Robert Kirkman Estimates Total Survivors Number In 'The Walking Dead' World

With The Walking Dead comic expanding its universe to a massive new community, the series creator Robert Kirkman has shared an estimation of how many total survivors there are around the world.

"It's about 1.6 million humans total, worldwide," Kirkman wrote in the Letter Hacks section of The Walking Dead issue #177. "There are VAST dead zones out there. There's like TEN people living in all of Montana. Canon." Previously the creator has also said the dead outnumber the living about five thousand to one, which might be deteriorating as more and more are killed each day in the apocalypse and humans adapt to their threats.

The statement came on the heels of introducing a community of 50,000 survivors to The Walking Dead comics. Therefore, it may apply to the comics but not necessarily to the TV series. Though still mysterious, the new Commonwealth community in the comics appears to be a thriving, governed civilization and might not be the only one of its kind.

"The name of the game as a writer is not limiting yourself for the future," Kirkman said. "In my opinion, at least. I'd never answer this in a letters column because if later I decide they're going to find a place with millions of people, you can say, 'No wait! In the letters column for #177 you said this!' I also intentionally mislead in the letters column from time to time to steer eagle-eyed readers away from the upcoming plot threads. That's fun. At some point someone should take it upon themselves to read all the Letter Hacks over the years and see if they can figure out when I knew of an upcoming storyline and was clearly misleading people, and when I just changed my mind or came up with a new idea."

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Among the survivors Kirkman lead to believe as dead in previous works who turned out to be very much alive was Michonne's daughter Elodie, as revealed in issue #176. Issue #177 built strongly upon the mother-daughter relationship following their reunion, but Kirkman promises as much won't be the case on television.

The Walking Dead issue #177 is available at comic book stores now. The Walking Dead TV series airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead will debut its fourth season after The Walking Dead concludes its eighth, at 10 pm ET on April 15. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.