In the vast and brutal world of The Walking Dead, where zombies have ravaged humanity, only a small group of survivors managed to escape the initial outbreak. Series creator Robert Kirkman recently provided a surprising answer when asked about the number of people who survived this apocalyptic event.
The Walking Dead began its harrowing tale with protagonist Rick Grimes awakening from a coma in an abandoned hospital, witnessing the collapse of society. Throughout the series, the cast faced relentless challenges, resulting in the deaths of numerous characters.
While one can imagine that the number of casualties caused by the undead craving the living could easily reach hundreds of millions, the actual count is even more staggering. Kirkman revealed that a mere 1.6 million individuals survived the original zombie outbreak.
Kirkman shared this precise survivor count in The Walking Dead #177’s “Letter Hacks” column, responding directly to a reader’s question about the remaining human population. He humorously mentioned that he attempts to be both honest and misleading in his answers, but in this case, he provided a straightforward response. He stated, “It’s about 1.6 million humans total, worldwide,” referring to those who managed to escape the initial chaos. This means that an unimaginable number of people, far more than fans might have expected, either perished or joined the ranks of the undead.
The revelation that less than two million people survived the global devastation is a truly mind-boggling fact within the series’ canon. The implications of losing over 95% of the world’s population are profound and numerous. Kirkman acknowledged the existence of vast dead zones, areas across the globe devoid of human life, as well as towns and cities overrun by the undead.
Despite the grim reality, the remaining survivors in The Walking Dead persevered against overwhelming odds. In their quest to rebuild and repopulate the world, the starting point of 1.6 million survivors seems promising, considering the alternative. While it is difficult to fathom the loss of so many lives due to reanimated corpses, the zombie apocalypse stands as a cataclysmic event capable of decimating humanity, with only a complete nuclear war being a comparable exception.