Anno 1404 Wiki

Building Houses and expanding your Settlements is one of the core mechanics of Anno1404. As your Settlements grow, your Population will increase. Along with the current Balance, the current number of worldwide Inhabitants is displayed above the map at all times. This information can also be expanded to show the number of world-wide Inhabitants by Civilisation level, along with Ship limit and Military budget. Similar information can be found per Island by going to the Inhabitant overview tab of any Marketplace or Bazaar.

City population growth icon Population levels[]

The size of the Population in each Settlement defines that Settlement's Status. There are ten Ranks that can be achieved. Each of these is represented by a Roman Numeral (I-X) in the City list (F12). The current Status of a Settlement can also been seen in the Warehouse menu, in the top right display. Note that Warehouses does not display the first two Ranks. When a Settlement reaches a new Status, the game notifies you and displays the Status icon in the News system. The Status of a Settlement is defined by a threshold value on the number of Inhabitants from a certain Civilisation level. Each Status level has an Occidental and Oriental requirement, but only one of these has to be reached to achieve the Status. The following chart lists the requirements for each Rank:

Rank Status Requirements Milestone
Occidental Oriental Occidental Oriental
I Small Settlement [1] Default level of all islands
II Small Settlement [2] 1 Peasant 1 Nomad Peasants Nomads
III Settlement 90 Peasants 145 Nomads Citizens Rank 1 Buildings
IV Village 355 Citizens 295 Nomads Patricians Rank 2 Buildings
V Small Town 510 Patricians 440 Nomads Keep (Military units) Envoys / Rank 3 Buildings
VI City 1190 Patricians 1040 Envoys Noblemen Large noria (New layouts)
VII Major City 950 Noblemen 1740 Envoys Sultan's mosque Stage 1
VIII Commercial Center 2200 Noblemen 3480 Envoys Sultan's mosque Stage 2
IX Metropolis 3500 Noblemen 5240 Envoys Imperial cathedral Sultan's mosque Stage 3
X Cosmopolitan City 7500 Noblemen 10000 Envoys

Most of the Inhabitant thresholds correlate to different milestones throughout the game. The Oriental thresholds mostly correlate to unlocking the first buildings from the next Diplomatic rank, as well as the start requirements for each stage of the Sultan's mosque. The Occidental requirements contain the requisite number of Inhabitants required to unlock the each new Civilisation level, as well as the unlock requirement of the Keep, which enables the construction of Military encampments. However, after unlocking Noblemen, the requirements do not follow the stages of the Imperial cathedral (which would be at 2000, 2500, and 3500), but instead correlate to different building unlock prerequisites.

Population distribution[]

Population can be increased in two ways. The first is by building additional houses. Peasant houses can only hold 8 Residents, however, so this won't get us far. Instead, the easiest way to increase your Population is by letting your houses Advance to the next Civilisation level. Unlike prior Anno games, it is not possible to have all of your Inhabitants reach the highest Civilisation level, however. The number of Ascension rights for each Civilisation level is determined by the number of Inhabitants of the previous level.[1]

  • Begging rights: 100% of Beggars.
  • Citizenships: 80% of Occidental houses.
  • Trade privileges: 60% of Citizenships.
  • Noble titles: 40% of Trade privileges.
  • Envoy licenses: 70% of Oriental houses.

The following table shows the percentage of Inhabitants of each Civilisation level under normal circumstances, meaning without additional Ascension rights from Beggars or Envoys.

Occidental % of Houses Residents per house % of Inhabitants
Peasants 20% 8 7.5%
Citizens 32% 15 22.6%
Patricians 28.8% 25 33.8
Noblemen 19.2% 40 36.1%

Oriental % of Houses Residents per house % of Inhabitants
Nomads 30% 15 20.45%
Envoys 70% 25 79.55%

Ascension requirements[]

For a House to receive available Ascension rights, the following requirements need to be met:

  • The House must be at full capacity.
  • The Residents must be Euphoric.
  • All Needs must be Very well satisfied.

Ascension rights are granted automatically by default, but can be denied through the Marketplace or Bazaar. If the required Building materials are available in the island's Warehouse, the House will automatically upgrade to the next Civilisation level. Ascension rights for a new Civilisation level only become available once the Population threshold (see previous section) has been reached.

