How to Grow Your City Population in Cities: Skylines 2

If you build it, they will come.

by J.R. Waugh
How to Grow Your Population in Cities Skylines 2
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

If you’re wondering how you can grow your city population in Cities: Skylines 2, you’re not alone, especially if you’re just starting out. We’re happy to show you tricks and tips that’ll push you in the right direction as you turn your small village into a thriving metropolis!

Don’t panic if things don’t immediately pick up. There are plenty of ways to grow your city, but it’s important to start slow and carefully, as growing your city too quickly can result in later problems. In our guide to how to grow your population in Cities: Skylines 2, you’ll find it’s easier than you might expect.

Cities: Skylines 2 Starter Guide — How to Grow Your Population

To increase your population, you need to start by keeping taxes low, the basic services at a reasonable level, and pollution nonexistent. This means you should do the following to grow your population in Cities: Skylines 2:

  • Use the Money menu on the bottom of the UI, hit ‘Taxation’, and drag the Residential slider to 0%
    • Later on, increase this slowly, 1 percent at a time, Michael Eisner-style
  • For every district you create by building roads, make sure there is a hospital, cemetery, police station, and fire station nearby
  • Pay attention to your Chirper feed on the right, as helpful posts will indicate what current citizens want out of the city
  • Avoid putting residential zones near power plants or industrial zones, these cause various types of pollution
  • Add lots of parks! As you level up your Parks and Rec tree, you can eventually unlock Tourist Attractions, a huge draw to citizens
  • When building residential zones, check the street color you’re building on: if it’s red, choose a different density until you see green, this indicates the likelihood that they’ll stay

Related: How to Remove Underground Electric Cables and Power Lines in Cities: Skylines 2

Finally, for the basic tips, there is a Population menu found at the bottom of the UI. In it, you can track numerous stats, but the important ones to follow early on are Moved in and Moved away, as you want to entice people to your city.

Does Happiness Help Population Growth in CS2?

Image: Attack of the Fanboy

In many ways, civilian happiness is a great way to gauge the growth potential of your city. If you can expand within your city limits while keeping people at maximum happiness, then you will be able to safely buy new tiles and build residences to keep the growth high. Happiness factors include:

  • Spacious homes
  • Reliable mail service
  • Wealth
  • Low crime rate
  • Reliable healthcare
  • Fair taxes
  • Low water fees
  • Abundance of leisure time and entertainment
  • Healthy traffic flow

Any of these are easy to manage. Build highways between portions of the city to bring residents into town, keep pedestrian roads connected to commercial zones, keep taxes low for as long as possible, and build plenty of parks, they’re cheap. Do this, and the citizens will be singing your praises, and more will come!

About The Author

J.R. is a Staff Writer with AOTF and has been covering gaming and entertainment in the industry since 2022. Along with a B.A. in History from the University of Cincinnati, he has studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, and part of his M.A. at the University of Waterloo. You'll find J.R. particularly at home writing about the hottest manga and anime. He is highly passionate about horror, strategy, and RPGs, and anything about Star Trek or LOTR. When not ranting about fan theories or writing guides, J.R. is streaming his favorite RPGs and other forgotten gems.