MLM / Pyramid Scheme Population Calculator

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) and pyramid schemes suffer from an inherent mathematical flaw. This tool can help you prove this to convince a family member/friend/colleague not to join the latest MLM or pyramid scheme.

If you factor in the number who will never join, then the numbers will be even larger. Don't forget people churn/turnover - see advanced options.

There are some assumptions made in order to make the calculations. However, the sheer numbers should make the mathematical impossibility quite clear.

Confused what these terms mean? Click here

Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing scheme where the participant/sales person is compensated not only for sales, but also for the sales of the other people that they recruit to join the scheme. These recruits can provide multiple levels of compensation as each recruit can/will recruit even more people and so on. MLM salespeople not only sell the company's products but also encourage others to join the company as a distributor. [1]

See image below which shows the multiple levels for a single individual giving an idea of the structure of an MLM:

In these kinds of schemes, many people leave after becoming despondent on their failed investment and others are roped into joining to take up their place. We call this "people churn" or turnover.

[1] See this link for more details

For help and guidance in using this calculator, please see the Multi-Level Marketing/Pyramid Scheme Population Calculator Walk-Through Example and Guide. If you need further help or wish to give feedback, please contact us.

Basic options
Please select the estimated current number of levels in the MLM or pyramid scheme
Please choose the average/expected number of people to be recruited by each person at each level of the MLM or pyramid scheme
Please select the number of levels you wish to check for the potential/new recruit
Advanced Options
People churn/turnover is the number of people who join and then leave or become inactive to be replaced by others
Not everyone will join the scheme. Many people may be invited to join, but only some do. Enter the average number that you need to recruit a single person
If different to other levels, please choose the number of people at the first level of the MLM or pyramid scheme, i.e. the founders/co-founders

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