Additional Ascension rights[]

In addition to the standard Ascension rights that are obtained from previous Civilisation levels, additional Ascension rights can also be obtained from Beggars and Envoys. By default, 1 additional Citizenship is obtained for every 40 Begging rights granted in that settlement. (Note that this only counts Beggars in Alms houses). For Envoys, each Settlement obtains 1 additional Trade privilege for every 110 Envoys worldwide. So while in theory these two mechanics work the same, Begging rights only benefit the Settlement that houses the Beggars, while Envoys benefit all Settlements. These numbers get a bit messy with the inclusion of the Beggar prince and The Envoys' favour Attainments.

  • Citizenships with Beggar prince 0: 80% of Occidental houses + 2.5% of Begging rights.
  • Citizenships with Beggar prince 1: 80% of Occidental houses + 2.7% of Begging rights.
  • Citizenships with Beggar prince 2: 80% of Occidental houses + 2.94% of Begging rights.
  • Citizenships with Beggar prince 3: 80% of Occidental houses + 3.33% of Begging rights.
  • Trade privileges with The Envoy's favour 0: 60% of Citizenships + 22.7% of Envoy licences.
  • Trade privileges with The Envoy's favour 1: 60% of Citizenships + 23.8% of Envoy licences.
  • Trade privileges with The Envoy's favour 2: 60% of Citizenships + 25% of Envoy licences.
  • Trade privileges with The Envoy's favour 3: 60% of Citizenships + 27.77% of Envoy licences.*

*Number of Envoys has been converted to Envoy licenses for consistency, but the game only looks at number of Envoys.

Ship limit and Military budget[]

The Population tab also show the current Ship limit and Military budget, as these are both determined by the total Population size. The Ship limit contribution is determined per Civilisation level, before being rounded down and summed to calculate the current Ship limit. The number of Inhabitants required per Ship limit point is different for each Civilisation level. The table below clearly shows that Citizen houses are most efficient for increasing Ship limit, which means it's best to keep your Occidental Inhabitants from Ascending to Patricians to maximise Ship limit. The maximum Ship limit from Population size is 100, which means the maximum obtainable Ship limit is 115 when including the Ship limit bonus from the "Imperial arsenal" Attainment.

Ship limit People Houses
Peasants 90 11.25
Citizens 100 6.67
Patricians 250 10
Noblemen 400 10
Nomads 200 13.33
Envoys 300 12


From what I can see, higher ascensions always round down (eg 97.8 means 97 ascensions available)

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).


The Ascension Window

The Ascension window (see right), found by clicking the Marketplace, provides a lot of useful information to help diagnose and plan your city. Note this information is strictly for a specific island, not your entire map wide population. Ascension rights can be denied or released by clicking scroll at the top of the menu that pops up (in the image to the right, Ascension Rights are denied currently, signified by the red X). Houses have to be manually upgraded to ascend when rights are denied.

The bottom arrow, Peasants, has two numbers. The bottom one (170) states the current number of houses that are Peasant houses. The bold number (9) above the arrow is the number of Peasant houses that meet ascension requirements and can be upgraded to Citizens. You can click this arrow to Ascend a random house, or shift click the arrow to upgrade 9 random houses that meet requirements.

Above the Peasants are Citizens. Again the bold number above the arrow (7) is the number of Citizen houses that meet ascension requirements and can be upgraded to Patricians. However we have a new ratio below the picture of the Citizen (197/280). The first number (197) is the current total number of Citizen houses on the island. The second number (280) is the most amount of Citizen houses you could have under the current conditions. It is not the total number of Citizen that have all their requirements met or that are ready to achieve ascension right now. Once 83 more Peasant Houses have been upgraded, no further ones can be added even if the requirements are met.

As stated above, 20% of your houses must be Peasants. That is how this second number is derived. In this example, there are 170 Peasant Houses out of a total of 642 (26%). This means only 83 more Peasant houses can become Citizens. The remainder must be Peasant Houses to maintain the proportion. You may note that upgrading 83 Peasants would leave 87 Peasant houses out of 642 houses, which is 14%. How come the 20% rule is broken?

