Resin Heroes

How many zombies are there in the world of The Walking Dead?



Watching The Walking Dead the other day I started wondering just how many zombies were there in that post apocalyptic world? So far it seems like the show has covered around two years time, or at least there have been two winters in the show.

The Walking DeadLet’s assume that since the start of the outbreak 90% of humanity has been turned into zombies and that only 10% survived unscathed. That would mean there would be about 280 million zombies and 31 million people in the US. It would mean that around Atlanta, where the show is set, there would be around 390,000 zombies and 43,000 survivors.

And watching The Walking Dead it sure seems that there’s a lot less people around than that, but again my numbers are a guess at best.

Assuming that the second year the zombies infect and turn (say) 40% of the remaining population would mean that in year two there would be about 13 million new zombies and just 18 million survivors left in the country and 17,000 new zombies and just 26,000 people around Atlanta.

Which if this kept up would mean the doom of humanity.

However, one thing I don’t feel The Walking Dead takes into account would be the the gradual decay of the zombie. If a piece of meat is left outside in the spring, summer or fall in a matter of days that meat will be infested by insects, will be a boiling mass of maggots a week later and a boney carcass soon after that. And assuming that since the zombies of the show are, well, the walking dead they too would quickly fall victim to this decay. A few weeks into the show there should be zombies unable to walk because of joint decay and muscles slowly being eaten away and most of them shouldn’t be able to see since the first thing insects attack are things like soft eyeballs. Ick!

Realistically, zombies created on the first day of the outbreak should be, shall we say, “out of commission” no later than just a few months later. And while there are new zombies being made all the time, there would be less total zombies overall since there’s less of a total human population to make new zombies out of.

It would make sense that if in the first year of the outbreak there were 280 million zombies that by the end of the second all those zombies would be out of commission, leaving just the 13 million new zombies. I’d also assume that with less zombies the turning rate in humans would drop too, let’s assume ever year that turn rate drops by half.

  • Year 1: 280 million zombies,  31 million people
  • Year 2: 13 million zombies, 18 million people
  • Year 3: 3.6 million zombie, 14.4 million people
  • Year 4: 1.4 million zombies, 13 million people
  • Year 5: 650,000 zombies, 12.3 million people

The zombies greatest weakness is a dwindling human population since new zombies cannot be born, only made from already living people. And with less people around would mean less zombies too.

Realistically, I’d think that with many more people than zombies in the third year we’d have the zombies licked. And by year five the war would be over. That is if humanity were able to survive the plagues and famines that would surly follow something like a zombie apocalypse!

But I’m going to take a stretch and assume that in The Walking Dead the number of zombies will remain constant no matter how long the show rolls on. 😉

Yes, my brain really does work this way.