With regard to mob spawning, a 17 chunk by 17 chunk area centered around the player will have a passive mob cap of 11, meaning that if there are 11 or more passive mobs (i.e. animals) in that area, no new passive mobs will spawn. Villagers do appear under the passive mob list, but they have very different spawning behavior than animals do (i.e. they will not randomly spawn, and can only be created either at world generation, through villager breeding, or by curing zombie villagers).

So, for the purpose of animal spawning, are Villagers counted towards the passive mob total? In other words, if I had nothing except 11 Villagers in an area, would no animals spawn at all there?

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    @OrigamiRobot I have to disagree, totally different question. Moreover, this question does not have an obvious answer on the Wiki. – John Sep 17 '13 at 15:50
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    @John "Do villagers count as passive?" easily fits in the scope of "Mob spawning limits for chunks" – user9983 Sep 17 '13 at 16:11
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    @OrigamiRobot I'm just going to flat-out say you're wrong. I'll happily vote to reopen if this closes, and I'm pretty sure four others will too. – SevenSidedDie Sep 17 '13 at 16:12
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    Here's something to consider: both Endermen and Wolves are listed as neutral mobs, yet Endermen spawn through hostile mob code while wolves have animal spawning code. Furthermore, Endermen count for the hostile mob cap, wolves the passive. Therefore, what category the wiki puts them in has no bearing on villager's spawn mechanics. (The reason: the categories on the wiki are by their behaviour to the player, not how the code treats them. The spawn mechanics farther down the page are code-based; so the two are actually completely unrelated. That should be clarified on the wiki.) – SevenSidedDie Sep 17 '13 at 16:15
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    @OrigamiRobot It never would have occurred to me to do so, nor would it make sense for me to do so now, because they are completely unrelated. – SevenSidedDie Sep 17 '13 at 16:20

After some watching and waiting, I found the answer myself. Villagers do not appear to count towards the passive mob total.

I discovered this while playing Skyblock 2.1 in Minecraft 1.6.2. I had managed to amass 7 villagers, 3 cows, 3 sheep, 1 pig, and 1 chicken in my quaint sky village. If villagers counted towards the passive mob total, this would have put the total at 15 and kept any new passive mobs from spawning. However, I had another pig spawn. Even now with 3 cows, 3 sheep, 3 pigs, and 1 chicken (for a total passive mob count of 10, 1 less than the cap), I still get new animals spawning on occasion. Villagers appear to only be categorized as "passive" in name only, and are treated as separate with regard to passive mob (i.e. animal) spawning.

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