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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 13)

Maybe the castle's so big because there used to be a bigger wizarding population and therefore more students? They're always going on about how there's not so many pure blood wizards...

Posted by Hannah from Oxford, England on May 24, 2008 4:19 PM

of course it's not definite. we can never know for sure because jk never told us directly. just thought i'd bring it up since no one else had. your theory is as good as mine or anyone else's but i thought it was a nice bit of info that suggested the possibility of lots of unmentioned students.

Posted by tina on May 24, 2008 10:52 PM

Ok here goes. I didn't read all comments as I just got tired of everyone going back and forth.
Hogwart's was designed to house ~1000 students (lot's of unused classrooms). But remember Voldemort was running around for several years before Harry was born. In war times we (people) tend to procreate with fewer results. Hence, the classes get smaller. Those students who would have joined during Harry's 4th year would have been considered boomer babies. But at this point we begin to see declining numbers of enrollments. Why? Vol is back and therefore parents are keeping the kids at home. So, in the 97-98 school year Vol is , and there should have been record enrollments.
How many larger schools have you ever been to that only had ONE math teacher or ONE history teacher?

Posted by Steve from Prattville, AL on May 26, 2008 11:49 PM

During the seven books there is talk of wizards out. That should mean LESS than a normal amount. The castle itself is magically enhanced (like Mr Weasely's car) to "fit" the amount of students? We are only following Harry and co. Plus they started using short cut to get around the castle. *ugh* We Muggles simply cannot plot this out! The castle is Unplottable. Check your prop Marauder's Map for North and south to see what I mean;)!

Posted by Nat Aiken from the Bronx, NY on May 28, 2008 07:14 AM

i dont think you can realy use the film as evidence seen as how books are ALWAYS different to the movies...

and why do you assume that that THE WHOLE of gryfindoor and slytherin are in one double potion class... take my school for example, we have 1250 pupils and not everyone in my year has the same lesson at the same time... so where half of a year of gryfindoor have potions at the same time as part of slytherin... isnt it possible that the other halves have potions at another time...

also... this is hogwarts! im sure if they have an enchanted sky as a ceiling they can fit about 1000 students!

Posted by Kalina on May 31, 2008 11:01 AM

i dont htink so, i mean you cannot go by the movie. there are a lot many things that have not been spoken about in the book, that does not mean that they dont exist. just like she turns off the months within a few lines or pages she could have ignored all those people in his class as well as the other parts as they might not be as important as to be spoken about. maybe they were not in harrys friend circle.

Posted by mitra from india on June 3, 2008 09:32 AM

Well personaly, I think you have way to much free time. But I agree with you more then J.K on this because if you think about it Hogwarts is kind of a private school(only magical kids are accepted) which generly have less students then public. But on the other hand, there are only 5 boys in Harry's year in Griffindor, But who says there's the about the same amount in other houses. Griffindor is for the brave, so I think there would be less students in Griffindor then, say in Hufflepuff(students with no amazing talent).The movies are not always accurate but do what looks best, so they probily made the same amount of students and plates in each house. So I agree but also disagree with your math.

Posted by Stevie from pa on June 7, 2008 11:04 AM

I don't know if this has already been pointed out, but in PoA in the quidditch final it mentions there being around 200 slytherin students.
"Behind the Slytherin goalposts, however, two hundred people were wearing green;"
Then earlier in the paragraph it says;
"Three-quarters of the crowd were wearing scarlet rosettes,"
So by this I think we can assume there are 800 students.
Its at the top of page 225 if anyone wants to check.

Posted by Sam from England on June 13, 2008 11:05 AM

You know, I just think this is something J.K. hasn't really thought through. Because it is also in PoA and in GoF that Harry walks into the sleeping dorms at Hogwarts and he think to himself how great it is to see those 5 beds again. So that would mean 5 boys per year and 5 girls per year. 10x7= 70. And there are 4 houses. So 4x70= 280. That would mean there are 280 students at Hogwarts.

Posted by Claudia from Netherlands on June 17, 2008 05:05 AM

I totally agree with Claudia, Like we don't have the same amount of students in each class there could 3 or 4 more in the other years and other houses. So you can say that there are approximately 300 students at hogwarts. well...maybe j.k didn't think that someone would even think about how maby students there are at hogwarts.

As far as quidditch world cup is considered, their children must have gone to Durmstrang or fleur's school.

Posted by Apoorva from Dehradun, India on June 20, 2008 10:45 PM

I've always assumed that there were 280 students at Hogwarts, just like the article says. I knew of the five Gryffindor boys in Harry's year (Harry, Ron, Neville, Dean, and Seamus) and assumed they were the only ones. They never mention any other boys in any of the books OR the movies. Then, assuming that there are the same number of boys as girls (as there should be), there should be 5 girls including Hermione and one of the Patil girls. Then, assuming all seven grades have 10 students, that equals 70 students per house. And each house can't have a different number of students, can it? So 70 times four equals 280 students. I think the movie depicts this correctly in some spots, but highly over exaggerates this number in others.

Posted by Jenna from Ohio, USA on June 24, 2008 06:53 AM

You can't say that anything in JKR's books don't make sense because its her world...she can do what she wants...even create plot holes or nonsensical things. It IS possible to have 1000 kids at hogwarts because JKR created's her idea. Also, we only hear about 4 other boys because those are Harry's naturally, they would be the only ones we hear about. And my school as exactly 400 kids. But I only talk about 5 or 6 of them to my family. there you go.

Posted by Amanda on June 27, 2008 10:10 AM

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