Is there a canonical reason why the One must choose an unequal number of males and females to rebuild the population? I would have expected an equal number of males and females. Or, if the purpose was more females for a quicker rebuilding, 2 females for every male, but this isn't the case... So where do these numbers come from? Quote below...

The Architect: The function of the One is now to return to the Source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting the Prime program, after which you will be required to select from the Matrix 23 individuals - 16 female, 7 male - to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic system crash, killing everyone connected to the Matrix, which coupled with the extermination of Zion will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race.

  • 2
    See - scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/32198/…
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 14:27
  • Perfect: thank you! Sorry I didn't catch that earlier...
    – mflo-ByeSE
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 14:34
  • Ask any farmer why they keep all the females & send most of the males to the abattoir... if you are talking purely biologically, you really don't need many males to do that task. A 2:1 ratio is actually quite low. [This is aside from the in-breeding potential of such a small initial population, explained well in the linked answer]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 19:10
  • 2
    16 females to 8 males is 2-1... 7 males in addition to the One.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 5:04

2 Answers 2


We don't know what happens to the One after his code is temporarily disseminated by the source. He retains some form of agency, since he can select the humans after that. We don't know if he gets to go re-build Zion with his picks or not. It'd make sense to have him as some sort of leader, after all the other 23 would be shocked out of the Matrix, and need some time to readjust.

Since the One is male, if he went back to Zion, that would make a total of 8 males, leaving 2 females for each male, to account for the pregnancy downtime I guess.


Because you would only need a handful of men to impregnate a lot of women.

Farmers only need 1 stud bull, not 6.

  • I'm suggesting an answer, on the face of it, makes more sense in real terms and relates to real life breeding practices, hopefully adding to the comment above regarding the 2:1 ratio and how low it is. Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 15:54

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