Population counts the slackers/workers that have decided your farm is a chill place to kick back! Population plays a crucial role in the game as it determines how many Slackers you can have hanging around your farm.
Slackers are characters that are not working in a contraption/building - they just stand around on your farm and can provide you items when you tap on them.
Workers are characters actually assigned to a contraption/building - they provide experience points when you make a product in their contraption.
When you complete all of the tasks for a worker at your bus stop, they are automatically added to your Population - this increases the number on the town sign you see at the side of the road, and adds to the small green Slacker meter that represents how packed your town is!
Once that meter fills up you will earn a NEW Slacker slot on your farm.
You start with 1 available Slacker slot, and as you increase your Population (by completing tasks for workers showing up at the bus stop), you can earn more slots -- all the way up to 13!
After completing a worker's tasks you are prompted to either
- Assign the worker to a contraption such as the Dairy, Mill, Pasture, or Bakery
- Place them in Storage, or
- Boot them out of your town completely!
The choice is yours! Remember to swap out slackers/workers depending on items you need for a karma contest or limited time quest.