Around 8 million people
The Inca Empire had a very large population. Around 1500, there were 8 million people. To compare, the population of the entire province of Quebec was around 8.6 million in 2023.
The Incas lived everywhere on their territory, even in the mountains. Many of them lived on the mountainside, where they farmed. However, the population was highly concentrated in the cities where the Incas were permanently settled because they were sedentary. Cuzco, the capital of the empire, had 60 000 inhabitants.
Several communities joined together
All the inhabitants of the empire spoke the same language, Quechua, but they did not all come from the same culture. To become so large and powerful, the Inca Empire had conquered several villages and communities by force. It then forced the residents of these communities to join the empire and speak Quechua. So, within the empire there were many different groups that had their own unique characteristics.