On October 16, 2000, J.K. Rowling gave a live interview on Scholastic.com with classrooms across America, which were allowed to ask her questions about the books up until then (at the time, Goblet of Fire), one of the earliest of these kinds of interviews with J.K.

When a student asked, “How many students attend Hogwarts, and how many students per year per house?” 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.

So, let’s do the math. There are four houses at Hogwarts, so if there are 1000 students, that means each house has 250 students in it (1000 divided by 4). There are 7 years at Hogwarts. So, if there are 250 students in each house, that means there are approximately 36 students in each year in each house (250 divided by 7 equals 35.7).

That means, if we assume there are approximately the same number of boys and girls in each year, that there are approximately 18 boys in Harry’s year. But besides Harry, throughout all seven books, we’ve only ever seen four others (Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean).

Another thing, we don’t see a lot of actual classes at Hogwarts, but we see some in the course of Harry’s adventures, and others are mentioned. On page 135 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (page 100 of Philosopher’s Stone), Harry asks what class they have next, and Ron replies, “Double potions”. We can’t tell for sure from the books, but I’ve always assumed that “double potions” meant two houses together, as well as a double class time period. In any event, we can be sure from the books that a double class means the students of two houses together.

But that means, if we use the counts from above, that there would be about 72 kids in double potions class. That sounds like way more kids than would fit or could be handled in one classroom, even by Snape.

And, we’ve seen McGonagall call all her students into the Gryffindor common room for important announcements. I can see 70 kids stuffed into that room, but 250?

I know the movies are not cannon, but they also disagree with the above numbers.

This is an image from Sorcerer’s Stone, from the sorting feast, the second before food appears on the table, and on some of the rows you can quite clearly count the number of empty plates on the tables (click on the image above to see the full-size image). As you can see, in the rows that can be completely counted, there are 33 plates on each side of the table, which would make 66 students per table. Even if that shot is not of the complete dining hall floor, it is certainly most of it, and even if there are few plates in the foreground that we cannot see, it still places the number of students per table in the 66-70 range.

I believe there are, indeed, 70 students at each table. Here is how I calculate the Hogwarts math:

We know that there are, including Harry, five Gryffindor boys in Harry’s year at Hogwarts. Assuming that there are the same number of girls as boys, that means there are 10 students in Harry’s year in Gryffindor at Hogwarts. Since there are 7 years, that means there are 70 Gryffindor students total at Hogwarts, and since there are 4 houses, that means there are only 280 students all together at Hogwarts. Quite a different number than J.K.’s thousand.

The number of students in our double potions class now makes a lot more sense, 10 Gyrffindors and 10 Slytherins makes 20 students, a very normal student class size, especially for a “lab” kind of course.

Another scene in the movie kind of agrees with my Hogwarts math.

This is the scene where the first years are following Percy up the stairs to Gryffindor Tower for the first time. If you look closely, not counting Percy who is right-most in the picture, there are 13 students. A few more than the 10 in my math, but a lot closer to my number than the 36 in J.K.’s count.

Do you think this count of 280 makes sense, or do you think there is evidence in the books that, as J.K. said, there are more students at Hogwarts?

And, if there are only 280 students at Hogwarts, how does that speak to the general population count of Wizards to Muggles? If there are only 280 kids in Hogwarts, how many wizarding families could there be in Britain? Or is it possible there are other wizarding schools besides Hogwarts?

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David Haber

D.S. Haber (known to his friends as Dave) is a professional muggle computer programmer and web designer and lives in Los Angeles. He is proud of the fact that he is a new-blood wizard with no (apparent) previous magical blood in his family. His favorite Quidditch team is the Falmouth Falcons, who's motto is "Let us win, but if we cannot win, let us break a few heads." He is also a West Ham United (Hammers) fan.

