Fleshing Out Elite : Giving the superpowers some statistics

//// This was taken from my blog at http://nosuchexplorer.weebly.com/blog.html Go check it out if you want to see more like this (as i won't post everything on here) /////


As we all know, there are three different superpowers in elite, in cronological order, the Federation, The Empire and The Alliance of Independent Systems. These superpowers are in elite treated like the large nations of the world (or unions, in the case of the alliance) with huge populations, thousands of systems and big militaries, they are truly enormous, but what are the actual statistics? That's what i've found out today.

How did i do this?
I started very simple; I opened notes, turned on elite, and opened the powerplay "leaderboard" and started from the buttom. First was Archon Delaine, i wrote down "Federation, Federation Pop, Empire, Independent" etc. and proceeded to fill out those lines with the population, and systems controlled by Archon Delaine belonging to the respective faction, if there were none, i simply did not write anything. So i proceeded upwards until i reached Edmund Mahon. I wrote down the last systems and populations, and it looked like this:

(On population, 1 represents 1 billion)



I then added the numbers together and made a nice total of each line, along with the density. (Calculated by dividing XFACTION/XFACTIONPOP) which gave me some nice statistics.

Error Sources:

Before we dive into the numbers, there's a few things that i'd like to point out.
1. Powerplay isn't a complete list. Although many systems are controlled by a power, some aren't, which makes this more of an estimate, and not a real hard conclusion (Independents are hit extra hard by this, as they have very many systems on the frontier, a rather unprofitable place for powerplay)
2. Systems might be overcounted. Some systems may be claimed by multiplie powers, and therefore counted multiplie times. However, going by the Fermi Equation, this will hopefully even out as many systems aren't counted, and will hopefully not alter numbers too much.
3. Numbers Change. This set of data was taken the 29th of April 2016 2:25PM, and although they are correct at time of writing, they can, and most likely will change over time.

So onto the statistics. (You can view higher quality image by going over to my blog here)



Conclusions:

We can draw many conclusions from this data, and i want to start with the Federation vs Empire debate. With this data, we can safely assume (and that's understimating, considering many more federal system were not included, in comparasent to empire systems not included) that the Federation is not only larger, but more populus than the Empire. The only thing the Empire has got going over the Federation is population density, and even there the difference is minimal. Statistically, the Empire does not excel high in any of these categories. The two very interesting things are the alliance and the independents. The alliance is the densest power no questions asked. It's far from the federation and empire, which are lurking around the average point, and almost twice as dense as the independent systems! This again supports the notion that the alliance is mostly core systems, with high populations, rich economies and high influence. It is very small, with only 4% of the galactic population, but one can see why it is a superpower. The independents are on the other side of the spectrum, with mostly meh stats. Their biggest statistic is their system count, which is the second highest of them all, surpassing the empire in numbers, however their population is very small, not as small as the alliance, but very small, and they therefore have the worst population density in the game, an incredible 0,44/billion people for every system on average. If the whole of all systems i have data on had the density of the independent systems, there would only be 3569,28 billion people in the galaxy (in comparasent to the actual 5435,04 billion people), and if the they had the density of the alliance, there would be 7219,68 billion people!

This is the first in a series of many, where i will try to flesh out elite by providing research, theories and lesser-known lore! For more check out my blog! http://nosuchexplorer.weebly.com/blog.html
 
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My main concern with the study is the Powerplay-centric nature of the data. I've not studied population density real closely, but I get the impression from just flying around that most of the fringes of Human space, where populations are low and inhabited stars are spread further apart, are considered unprofitable for Power exploitation and so are not expanded into. Thus the entire Powerplay bubble is surrounded by a "shell" of unexploited systems that make up the Bubble proper.

The other thing to consider is the bias caused by the different Powerplay groups attracting different calibres of players with different aims. Mahon, for example, tends to attract lots of high calibre BGS workers and players experienced with getting Powerplay to work properly, so Mahon's expansions are historically "smarter" - they deliberately avoid the easy-but-unprofitable expansions into low-population regions, which is likely to bump up their perceived population density. Hudson and the Empress both attract merit grinders and fifth columnists who force expansions into unprofitable regions. Antal, on the other hand, seems to be directed mostly by players keen on finding sentimental or RP reasons for expanding to certain places, rather than cold economic logic, so they're even more likely to expand into unprofitable regions., which will drive their population density down.

I'd estimate a quarter to a third of the inhabited galaxy, in terms of number of star systems, is outside of Powerplay. Now, most of these are low-pop systems so it would be much less than that fraction in terms of population, but still not insignificant - maybe one-sixth of the galactic population is outside of the Powerplay bubble.

This "fringe factor" would not affect all powers equally. It would most strongly affect the Empire, since the Empire owns most of its fringe, with very few Indie settlements in the general direction of Galactic Down. The Alliance and Independents would be strongly affected, with the Federation affected least since the Federation doesn't have a zone of fringe expansion like the other two powers do.

So my sheer-guesswork extrapolation of population, based on your statistics and my assumptions, would be something on the order of:

Federation: 2200 billion
Empire: 1800 billion
Alliance: 300 billion
Independent: 1600 billion
Total: 5900 billion.

Is anyone aware of any actual galactic census data published, either by FD or elsewhere?
 
My main concern with the study is the Powerplay-centric nature of the data. I've not studied population density real closely, but I get the impression from just flying around that most of the fringes of Human space, where populations are low and inhabited stars are spread further apart, are considered unprofitable for Power exploitation and so are not expanded into. Thus the entire Powerplay bubble is surrounded by a "shell" of unexploited systems that make up the Bubble proper.

The other thing to consider is the bias caused by the different Powerplay groups attracting different calibres of players with different aims. Mahon, for example, tends to attract lots of high calibre BGS workers and players experienced with getting Powerplay to work properly, so Mahon's expansions are historically "smarter" - they deliberately avoid the easy-but-unprofitable expansions into low-population regions, which is likely to bump up their perceived population density. Hudson and the Empress both attract merit grinders and fifth columnists who force expansions into unprofitable regions. Antal, on the other hand, seems to be directed mostly by players keen on finding sentimental or RP reasons for expanding to certain places, rather than cold economic logic, so they're even more likely to expand into unprofitable regions., which will drive their population density down.

I'd estimate a quarter to a third of the inhabited galaxy, in terms of number of star systems, is outside of Powerplay. Now, most of these are low-pop systems so it would be much less than that fraction in terms of population, but still not insignificant - maybe one-sixth of the galactic population is outside of the Powerplay bubble.

This "fringe factor" would not affect all powers equally. It would most strongly affect the Empire, since the Empire owns most of its fringe, with very few Indie settlements in the general direction of Galactic Down. The Alliance and Independents would be strongly affected, with the Federation affected least since the Federation doesn't have a zone of fringe expansion like the other two powers do.

So my sheer-guesswork extrapolation of population, based on your statistics and my assumptions, would be something on the order of:

Federation: 2200 billion
Empire: 1800 billion
Alliance: 300 billion
Independent: 1600 billion
Total: 5900 billion.

Is anyone aware of any actual galactic census data published, either by FD or elsewhere?
I agree, and as i wrote in the OP i fully aknowlegde the limitations of the powerplay data.
So far there has been no galactic sensus posted by FD, so this is the closest we have.
 
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