What has my popularity got to do with anything?
The popularity panel is a key component in the game. The more popular you are, the higher the rate of immigration to your village(s). Popularity is measured on your tax rate, food rations, ale rations, housing, entertainment and events. Events such as Wolf Lairs, Disease, Storms etc will yield a negative effect.
Peasants will arrive in your village in groups, starting at x1, leading to x5. As stated above, the higher your popularity, the greater the number of peasants arriving at once.
TIP: Popularity also affects your honour multiplier, and the more honour you generate, the more you rise through the ranks. Higher ranks mean more villages, vassals etc.
How do I become more popular?
Setting a low tax rate (you can even bribe your peasants if you are feeling generous), increasing food and ale rations, building hovels with spare beds, and providing entertainment for your peasants will make them very happy, and gain popularity for you.
Is there ever a time when you want unhappy peasants?
Having spare (unemployed) peasants hanging around the village costs you food, so having a negative popularity will encourage people to leave.
Are there any other events that affect popularity?
The last box on the popularity panel shows other events that are affecting your popularity such as the weather, drought, Wolves and Bandit Camps within the parish.
Is there a way to remove the threat of Wolves and Bandit Camps?
The threat of Wolves and Bandit Camps makes your peasants unhappy. Destroying them using your army will make your peasants happy again, and also help the other villages in the parish.