I too, am sceptical of this analysis. If Rowling said about 1000, this should be right, she planned it out didn’t she? I do admit you’d end up with huge class groups, but seeing that Hogwarts is not a Muggle High School, should we really compare? Couldn’t we just as easily compare with University, where classes are thaught to hunderds of students at the same time?

Okay, there’s only eight Gryffindors in Harry’s year that we know of (Harry, Ron, Seamus, Dean, Neville, Hermione, Lavender and Parvati) but maybe it just wasn’t a great year for Gryffindors. And true, we don’t see that many characters intoduced in the books, but look at you own situation at school. Do you know everybody that studies there? I don’t think you do, do you? There’s a group of friends, a group of foes and an awfull bunch of familiar but unidentified faces. Should you really base part of your plea on the number of identified students there are?

I admit having 1000 Hogwarts Students would complicate a lot, but having only a mere 300… It seems so little to me. I rather think Rowling inteded for at least 1000 students to be at Hogwarts, because wizarding community would be too small otherwise, but never really figured out (or bothered to) how to show that huge amount in the books. I really don’t think she cared about the mathematics or maximum student numbers in classes.

Harry’s birth-year could just as easily have a very low birth rate, so there’s little students in his year, and that’s why they pair houses up for classes. And really, I don’t think every house gets roughly the same number of students…

(And probably, I just don’t want to budge, because I’ve been fighting similars pleas for years now, I can’t help but persist in defending my opinion)

joshua

16 years ago

ive always thought there were a very small amount at hogwarts and i think around 200-300 would be a reasonable guess, i dont think there would be 1000, but in GoF, jk writes, describing the amount of witches and wizards at the quidditch world cup ‘a hundred thousand witches and wizards’, so if there are that many witches and wizards from around the world, i think it could be possible that there are a lot of people at hogwarts.

also, at my school when we have 2 periods of the same subject together, we call it a ‘double period’ so i always assumed that ‘double potions’ was two periods. i also always thought that ALL classes had two houses in it, cause they always say ‘potions with the slytherins’ or ‘herbology with the hufflepuffs’.

Henry Zhao

16 years ago

good point you have there…your so wide minded…i enjoy reading your points…thanks for the read

Stick

16 years ago

Well, perhaps this is just me trying to defend J.K’s statements, but perhaps there is less people in Gryffindor as not so many are brave and all that other kind of stuff, i expect that hufflepuff would have the most students, as helga hufflepuffs house takes students no matter what, while Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Slytherin have certain qualities they are looking for… I dont think it would be safe to assume that the students are divided evenly, which i think we experiance in one of the books but i cant remember.

Izzet

16 years ago

Great article again. I think 280 count is well calculated, there are 280~ students in Hogwarts. I think there are a lot of wizarding schools in the Rowling’s world.

Lets say half of the Wizards marry with Muggles, and other half marry with each other. A family has 2 kids overall so 280/7 = 40 students per year. 40/2= 20 families needed for one year. Families are made by 2 people, so we need 30 wizards and 10 muggles for a year. Lets say, a wizard will have a baby when he/she is overall 27 years old (fair isn’t it?), so we need 27 years to make other births. 27×30 is 810 wizards. Do we have 810 wizards in the world? I don’t think so.

I could say, 1 school is enough for England in this numbers don’t you agree? How many English/England-related wizards are in HP World?

Anthony

16 years ago

I think the counts reflect well of the movie. But, movies often times condense content so as not to overwhelm the viewer with something that goes just fine in a book.

It would be interesting to see Dave’s numbers projected out against the population of England compared with JKR’s numbers. How many families and wizards/witches are there really in the country? The world? Is the Statute of Secrecy protecting a small portion of the population, or a large one? If it is too small, it would just fade away; too large, and there would be no need for the SoS!

Jasper

16 years ago

I totally agree with the article. I’ve been thinking about his for a while too, and I ended up with around 300 students. Ten in every year for every house, what would be 10 x 7 x 4, and that’s… 280, and to make it a round number 300, ’cause it’s possible that a few more or less, it would be pretty odd if every year exactly 40 new students arrived at Hogwarts.

