Anno 1404 Wiki


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.

Population overview display.

Inhabitant overview tab.

Population levels[]

City population growth icon.png

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

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

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.

Attaining different population levels is critical to advancing your game. Most new buildings, ships, & farms are unlocked as soon as a given threshold of Population is reached. Once a new building is unlocked it is never "locked" again if you lose population.

Civilization levels[]

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.jpg

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.jpg

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.jpg

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.jpg

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.jpg

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.jpg

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.jpg

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.


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.

Ascension Rights are granted automatically by default (this can be changed, see below). Houses automatically upgrade when all conditions are met: 1) House is at full capacity, 2) Their taxes are the lowest possible, 3) All needs are fulfilled, 4) The Population proportions are correct (see below) and 5) You have the required Wood/Tools/Stone/Glass needed.

House Capacity[]

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

Occupancy per house per civilization level:

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

If a house is not at full capacity, people will move in if the tax range is in the 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.


The population will only advance if their taxes are set to dark green, resulting in Euphoric. Make sure you set your tax rate at dark green if you want houses to ascend.


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.

Population Proportions[]

Ascension rights are granted to a certain number of houses per class to allow a house to advance to the next civilization level. Only a certain proportion of houses are permitted to ascend, meaning it is not possible to have every house become a nobleman under normal game circumstances. 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 privileges (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.

Mathematics of Ascension Rights:

Peasants = (Number of Houses x 20%) - (Number of Beggars / 40)

Citizenships = (Number of Houses x 80%) + (Number of Beggars / 40) - (Number of Envoys / 110)

Trade Privileges = (Citizenships x 60%) + (Number of Envoys / 110)

Nobles = Trade Privileges x 40%

From what I can see, higher ascensions always round down (eg 97.8 mean 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).


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 my houses advance to the next level?[]

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. ie. 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 raw materials (listed above) to upgrade the house. The presence of an arrow granting ascension does 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


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