A player's population lies at the heart of all Anno titles, and provides the player with the workforce and tax income necessary to sustain their cities and creations. At the start of a game, the player's population is little more than a gathering of humble farmers living in huts, but like in all Anno titles that came before it, is able to guide them across a social ladder by supplying them with their needs. This allows the population to evolve into new, more advanced social classes, which will be reflected by the quality of their dwellings. These different social classes are referred to as population tiers. By reaching milestones in population sizes and tiers, more features and buildings are unlocked.

The global number of inhabitants living inside a player's empire, is shown at the top of the screen, next to the population symbol Population.png. Hovering over this symbol with the mouse, breaks this information down into seperate tiers.

When hovering over an island, its population status appears at the top of the screen (see picture below).

When hovering over an island, the center-top bar will show a portrait of the highest population class. The lower strip breaks down the number of people belongs to each population class, represented by their associated icon.

Population Tiers

In Anno 1800, there are six population tiers in the Old World, two in the New World, two in The Arctic and two in Enbesa. Each resides in a 3x3 house (except Scholar Residences which size is 4x4) and has different needs.

Icon session moderate 0.png The Old World


Farmers are the first residential tier. When you build new houses, farmers move in. They have the most basic needs of all the tiers.


Anno 1800 Worker.jpg
Workers represent the bulk of the population in the 19th century. They provide significant manual labour, working in factories.


Anno1800 artisans.jpg
Belonging to the third residential tier, Artisans are the educated middle class who not only focus on providing industry and commerce, but specialised craft.


Anno1800 engineers.jpg
Engineers are the educated elite, seeking to push the world into a modern age through technological revolution.


Anno1800 investors.jpg
The fifth and final tier, Investors are the wealthy elite, members of an upper class who have built fortunes off inheritances or their wit and bare hands.


Scholar Talking Head.png
Scholars represent a typical international student, hailing from distant Enbesa and other parts of the world. Instead of being an upgrade from another tier, their residences require a construction permit which needs to be researched at the Research Institute. They do not provide income, but instead generate a constant stream of Research Points.

Icon session southamerica 0.png The New World


Anno-Union Blog NewWorld Jornaleros-1.jpg
The first tier, Jornaleros are the farmers of the New World, devout and hardworking people who are driven by the dream of independence at a dawn of a new era.


Anno-Union Blog NewWorld Obreros-1.jpg
The second tier of the New World population, Obreros are the residents who have found their way from the farmlands into the cities as tradespeople.

Icon session passage 0.png The Arctic


Explorer Talking Head.png
The first tier of The Arctic population, Explorers have come to the Arctic to challenge themselves, honor the stories of their fathers and appreciate the innate beauty of the North Pole.


Technician Talking Head.png
The second tier of The Arctic population, Technicians have come to the Arctic in search of the scientific breakthrough that will finally give them the recognition they crave.

Icon session land of lions 0.png Enbesa


Shepherd Talking Head.png
Shepherds are the first of two residential tiers in the Enbesa. They love nature and stories by the campfire, while city life and politics seems to tire them. Their skills lie in agriculture and animal husbandry.


Elder Talking Head.png
Being the second Enbesan residential tier, Elders’ experiences in life have given them an altogether dourer outlook on things. While they can be harsh and judgmental, their poignance belies a caring nature towards those who manage to earn their respect.


Your population has certain needs and satisfying them is one of the main objectives in Anno. Population needs in Old World and New World are divided into two categories: basic needs and luxury needs. Population needs in The Arctic work differently and are instead, divided into basic needs and heat.

Fulfilling basic needs increases the number of inhabitants in each house. Houses have to be full in order to advance them to higher population tiers so satisfying all basic needs is necessary.

Fulfilling luxury needs makes your population happy and pay higher taxes in return. Satisfying luxury needs is optional as people don't need to be happy to advance.

Fulfilling heat - the need to stay warm - will also make the Arctic population pay higher taxes, but instead of raising happiness, this will help prevent outbreaks of the Arctic Flu.

Failure to fulfill a requested basic need or luxury need will result in the Newspaper Editor publishing an article that increased the consumption rate of goods by 10% in Old World and New World. This can be countered using propaganda.

See: needs for more information.


The happiness of your population is an important indicator of how they perceive your leadership. Residents do not require full happiness to advance to the next population tier; only their basic needs must be fulfilled. However, happy residents are less likely to riot, can offer you quests and can organize festivals that provide useful buffs to the islands' residents, production, or attractiveness.

There is no happiness rating in the Arctic.

See: happiness for more information.


There are a few requirements that residences have to meet to be able to advance to the next tier:

  • residences have to be full
  • all basic needs must be fulfilled
  • enough construction material has to be available

Unlike in previous Anno games, your people don't have to be happy to advance. Your population can be unhappy or even angry and you can still advance to higher tiers as long as all requirements are met.

To advance a residence you can choose a building and press the upgrade button or you can use the upgrade tool and click on one or several residences at once. After choosing the upgrade tool, green arrows will appear over residences which can be upgraded. In the game settings to you can also choose to see these arrows all the time.

Theoretically you can upgrade all residences to higher tiers. However, you need workforce from all tiers to enable your production buildings to operate. It is advised to keep a surplus of all workforce types when upgrading residences.

Residence type Construction costs Upgrade costs
Old World
Farmers residences 2 Timber.png 4 Timber.png
Workers residences 6 Timber.png 6 Timber.png
2 Bricks.png
2 Steel beams.png
Artisans residences 12 Timber.png
2 Bricks.png
2 Steel beams.png
8 Timber.png
3 Bricks.png
2 Steel beams.png
2 Windows.png
Engineers residences 20 Timber.png
5 Bricks.png
4 Steel beams.png
2 Windows.png
10 Timber.png
4 Bricks.png
3 Steel beams.png
3 Windows.png
3 Reinforced concrete.png
Investors residences 30 Timber.png
9 Bricks.png
7 Steel beams.png
5 Windows.png
3 Reinforced concrete.png
Scholars residences 1 Campus Extension Permit.png
10 Timber.png
15 Bricks.png
12 Steel beams.png
10 Windows.png
New World
Jornaleros residences 1 Timber.png 2 Timber.png
Obreros residences 3 Timber.png
The Arctic
Explorers shelters 2 Timber.png 4 Timber.png
Technicians shelters 6 Timber.png
Shepherd Residence 1 Icon wansa wood 0.png 2 Icon wansa wood 0.png
Elder Residence 3 Icon wansa wood 0.png

Profile level

The global population of your empire determines the profile level of each game save. These indicate the available amount of influence and reaching higher levels are required to unlock more powerful propaganda articles.

See: Profile level for more information.

Island level

Each island has a certain level which depends on the number of inhabitants of the highest tier living on the island. It's displayed at the top of the screen, right after the attractiveness status of the island.

Island's Level Requirement
Old World
Settlement none
Village 100 Farmers.png Farmers
Port Town 150 Workers.png Workers
City 500 Artisans.png Artisans
Capital 500 Engineers.png Engineers
Metropolis 1750 Investors.png Investors
New World
Settlement none
Town 200 Jornaleros.png Jornaleros
Colony 600 Obreros.png Obreros
The Arctic
Settlement none
Camp 250 Explorers.png Explorers
Outpost 1000 Technicians.png Technicians
Settlement none
District 150 Icon resident sheperd 0.png Shepherds
Major District 600 Icon resident elder 0.png Elders


The in game representation of Investor resembles Van der Luyden male character from the 1993 movie "The Age of Innocence"

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