Besides, if there were 250 students in every house, the common rooms have to be huge.

And about the ‘double potions’ thing: I think means two hours and not two houses together, because in my opinion, every class there are two houses together (of the same year). That would be 10 x 2 = 20 students, that’s quite a normal number. I’m quite sure I’ve read it somewhere in the books, or at least something that would assume it…

C.J.

16 years ago

I’m sure the article is much more likely than JKR’s estimate, but really, she probably never thought of it until the student asked her, so a thousand would be the best number she thought of at the top of her head. I’m sure that a first year, when writing home, would guess the same amount. The grandeur of the place and the new faces would suggest as much.

Anonymous

16 years ago

i dunno, i alway imagined hogwarts with at least 1000 students, is it not possible that the students are divided unevenlly among the houses?

Natasha

16 years ago

I think JK’s count is pretty accurate because she wrote the book and planned it out didn’t she? so if she really did do that, then she probably counted the way you first did. Without looking at the scenes from the movies, you can determine the number. Since they probably couldn’t get 1,000 kids and adults in the movie to act as a whole wizard population, they modified it to about 10 or 14 (as you mentioned) students per scene. If you think about it in your mind, there is probably about 400 students in one middle/elementary school in a suburb. That means that if there is 1 house per school, and (we’ll substitute grades for houses) there are 4 grades at the school, then 400 divided by 4 houses will give you 100 students per house. then if you take that and divide by 7 for every year, you get 14.285714. if you round that to about 14 to 15 students per year, then that doesn’t make sense. if we do it JK’s way, it makes more sense. 1000 is a much more reasonable number to be working with and thinking about while calculating student body population. and plus, there could be millions of wizard families in the HP world. I could be living next to one right now…

Colleen Harper

16 years ago

Well I think that J.K. is right but only from the counting of the BOOKS.The movies are completely different then the books. They couldnt have that many people for a movie so they settle with a smaller number of people.

Also there are different wizarding schools. For example Durmstrang and Beuxbatons. There must be more schools than that also because in HP and the GoF when Harry is at the Quidditch World Cup Harry says he sees kids about his age he didnt know. Then he realizes there are kids from different schools because Hogwarts couldn’t be the only one.

Holly

16 years ago

We must remember that there are not even numbers of students in every house. Taking Harry’s year for example, we see there are 5 boys and 3 girls in Gryffindor, however in Slytherin, there is a smaller number of students in their year. There are only 4 boys and 2 girls, noted. So, it is impossible to estimate how many students there are, since we don’t know the exact number of any given year. Also, maybe 1000 she meant it had the capacity to hold 1000, not the actual present student body.
As an additional note about the number of wizarding families. We are told in Deathly Hallows that it is not mandatory to send your child to Hogwarts. There are those who go abroad and those who are home-schooled, just like in the Muggle world of schools.

someone

16 years ago

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.

Beth

16 years ago

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.

Uric the Oddball

16 years ago

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.

Ophelia Lestrange

16 years ago

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 studies 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!

pumpkinpie

16 years ago

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.

C.J.

16 years ago

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.

swati

16 years ago

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.

swati

16 years ago

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?

Ophelia Lestrange

16 years ago

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?

Lauren

16 years ago

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.

Lauren

16 years ago

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

monkeeshrines

16 years ago

Ophelia – Actually, I took it to mean that you don’t have to take the class in order to do the exam. Bill and Percy both got 12 OWLs, and it has been greatly implied that there would not be enough time in the schedule to have taken 12 classes � as Hermione tried to do in Prisoner of Azkaban, and needed a time-turner to pull it off. So, even though she was not in the Muggle Studies class, she still could have taken the exam, and, of course, would have gotten an O. That’s her 11th OWL even though she only took 10 classes.

