Here’s What the Population of Skyrim Is – By Holds

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Have you ever wondered how many people live in Skyrim? It seems like everywhere you look, there is a named NPC wandering around. It makes sense for such a large map to have an equally large number of NPCs. In today’s post, we’ve decided to see for ourselves how many people are there in Skyrim. Of course, the number will include only named NPCs and will exclude guards, bandits, and other aggressive NPCs that respawn periodically. Let’s see what the population of Skyrim is.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Skyrim’s current population, including all DLCs and Solstheim, stands at 983 named NPCs.
  • The number does not include guards, bandits, vampires, undead, and other aggressive NPCs that respawn.
  • NPCs and creatures living in other planes of existence, such as Sovngarde and Apocrypha, weren’t counted either.

Which Hold in Skyrim has the biggest population?

Standing at 137 named NPCs, The Rift has the most named NPCs in Skyrim. This is not as surprising considering that Riften is the most populous city in Skyrim as well, currently standing at 94 NPCs. This is most likely because Thieves Guild is counted amongst the general population of Riften, and people inhabit many locations throughout the hold.

On the opposite side of the scale, we have Morthal, which is, in terms of population smallest hold. There’s not much to do in Morthal. It’s a vampire-infested swamp of little interest, so there’s no need for a great number of NPCs to be placed in this general area.

It’s important to note that many NPCs live in various ruins, camps, and smaller shacks across Skyrim. Those NPCs are generally counted as belonging to the “wilderness.” The same goes for named NPCs that are considered to be “random” encounters. Both types of NPCs weren’t counted as they belonged to the specific hold. Instead, they were grouped under “wilderness.”

In the table below, you can see the breakdown of the population of Skyrim sorted by Holds.

HoldNumber of Named NPCs
The Pale53
The Reach127
The Rift137

The population of Skyrim analysis by each hold

In the following section of this post, we’re going to analyze each hold and its population. Solstheim will be considered due to having a significant number of named NPCs. Smaller ruins, settlements, and other random locations with a single named NPC will not be taken into account. NPCs living in those locations are grouped under “wilderness.” Guards, bandits, vampires, adventurers, and other unnamed NPCs are not considered as well since it would be near-impossible to count them all.

The Pale


The Pale is the northern hold of Skyrim, sitting on the coast of the Sea of Ghosts. Historically, the capital of the hold, Dawnstar, was an important harbor but has since been neglected, and without a regular source of income, most populace is scattered across more welcoming and economically stable regions of Skyrim.

The climate of Pale Hold is wintery, glacial, and frozen, with little crops and little wildlife to sustain a larger population. The largest settlement in the hold is Dawnstar, with 39 named NPCs. The total population of The Pale Hold sits at 53 named NPCs.

Pale Imperial Camp1
Pale Stormcloak Camp1
Anga’s Mill4
Loreius Farm2
Nightgate Inn3
Heljarchen Hall3
The Pale Hold population of named NPCs


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Falkreath Hold


Falkreath is a southern hold, bordering Hammerfell and Cyrodiil. It’s surrounded by Jerrall mountains and covered in thick pine forests. The largest settlement in the hold is Falkreath standing at 31 named NPCs. The hold, in total, has 51 named NPCs currently residing in it.

Falkreath Imperial Camp1
Falkreath Stormcloak Camp1
Lakeview Manor3
Half-Moon Mill2
Bloated Man’s Grotto13
Falkreath Hold population of named NPCs

The Reach


This western hold is considered among the biggest in Skyrim, and it is legendary for its mountainous terrain and Forsworn attacks that happen regularly. The hold’s main source of income are mines rich in silver ore. The capital of The Reach is Markarth standing at 86 named NPCs. Across the Reach, various big settlements and Orc Strongholds are scattered, so it doesn’t surprise that we can count at least 127 NPCs currently residing there.

Shor’s Stone4
Dushnikh Yal12
Mor Khazgur8
The Reach Imperial Camp1
The Reach Stormcloak Camp1
Sky Haven Temple2
Soljund’s Sinkhole2
Old Hroldan3
The Reach Hold population of named NPCs

Hjaalmarch Hold


Hjaalmarch is one more northern hold. Although it’s relatively close to the capital of Skyrim, it’s fairly isolated, with few places of interest in the vicinity. Its capital Morthal is located on the edges of a swamp and is often a target of vampire attacks. Life in Morthal is not easy by any means, so it’s not surprising that its population has been dwindling over the years and currently sits at 18 named NPCs. Currently, Hjaalmarch hold is home to 31 named NPC.

