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Doing the Math: How many kids are at Hogwarts?

by David Haber

On October 16, 2000, in an interview, J.K. Rowling was asked, "How many students attend Hogwarts, and how many students per year per house?" and she replied, simply, "There are about a thousand students at Hogwarts." And because she said it, this has persisted as the proper answer accepted by most fans. But I don't see how that could be correct.

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Reader Comments: (Page 10)

Hogwarts is HUGE. The teaches are great and have fine control of their students. And I'm pretty sure that double potions (or any other class) does not mean 2 houses because all hArry's potions lessons (besides newts) are with slytherins even when its not a DOUBLE PERIOD. And if JKR said there is 1000 there is 1000 she probably couldnt fit all of the students in Harry's year in the plot and even if she listed their names, there wouldnt be enough room to develope their characters.

Posted by someone from Hufflepuff on February 23, 2008 1:45 PM

Yes you make good good point... exept for when you say this:"we've only ever seen four others (Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean". Yes we have only SEEN those 5 boys(including Harry) altogether. BUT, what about those others who werent mensioned?That really bothers me. Yes we have only seen 5 boys, but what about those who werent mensioned sorry if im repeating things but THAT REALLY BOTHERS ME and who says that there are the same amount of boy as girls? Are you saying that that the magical families in Britain altogether have the same amount of girls and boys of the same age? I highly doubt that.

Posted by Beth from Brampton,Ontario on February 23, 2008 6:16 PM

JKR has definitely said that she is bad at maths: in her Black family tree we see that she has accidentally put some people as having children at the age of 13 (this is the men, who traditionally marry older than females). Also, in PS/SS, "there weren't many people left" to sort when the Sorting Hat got to "Moon". In fact, there are only ten people sorted after Moon. Having about 130 people with last names in alphabetical order before "Moon" is surely defying all odds.

There were 12 people in Harry's HBP potions class. These were all the people who got E's and O's on their OWLs and wanted to do Potions. There are 40 people in my grade at school and 12 is an average-sized class (there are four subjects on each line). This suggests to me that there are about 40 people in the grade, perhaps a bit more because potions was quite unpopular with non-Slytherins.

Posted by Uric the Oddball from Australia on February 23, 2008 10:56 PM

I've always been confused in the sixth book, harry and ron take 9 subjects for their O.W.L.s and Hermione takes 11. However, Hermione dropped out of divination and muggle stus but takes arithmancy and ancient runes, so that means she took ten subjects because, Harry and Rons subects - Divination = 8 + ancient runes + arithmancy = ten. I know this isn't to do with number of students but it is maths, so, does anyone know if there is a extra subject hermione does, or if I'm just wrong, please say because I really want to work it out!

Posted by Ophelia Lestrange from England on February 28, 2008 3:16 PM

Well Seeing as we know that there are also the schools durmstrang and beaxbatons there would be others going to those schools. And Hogwarts is a huge place, I mean seeing as the books are about Harry we only go to his classes and not those of any other year group, and as others have said not every family has the same amount of kids, I mean the Weasleys had 7 but Harry and Hermione are only children.

Posted by pumpkinpie from New Zealand on March 2, 2008 02:41 AM

Ophelia: Divination doesn't count; Harry and Ron failed that exam and they didn't want to continue with the subject. So it looks like you are short one subject for all three, not just Hermione.

Posted by C.J. from Utah on March 4, 2008 12:42 AM

Ron, Harry, Seamus and Dean aren't the only kids in gryffindore! hello!? you have to remember, there are more than 4 kids in each year!

Posted by Dana from monkeyhead, california on March 4, 2008 5:44 PM

harry and ron dropped Divination only for NEWT level i.e. sixth year onwards. they took it for OWLs and failed. so indeed hermione passed 11 OWLs with 10 outstandings (charms, Care of magical creatures, Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, History of Magic, Astronomy, Arithmancy and Ancient Runes) and 1 Exceeds Expectations in DADA.

Posted by swati from India on March 4, 2008 10:10 PM

sorry Ophelia, it is really ten subjects not 11 of hermione, seems my maths has gone all haywire. while it says ten Os and 1 EE in HBP for Hermione (I counted DADA in both), only ten subjects have been mentioned in OOP during OWLs. can someone help there?

Posted by swati from India on March 9, 2008 10:22 PM

Thanks for the comments, but I think only J.K.Rowling can tell us the real answer, maybe there is another subject that she has Hermione doing in her head?

Posted by Ophelia Lestrange from England on March 18, 2008 10:16 AM

JKR said 1000 at first and then 600. I would believe 600 but i still think its a bit too high still. In Chamber of Secrets it said in chapter 6-ish "Professor Sprout was standing behind a trestle bench in the center of the greenhouse. About twenty pairs of different-colored ear muffs were lying on the bench."

This is a double class with the hufflepuffs. so doing all the math u still get about 280 students. unless only half the huffle and gryff 2nd years are in this class period then 600 is more reasonable. I know JKR said she's bad with numbers, but if thats the case, she should have spent more time making them as accurate and believable as possible.

Posted by Lauren from Illinois on March 19, 2008 4:59 PM

all in all, it seems to me that hogwarts has no fewer than 280 kids, but not likely more than 600.

Posted by Lauren from Illinois on March 19, 2008 5:03 PM

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