Maddie

16 years ago

There are a bunch of students at Hogwarts. I bet there would be at least a thousand students. I wish I was in one of those movies. I would just die to be in one of those What about you guys?

DYLAN ALLPORT

16 years ago

also, some students leave in their last year, and the goblet of fire proves that there are other wizarding school, beuxbatons and durmstang, and maybe there are alot others but just not as good.

d

16 years ago

i think there must have been much less than 1000 pupils there only seemed to be 1 teacher per subject theres no way that one teacher could teach that many pupils

Karishma

16 years ago

I think there’s around 300. I mean in philosphers stone when they took their first flying lessons with the slytherins, there were 20 brooms, so if there’s 10 gryffindor and 10 slytherin first years, there’s 140 gryffindors and slytherins. with hufflepuff and ravenclaw there’s about 280.

swati

16 years ago

i’m not sure eitherway but i was (re)reading GoF and in the chapter “The Yule ball” came across “The House tables had vanished; instead, there were about a hundred smaller, lantern-lit ones, each seating about a dozen people.”
as we know karkaroff came with 12 students, so did madam maxime i.e. additional 26, and add for musicians etc. from the weird sisters, still it will left too many seats if there were fewer strudents which implies that really there must have been around 1000 students (i shall rather call inhabitants) in hogwarts.

Ben

16 years ago

Well, i think that there could be 1000 students.
What is meant by double potions, to me, is that it is a double time then it usually is. And since the 4th book, we KNOW that there are more schools. 2 at least. there are Flours school, and Krumps school. there has to be more too. Just because you do not see them in the room, does not mean they are not there. And just because you do not interact with them, doesnt mean they are not there. Think of TV shows that show a school, there are many people in the school, but they do not interact with each other. Also think of regular school. If you are in a big school or were in a big school, did you interact with each and every student(class mate) in the school? if you did you are amazing!

cptwentworth

16 years ago

Well, a double class that I’ve always taken means double the time period, not that freshman and seniors were in a class together. So it still could fit to have 36 in a class. And the idea that because there are five boys and girls in Harry’s house for his year doesn’t necessarily mean that every year and every house garners the same number. Although I do think that when Jo mentions a thousand, she didn’t have the numbers exact in her head as to how she reached that number.

fancy fairy cakes

16 years ago

Hey, I’d just like to say I don’t think there are necessarily going to be the same amount of people in each dorm as there are in Harry’s. I know you said approximately, but, for example, with the Gryffindor Girls of Harry’s year we only ever meet Hermione, Lavender and Parvarti. In Malfoys dorm there are only himself, Crabbe and Goyle. This is just what I think and even if you do account for wwhat I’ve just said your guess is closer than “one thousand”. JK probably hadn’t thought it over this much.

shreya

16 years ago

300 students is ridiculous! there must be 1000 students atleast..
the movie is no criteria to decide on anything. even the book for that matter will not list the names of all the students. but everytime the book or even, the movie, shows hogwarts, it seems like a huge castle with loads of witches/wizards in the corridors, or grounds/etc.

and we cannot judge muggle teaching standards with the magic world by comparing grade-strength and capacity; or how one teacher for a subject is too less or anything of this sort.

Callum

16 years ago

I have allways thought that the number of students was a bit bougus, I mean; also with the prefect system; how does it work?

Anyway, I think that the no. of pupils is around 500 with around 250 teachers. But there is evedence against that, in ‘Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets’ When Hermione and Harry go into the teachers study; it is described as a normal room with a small fireplace; to small for the Floo-Network.

But yet again in ‘Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire’ the book says that “Hundreds of students will try to put their name down” But then it says youve got to be of age ( 17 yrs old ) So this refers to SOME students in 6th yr and students in 7th year. Now to give the school a fighting chance, there must be at least 100 students in the 7th year and possibly 50 in the 6th yr. together that is around 150 students of age in Hogwarts.