Hjaalmarch Imperial Camp1
Hjaalrmach Stormcloak Camp1
Windstad Manor3
Hjaalmarch Hold population of named NPCs


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The Rift


The Rift sits on a massive plateau in the southeastern corner of the province; it’s the southernmost of all Skyrim holds and neighbors both Morrowind and Cyrodiil. Due to its unique geographical position, The Rift has a fairly mild climate with plenty of opportunities to grow crops and sustain a larger population.

The capital of the hold is Riften sitting on the shores of Lake Honrich. It is home to 94 named NPCs, and it is the biggest city in Skyrim in terms of population. The Rift is overall the most populous hold in Skyrim, with 137 named NPCs.

The Rift Imperial Camp1
The Rift Stormcloak Camp1
Fort Dawnguard12
Sarethi Farm2
Froki’s Shack2
Dayspring Canyon7
The Rift Hold population of named NPCs

Haafingar Hold

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Haafingar is a northwestern hold that houses the capital of Skyrim, Solitude. The holds itself sits on the shores of the Sea of Ghosts but boasts a fairly milder climate than Winterhold and Dawnstar.

Haafingar is an important trade center, and the connection between the Empire and Solitude and the presence of the East Empire Company ensures strong economic activity in the area. The capital of the province, Solitude, is home to 85 named NPCs. The holds itself, despite being one of the smallest in Skyrim, is home to 132 named NPCs.

Dragon Bridge12
Haafingar Stormcloak Camp1
Volkihar Keep17
Thalmor Embassy8
Forgotten Vale6
Haafingar Hold population of named NPCs

Whiterun Hold

Whiterun 1

Whiterun has the ideal location in Skyrim. It’s sitting smack in the middle of the province, surrounded by fertile plains. It’s no wonder that small farms dot the landscape of the hold and that it’s an important source of food for the whole of Skyrim. The most notable city in the hold and the capital city is Whiterun. Whiterun is a pretty neat place to live, and the city itself has 78 named NPCs. When it comes to the hold as a whole, Whiterun has 113 named NPCs.

Whiterun Imperial Camp1
Whiterun Stormcloak Camp1
High Hrothgar4
Whistling Mine4
Whiterun Hold population of named NPCs


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Eastmarch Hold


Eastmarch is home to the oldest continuously inhabited human city in the Tamriel – Windhelm. The hold itself sits on the shores of the Sea of Ghosts, and due to the close proximity to the sea, it serves as a trade center for this part of Skyrim. Eastmarch is neighboured by Morrowind to the east, which explains the number of Dunmer refugees in the city.

Windhelm, the capital city, is home to Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak, and his rebellion, the largest city in the region, has 67 named NPCs. Eastmarch is a harsh hold when it comes to climate and terrains. It doesn’t surprise us that it counts only 95 named NPCs.

Eastmarch Imperial Camp1
Darkwater Crossing6
Mixwater Mill1
Northern Maiden3
Eastmarch Hold population of named NPCs



Winterhold was once home to the most prestigious mage school in the province, the College of Winterhold. However, an unidentified catastrophe struck the hold and completely decimated the city of Winterhold, leaving the college mostly unharmed. This resulted in numerous theories about the involvement of mages in the catastrophe and led to general distrust toward mages in the area.

The cause of the catastrophe was most likely the eruption of the Red Mountain. Winterhold has a non-existent economy, and its people are barely surviving. The most inhabited part of the hold is its capital, Winterhold, and it has 34 named NPCs.


Raven rock

Solstheim is a large island on the Sea of Ghosts, just north of Skyrim mainland. Although it was primarily Nordic historically, it was gifted to Dunmer after the eruption of the Red Mountain by Skyrim’s High King in 4E 16.

Its largest settlement Raven Rock is under a heavy Dunmer influence, and most of the inhabitants are Dark Elves. The city sustains itself via rich ebony mines. Raven Rock is the biggest settlement on the island, and it’s home to 32 named NPCs. The island, in general, houses 89 named NPCs.

Raven Rock32
Tel Mythrin6
Skaal Village14
Fort Frostmoth2
Highpoint Tower2
Thirsk Mead Hall7
Gyldenhul Barrow3
Kolbjorn Barrow4
White Ridge Barrow2
All-Maker Stones4
Castle Karstaag Caverns1
Frostmoon Crag4
Horker Island1
Hrodulf’s House1
Northshore Landing2
Ramshackle Trading Post1
Solstheim population of named NPCs


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Wilderness is home to many NPCs. Most of them are situated around camps, abandoned forts, and Nordic ruins that dot the landscape of Skyrim. Some of the NPCs wander the province, so it wouldn’t make sense to group them in any hold. The total number of NPCs that you can encounter in the wilderness is 121. This number is only related to the named NPCs, as bandits, vampires, spellcasters, marauders, and other NPCs that respawn regularly weren’t taken into account.

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