POP Income Formulae

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The following discussion explains how POP income is calculated in Victoria 1.03b. Note that in patch 1.03, POP income was bugged, such that Rich and Middle class POPs only received a fraction of their share of the nation's export revenue, despite the fact that all of it was available to the player via taxation. The beta patch (1.03b) fixes this bug, and since this has drastic consequences for the late-game macroeconomy, it is highly advisable to install 1.03b.

'Warning:' This discussion is math-intensive. Players who do not care to know the nitty-gritty details of POP income calculations should skip down to the Summary section.

Total Income

Each POP's income is the sum of its Base Income and its share of the nation's export revenue:

income = base_income + export_income

Base Income

Every POP has a base income that it receives out of thin air (i.e., the base income is not a share of export revenue). This base income is calculated by the following formulae:

Rich POPs (Aristocrats and Capitalists)

base_income = 4.0 * poor_base_income * ( pop_size / 100,000 )

Middle-class POPs (Clerks, Clergy, and Officers)

base_income = 2.0 * poor_base_income * ( pop_size / 100,000 )

Poor POPs (Farmers, Laborers, Craftsmen, and Soldiers)

base_income = poor_base_income * ( pop_size / 100,000 )

poor_base_income is a constant defined in db/economy/misc.txt, and equals 2.5 in unmodded Victoria.

pop_size is the size of the POP and ranges from 1 to 100,000.


  • Aristocrat POP, size 4k: base_income = 4.0 * 2.5 * .04 = 0.40£
  • Clergy POP, size 12k: base_income = 2.0 * 2.5 * .12 = 0.60£
  • Farmer POP, size 75k: base_income = 2.5 * .75 = 1.88£

Export Income

Each POP also gets a share of the nation's revenue from exports based upon its size and wealth level. The income from exports is calculated as follows:

export_income = total_exports * export_share

total_exports is the sum of all the nations exports; this value is reflected as Exports in the Trade box on the Main Menu. It can also be found under the Exports column on page 3 of the ledger.

export_share = weighted_pop_size / weighted_population , where weighted_pop_size = 25 * pop_size for Rich POPs, 5 * pop_size for Middle-class POPs, and pop_size for Poor POPs.

weighted_population is the sum total of the weighted_pop_sizes of all POPs in the nation.

Examples: Let's use the three POPs from above, and place them in 1836 Tuscany. After waiting for stockpiles to build up, Tuscany's daily exports total 8.92£, and her total weighted population is 623,000.

  • Aristocrat POP, size 4k: export_income = 8.92 * 25 * 4000 / 623000 = 1.43£
  • Clergy POP, size 12k: export_income = 8.92 * 5 * 12000 / 623000 = 0.86£
  • Farmer POP, size 75k: export_income = 8.92 * 75000/ 623000 = 1.07£

Combining this data with our base income calculations, we get

  • Aristocrat POP, size 4k: income = 0.40 + 1.43 = 1.83£
  • Clergy POP, size 12k: income = 0.60 + 0.86 = 1.46£
  • Farmer POP, size 75k: income = 1.88 + 1.07 = 2.95£


Slaves do not receive any income, and thus do not contribute to their nation's tax revenue. From a purely economic standpoint, Slaves are simply Farmers (or Laborers) that contribute nothing to the economy other than the goods they produce. The shrewd player will convert Slaves to Farmers or Laborers at the earliest possible opportunity.


And that's it. That's how POP income is calculated. Your nation's tax base consists of the sum of all your POPs' incomes. This figure is reflected in the tooltip that appears when you hover over each tax slider on the budget menu. Tax efficiencies can enable you to collect more than 100% of your tax base (an interesting concept in itself). They simply multiply money collected from your POPs before putting it into your treasury.

So, if your goal is to maximize your POPs salaries, you want to maximize the value of your exports. It's just that simple. Note that import costs do not directly factor into POP salaries, because import costs come from the nation's budget. However, more money spent on imports will generally mean that you will have to raise taxes to pay for them, taking money out of your POPs' pockets. So what you really want to maximize is your trade surplus (exports - imports).

One could also increase per capita income by disposing of unemployed POPs via a casualty-heavy war. Simply convert unemployed POPs to soldiers, declare war, and feed the new meat into the grinder. Of course, it's a much better idea to just create jobs for those POPs.