Also; in the Books and the movies (this is the only thing they have in common) Harry, Ron and Hermione hardly ever pass any other students in the corridors or bathrooms.

Joel

16 years ago

I don’t actually think it matters about the maths. Put it this way, I would have imagined that there are maybe a few more than actually mentioned – random names came up frequently in the books. I don’t think it would be possible to mention over 500 peoples names (250 in Gryffindor + 100 x 3 for the other houses) so perhaps she has just stuck to a few prominent names.

Also a point to mention is that this is just a suggestion as to howmany there are – it is up to you and your imagination to discover how many there are.

Steve Bradley

16 years ago

This is a difficult one. Is there a right answer? Do we go with JKR herself or the books that she wrote?

In any case, we can all agree that there is a discrepency. David’s math is completely correct.

I think it comes down to one simple thing. JKR must have always envisioned 1000 students in her school, because this is a more realistic number. However it would have hurt the story (by weakening each side character) to have to introduce 30 other guys bunking with Ron and Harry. Even Dean, Seamus, Lavender, and Parvati were kind of secondary; no one really cared too much about them.

So realistically, JKR made a writer’s move that deviated slightly from reality. She needed a smaller number of characters to work with to strengthen her story, but Hogwarts would be much less impressive as a tiny little shack next to a lake.

Cauncey

16 years ago

Well we know that there are more wizarding schools..we have the one where Fleur is from and the one where Victor Krum is from..But if there are that many wizards there have to be more..I think they only mentioned those two because it could only be three schools in the triwizard cup and it wasn’t an important detail for her to mention it..Every story and movie is not always on point with each other..If you liked the movie and the books why can’t you just enjoy it for what it was!

josh

16 years ago

double potions means that its a double period and it goes for twice as long

David Haber

16 years ago

Yeah, but Josh, doesn’t it also mean double students? Remember, the Gryffindors do Snape’s class with the Slytherins.

Shannon Fanthorpe

16 years ago

We know that Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean’s dorm room is in a tower, and that each year has a floor – there are five to a dorm so that would be 35 boys in Gryffindor and a further 35 females. So going by that there are 280 students but who is to say there’s only two towers off the Gryffindor common room? If there were two towers (or equiv for other houses) for each gender then we have already doubled it to 560, double that and you’ve got ‘about one thousand’. Hogwarts is so grand I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 32 dorms availible for each year. The reason we never ‘see’ any of the other dorms is because Harry’s the centre of the action. I hadn’t heard of Romilda Vane until book six, ‘though I’m fairly sure she wasn’t a first year (11 years old) trying it on with a sixth year *rolls eyes*

Lucy

16 years ago

I always thought double potions meant a doulbe period, like it does in normal schools. All classes hav 2 houses in them, such as herbology, thats with hufflepuff, but its never described as “double herbology” (I think)

Also I have always thought there were 10 pupils in each house in each year, but i did notice while I was reading CoS that, during the Gryffndor/Slytherin quidditch game that there were “a hundred” people supporting slytherin…

George

16 years ago

Ok, lets say there were 1000 students. That means that’s approx. 145 per year (1000 divided by seven). Think about it in terms of sorting, say it takes an average of two minutes to sort someone (some are decided instantly, others take ages) then that’s 290 minutes or almost five hours! Even if it took an insanely short amount of time to sort someone then I think you would be pushing two hours at best. Now I don’t think anyone could expect a room of hungry children to sit that long!

Dave Haber

16 years ago

Excellent point!

tina

16 years ago

I found something else! On page 218 of OotP when Harry and Seamus are fighting Harry tells Seamus to go to Professor McGonagall and get moved to another boys bedroom, which suggests that there is more than one 5th year boys’ dorm! So if this is true for the whole school, then it could easily have 1000 students!

