

Why won't the city advance to the next level? Edit

Common reasons the population does not advance is that the population does not have all items needed, the population is being taxed too high, or there is not the correct proportion of each class.

Unlike Anno 1701, you can't get far at all if your civilization is only peasants. Citizens need peasants to live, patricians need citizens and peasants to live, and so on. To determine how many houses can still ascend, click on the city's market place and look at the pyramid. For example, if it shows there are 31/31 noble houses, it means you've reached the maximum number of noble houses.

A population can increase its ascension by Attainments affecting Beggars or Envoys. With these, it is ultimately possible to have no peasants or citizens, if you have enough beggars and envoys relative to your Occidental population.


  1. Percentages taken from the game using ToolOne and verified ingame by using the population calculator to calculate the totals.