The world that J.R.R Tolkien created is truly massive and one of the most detailedly developed in the history of fiction. Over the years, numerous interested historians, academics, and writers, including the general population consisting of fans, have tried to add to it and analyze it to get some conclusions regarding its size and population numbers since those truly were never explained in any significant sense. With that being said, we’ve scoured over the resources to conclude what is the true estimated size of Middle-earth and how many people live in it.
It’s estimated that the Middle-earth covers at least 3 million square miles or 7769964.331 square kilometers. Its population is estimated to be around 3 million people of various races, including Elves, Dwarves, Men, and Hobbits, across at least eight kingdoms and smaller vassal areas. However, these numbers can never reflect an exact factual state and are only estimates. The population of Middle-earth likewise suffered a lot over its long history due to war, migrations, and several other historical tragedies that affected the projected numbers on a large scale.
Now that we’ve covered the estimated numbers, it’s time to explore them in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in the breakdown of numbers regarding the Middle-earth size as well as population, stay with us!
How many people live in Middle-earth?
The best representation of Middle-earth’s size can be seen in the movies and, as of recently, Amazon’s ‘The Rings of Power’ series. Both franchises did a good work of depicting the beautiful landscapes and the size of the place that counts many races, magical beings, and other otherworldly entities as its denizens. Taking this into account, we can separate Middle-earth into at least eight large kingdoms and smaller notable societies.
The most famous and largest of these kingdoms are those belonging to men such as Gondor and Rohan. At the same time, the elves keep to themselves in Lothlorien and Mirkwood. The estimated population of Middle-earth was at the third age, around 3 million people of all races, and here are the numbers broken down across races and kingdoms.
|Men||2,600,000 estimated||Gondor, Rohan, Dunedain, Bree, Dale, Long-Lake, Beornings, Dunland|
|Elves||100,000 estimated||Mirkwood, Lothlorien, The Havens, Rivendell|
|The Blue Mountains, Erebor, and Iron Hills|
|Misty Mountains, Grey Mountains, Mordor|
The humans were most plentiful because they can reproduce rapidly, and due to their relatively short life span, considering other races, it makes sense that human families, in general, are bigger.
The elves, even though they are immortal, have significantly fewer children than other races, and at one point in their extremely long life, they stop reproducing altogether, completely losing interest in physical matters.
Other races also call Middle-earth their home, such as Ents, but they aren’t really relevant to the statistics.
When it comes to named characters in the books, only 18 % were female, and most of them were of the Human race, the smallest number belonging to half-elves. The statistics also show that the third age has seen the largest increase in population in all races.
How big is the Middle-earth? Estimated area size explained
Middle-earth is just one part of a much larger world called Arda, and it was modeled after Europe as it happens. Still, it’s a pretty large place overall. The size of Middle-earth is estimated to be about 3 million square miles using the calculations from the map of Middle-earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad.
The largest and most powerful realm in the Middle-earth during the third age was Gondor. It was located in the southwestern part of Middle-earth and included the city of Minas Tirith and the surrounding lands.
Rohan, the land of horse-riders, was located north of Gondor. It consisted of vast grassy plains known as the Riddermark and stretched from the White Mountains to the River Anduin.
Mordor was certainly not a kingdom in a traditional sense. Instead, it was a nightmarish realm ruled by Sauron; still, it was a pretty large area dominated by a volcanic plateau of Gorgoroth.
Speaking of forested areas, the largest forest in Middle-Earth was Mirkwood, which converted the northeastern part of the land and was mostly inhabited by Wood Elves.
This is as much as we know; even though Tolkien was extremely focused on details and developing amazing lore and language throughout his books, he wasn’t that focused on defining the exact borders, including population sizes, so keep in mind that these numbers are merely estimates, based on our own world in a similar setting.