The answer is Beggars, the curving arrow on the left. The number (1700) states how many beggars in total are in your town. This includes those in Alms Houses and those on the streets. They do not contribute to your total population. Its arrow pointing to the Citizens is signifying it increases the number of Peasant houses that could become Citizens. The number of extra Peasant Upgrades allowed is the total number of beggars divided by 40. In this example, 1700/40 = 42.5 extra Citizen or above houses are allowed to convert. Without the Beggars, the Citizen ratio would be 197/238. Allowing Beggars into your city decreases the number of Peasant Houses you must have. Note Beggars never Ascend, they only help Peasant Houses ascend to Citizens.

The arrow above Citizens is Patricians. They follow similar rules to Citizens. In this case there are 169 Patrician Houses. Up to 19 more Patrician Houses could be made from Citizen Houses to reach a maximum of 188 total Patrician Houses. Similar to Beggars, having Envoys will increase the proportion of Citizens that can become Patricians, but this is not graphically reflected in the Marketplace Window. 4 Patrician Houses are eligible for Ascension at this time. Above Patricians are Nobleman. There are 160 Nobleman, and up to 4 more could be made.

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. 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).

Ascension rights tips[]

Anno 1404 by default has no rhyme or reason to which houses upgrade. As long as a house meets the requirements to upgrade, it will do so even if this location doesn't have access to required needs of the next higher civilization class. Hence, denial of ascension rights is a very useful strategy when planning efficient layouts. It prevents the game upgrading houses in areas that may not be serviced by a crucial building (and thus paying less tax). For example, it is illogical to advance a Citizen to Patrician house in an area not serviced by a Debtor's Prison (Patrician need) when there is a Citizen house available in an area serviced by a Debtors Prison.

Therefore, the most ideal situation is to manage upgrading houses manually so that you can build the least amount of needs type buildings as possible. If there is a house that ascended accidentally, you can always demolish the house completely and rebuild it and then ascend it manually to the desired level. It also can just look much nicer to have distinct zones of different civilization levels in your cities.

To advance to the next class of population, the following requirements must be met:

  1. All needs must be met and in Green (Very Well Satisfied)
  2. Taxes must be set to their lowest possible value (Dark Green, resulting in Euphoric)
  3. There must be an adequate "base" or proportion of lower classes. i.e. Only 80% of all houses can be Citizens or above.
  4. The house must be full.
  5. Once the above conditions are met, an internal timer of ~ 40 in game seconds starts. Ascension will be granted if none of the above conditions are broken. If you've blocked automatic ascension, a green arrow will pop up over houses that meet the criteria. Even if many houses meet criteria, only one house is granted Ascension rights at a time. Every ~5-8 seconds of in game time another house is granted Ascension.
  6. You must have the available Building materials to upgrade the house. The presence of an arrow granting ascension does not mean you have the resources to upgrade.

If your population is not ascending, check their needs wheel first for any yellow or unfilled bars. Then confirm their tax rates, & finally click on any Marketplace in the island to check the proportions. 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.

Key Population Thresholds[]

Progression in Anno 1404 is almost completely determined by your population, and generally by the quantity of your highest Class. Key technologies/buildings become available at specific population levels, and planning for these triggers requires knowing how many Houses need to be built. The calculation seems straightforward. ie. 1190 Patricians are required to unlock the Bailiff to get Noblemen. Since 25 Patricians live in each house, 48 Patrician houses are required. However, due to adhering to population portions, only 60% of all Citizens can become Patricians, and 20% of the total population must be Peasants. This makes the total number of require houses much more complicated. If you built only 48 houses, you would not even have half the number of houses needs to ascend to Noblemen. As there are only a few important thresholds, they are listed in a chart below with the minimum required houses assuming no Beggars or Envoys.

Population Threshold Key Unlocks Specific House Required Minimum Total Houses Required
90 Peasants Chapel → Citizens 12 Peasant Houses 12
240 Citizens Iron & Tools 16 Citizen Houses 20
355 Citizens Tavern → Patricians 24 Citizen Houses 30
510 Patricians Glass 21 Patrician Houses 43
1190 Patricians Baliff → Noblemen 48 Patrician Houses 100
145 Nomads Spices 10 Nomads Houses 10
295 Nomads Indigo 20 Nomad Houses 20
440 Nomads Quartz → Envoys 30 Nomad Houses 30

Other images[]


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