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Explaining ‘The Shift’

The Shift is a monthly publication on changes in the World Assembly population by our most published author, Llo. Each month, he gives you the latest news on which regions and region types are faring the best and worst in the game. This page is designed to help you understand what all the key terms mean.

Total/nominal change

This is the percentage change in the raw number of World Assembly nations from last month’s edition to now. For example, if the World Assembly population increases from 1000 to 1100, that would be a total change of +10%.


The feeders are the five Pacific regions – The Pacific, The North Pacific, The South Pacific, The West Pacific, and The East Pacific.


The sinkers are four regions, three where nations refound – Balder, Lazarus, and Osiris – and one where banned nations go – The Rejected Realms.

User Created Regions (UCRs)

UCR is the collective term for regions created by players (i.e. not feeders or sinkers). For simplicity, our measurement includes Warzones – a type of Game Created Region (GCR) – in the UCR category.

Mean change

This percentage is calculated by taking all the regions above 100 World Assembly nations in at least the current or previous edition and averaging their percentage change in World Assembly population.

Median change

This percentage is calculated by taking the middle percentage change of all the regions above 100 World Assembly nations in at least the current or previous edition. Where there are two regions, they are averaged.

Real change

This percentage is the difference between the total change (see above) and the expected change (see below). For example, since the month of January has an expected change of -6%, a total change of -10% would make the real change -4%. In other words, the total change is 4% less than what would be expected.

Expected change

This percentage is currently calculated as the average for that month between the years 2011 and 2019 inclusive. This value was found in research for a special article assessing the debate on seasonal population shifts, and is currently as follows for each month:

MonthExpected change

Have more questions about The Shift that you would like answered?
Contact Llo via telegram (Llorens) or Discord (@Llo#1475).


  • Llo has been on NationStates since May 2016, residing primarily in The Leftist Assembly, where he has previously served as Secretary for four terms. He enjoys working in regional governments, particularly in news, elections, law-making, and polling. He is the former Chief Executive Officer and current Chief Content Officer of NationStates Today, and is the most published author in the organisation's history with over 60 articles.