Robert Maxwell wrote:
That's actually kind of clever, and makes sense in a statistical sort of way. Beyond a certain number, there's no real benefit to simulating that many individuals.

That's true in some simulations, but that doesn't appear to be what is happening here. 1 sim in the game does not represent 10 people, in every aspect of the simulation 1 sim represents 1 person, except in the UI call for the population. Here's the actual code:
Code:
simcity.GetFudgedPopulation = function (a) {
a = "undefined" !== typeof a ? a : simcity.gGlobalUIHandler.mLastPopulation;
if (500 >= a)
return a;
if (40845 < a)
return Math.floor(8.25 * a);
a = Math.pow(a  500, 1.2) + 500;
return Math.floor(a)
};
simcity.GetRoundedFudgedPopulation = function (a) {
a = simcity.GetFudgedPopulation(a);
return a = 25E3 < a ? 10 * Math.round(a / 10) : 5 * Math.round(a / 5)
};
That's not a joke, the actual function name is GetFudgedPopulation.
All other statistics in the game use the real numbers. For example, in a city with a reported population of around 100,000 (really 15,000), only around 11,000 of those people will have jobs, leaving you to think that you have an 89% unemployment rate when it's actually 27% (including students, the elderly and whatnot). It is just a really lazy attempt to cover up how small the cities are by vastly inflating the population number that appears on the main screen.