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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 14)

Funny enough i had wondered about the sudent count while reading books as well.
One of the explanations I came up with were that there are infact more students and the 5 boys are simply the featured ones because they share Harry's room.
I found it plausible because remember in the 5th book when Seamus and Harry have the fight, at one point either Harry or Ron yell at Seamus that he can request to move rooms if he doesn't want to sleep with a madman in the room.
This sugests that there are in fact other rooms with boys their year.

To be completely honest i think it would be increadably hard if not impossible to portray a 1000 student hogwarts in the movie. Think of how much larger the castle would have to be otherwise it would just be crowded everywhere, taking away from the story.

And if there are that many wizards in the world and there have only been mentions of 3 schools in Europe, there have to be more then 250 students at one of the three. Esp if Hogwarts is portrayed as the larger of the three. Granted there have to be schools in other countries but if there are only 3 major ones in Europe, wouldn't there HAVE to be more then 250ish pupils attending there?

Posted by Kyate from Milwaukee on June 27, 2008 11:49 AM

I don't know if I agree with everyone saying 250-300. Just like someone stated, that would make the wizarding community too small.
BUT, it's said many times that people prefer to keep their kids home and teach them themselves. I know it's also said that every magic kid gets an invitation to hogwarts. I do think hogwarts is the only school in england. Then again, england has a lot less people than say America or China. I wonder why the whole world is left out of the stories. Like for example, all the "A History Of Magic" and books like that and stories even all refer to Britain and maybe a little bit of Europe. Nothing in asia, africa, s america, n america. Are we not magical too?

Posted by Trey C from Jacksonville, Fl on June 28, 2008 12:03 PM

I read that J.K. later changed the number of students to 600 and said that there were 3,000 wizards in Britain. I can't remember where, so it might have been unreliable. When adding the numbers of students up, assunming the other houses have the same number of people and that there are only about ten Gryffindors in Harry's year, everyone gets 280. This seems much too small. I don't think there are more than five boys and five girls in Harry's house for their year. The books say that Gryffindors and Slytherins have potions together. In the Chamber of Secrets, it says 20 cauldrons were waiting in the dungeon when they enter. I think it means there were only 10 Slytherin students and that these were all the students in that year in those houses. The only way to get a number from 600-1000 students is to assume some other houses and years had a much greater number of students.

Posted by Anonymous from Arizona on June 30, 2008 11:07 AM

I don't think we are let in on all of the they come in. Wasn't Romilda Vane a gryffindor that we didn't know in the first year. Plus, what about all the students that tried out for the quidditch team.
I think it's kind of like LOST, there are only 12 main characters, but here and there we find out about steve & scott who are never given faces.

Posted by scout on July 8, 2008 5:51 PM

ive been thinking about this for a while too, and i also come to the conclusion that there are around 300 students. assuming that the teachers use time-turners to teach a few classes at once, seeing as there's only one teacher per subject - if there was in the region of 1000 students the teachers would be going back in time a LOT, and that would be hard for them to cope with.
also, what if one year every new student was sorted into just one house? i dont think we can say that each year is divided equally.

Posted by jos from south london on July 30, 2008 10:51 AM

it actually only occured to me this week while rereading the series how few pupils there must actually be. i have a funny feeling JK didnt think that out properly early on or something. perhaps she initally intended there to be more dorms of people per year and merely focus on harry's and simply never got around to introducing them, by which point things had gone on so far there was no point?

i do find the notion of total pupil count numbering in the 200s rather bizarre, as thats the same amount of folk who were in my *year* at school!

of course in GOF it is stated there are plenty more wizarding schools, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons aside even. so perhaps people do go there. hmm.

Posted by Kerri from Scotland on August 4, 2008 10:09 AM

Stick: I agree with you though it may be just because I'm trying to defend Jk too...but it does make sense about the fact that...well, how would it be if there were uneven numbers? Doeasn't that mean that Hufflepuff would have more/less points because of that unfair advantage/disadvantage?

Jasper: I don't see any prob with the common room! I mean, helooo magic?

Posted by Lily Evans from Hogwarts on August 7, 2008 9:44 PM

I find it hard to believe that there are 1000 students at Hogwarts. There are never more than five students of either gender mentioned in a particular house in a particular year. Granted, all students are not mentioned, but I find it hard to believe that Harry would never interact with more than four other boys from his house in his year.
I also agree with the person who stated that it would be odd if the Weasley's were always chose prefects out of eighteen students...
I agree that the number of students in each year can vary, the number in each house, and the number of girls vs boys, but I would have to think that the houses would have to be somewhat evenly distributed since they compete for house points.
At the beginning of years 1-5, schedules are passed out haphazardly, implying that an entirety of one's year from one's house is in each class...putting the figure on around 20 students per class (Potions with Slytherins, Herbology with Hufflepuffs, etc).
We know that the magical population in Britain is somewhat small as all the pure-bloods (and most half-bloods) are related. Although there are muggle-borns, they are the exception rather than the rule (otherwise why would we have a statute of secrecy?
I think it is safe to assume that there is one teacher per subject (other wise DADA wouldn't be such a big deal). Okay, so we say each teacher teaches about three hours of their subject a week (in every book, most subjects they have double of once a week and then again single once a week), three hours, but twice because they'd need two sets for each of the OWL years and at least one set for the NEWT years...that gives each teacher about thirty-six hours in the classrooms teaching. I can't see the teachers doing this for more than 50 or so students per year, even with magic.

Oh, and to the person who said there were only four Slytherin boys in Harry's year:
There were five: Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Blaise Zambini, and Theodore Nott (who you forgot...he's mentioned in the sorting, but not what house...but he's mentioned again in OotP, he can see the Thestrals).

Posted by Lily from Orlando, Fl, USA on August 8, 2008 11:33 PM

I think the count is somewhwre around 500. J.K probably didn't think about it, and the question caught her off guard. I just went into middle school, and it seemed like there were a thousand people there, when the number is really a lot less. What I mean to say is, sometimes off-hand guesses can be in-accurate

Posted by ithil from Cal. on August 10, 2008 4:08 PM

Anonamus, people share cauldrons sometimes, so maybe the number was more like 40.

Posted by ithil from Cal. on August 10, 2008 4:13 PM

every year the school might bring in more than the year before. After all, it depends on how many families are found with kids who are able to do magic.
with Squibs and muggle borns you don't know when they come up.

Posted by Katie Parker from Earth on August 10, 2008 7:06 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with Kyate from Milwaukee, i mean think about 1000 students fitting in the vicinity of Hogwarts. Hogwarts is a huge place. HUUUUUGE! There's gotta be more than 5 boys and girls in Harry's year in Gryffindor, JK just doesn't want to explore too much into that section with more characters. The Gryffindor commons is located on the seventh floor tower(s) so it must be a really big tower with the exception that they live in a magical place so they might have used some magical expansioning to fit all the students in each year in separate rooms. There is a girls and a boys side and each must have quite a few rooms plus maybe restrooms, right? The books and movies are quite different in their own ways and you really don't need to count all the students in each. We know of a few main character students and that's what JK wants us to know of.

There's not much accurate mathematics to magic, so just leave it as 1000+ students residing in Hogwarts in the seven years of magical trainings.

Posted by Pang from Lansing, MI on August 12, 2008 4:27 PM

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