Dave Haber

16 years ago

Very good point, but it’s not conclusive one way or the other. The exact quote is “If you’ve got a problem sharing a dormitory with me, go ask McGonagall if you can be moved, stop your mummy worrying–”

So, he doesn’t say “moved to another Gryffindor 5th year dormitory”. He just says moved somewhere else. He could be moved to an underclassman dorm (a drag, but if you really can’t live with someone…) or perhaps into a room that isn’t even a regular dorm at all. Since it was only suggested in anger and we’ve never actually seen someone move, we can’t know for sure.

Joe

16 years ago

Well also once the third year starts they get to pick their own classes so if you think about it the classes after that could really be smaller but still with 1000 students. I’m still not sure which to believe but some of these guys have a point when they say JKR planned it out. But 300 students does seem a little bit of a low number, especially considering the size of the school. Just my thoughts.

Joe

16 years ago

Also if the student-teacher ratio thing applies to Hogwarts their should be about 16 students per teacher. If you look at all the different subjects, that also means that their has to be a fair few teachers. But I don’t know if my math is correct that is still only, lets say their is 30 subjects, that means their is only 480 students. Sounds a bit better than 300 but still not as good as 750. I think 750 would be a bit of a better number than 1000.

Hannah

16 years ago

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…

tina

16 years ago

Dave-
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.

Steve

16 years ago

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? Voldie is back and therefore parents are keeping the kids at home. So, in the 97-98 school year Voldie is dead, 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?

I too, am sceptical of this analysis. If Rowling said about 1000, this should be right, she planned it out didn’t she? I do admit you’d end up with huge class groups, but seeing that Hogwarts is not a Muggle High School, should we really compare? Couldn’t we just as easily compare with University, where classes are thaught to hunderds of students at the same time?

Okay, there’s only eight Gryffindors in Harry’s year that we know of (Harry, Ron, Seamus, Dean, Neville, Hermione, Lavender and Parvati) but maybe it just wasn’t a great year for Gryffindors. And true, we don’t see that many characters intoduced in the books, but look at you own situation at school. Do you know everybody that studies there? I don’t think you do, do you? There’s a group of friends, a group of foes and an awfull bunch of familiar but unidentified faces. Should you really base part of your plea on the number of identified students there are?

I admit having 1000 Hogwarts Students would complicate a lot, but having only a mere 300… It seems so little to me. I rather think Rowling inteded for at least 1000 students to be at Hogwarts, because wizarding community would be too small otherwise, but never really figured out (or bothered to) how to show that huge amount in the books. I really don’t think she cared about the mathematics or maximum student numbers in classes.

Harry’s birth-year could just as easily have a very low birth rate, so there’s little students in his year, and that’s why they pair houses up for classes. And really, I don’t think every house gets roughly the same number of students…

(And probably, I just don’t want to budge, because I’ve been fighting similars pleas for years now, I can’t help but persist in defending my opinion)

ive always thought there were a very small amount at hogwarts and i think around 200-300 would be a reasonable guess, i dont think there would be 1000, but in GoF, jk writes, describing the amount of witches and wizards at the quidditch world cup ‘a hundred thousand witches and wizards’, so if there are that many witches and wizards from around the world, i think it could be possible that there are a lot of people at hogwarts.

also, at my school when we have 2 periods of the same subject together, we call it a ‘double period’ so i always assumed that ‘double potions’ was two periods. i also always thought that ALL classes had two houses in it, cause they always say ‘potions with the slytherins’ or ‘herbology with the hufflepuffs’.

good point you have there…your so wide minded…i enjoy reading your points…thanks for the read

Well, perhaps this is just me trying to defend J.K’s statements, but perhaps there is less people in Gryffindor as not so many are brave and all that other kind of stuff, i expect that hufflepuff would have the most students, as helga hufflepuffs house takes students no matter what, while Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Slytherin have certain qualities they are looking for… I dont think it would be safe to assume that the students are divided evenly, which i think we experiance in one of the books but i cant remember.

Great article again. I think 280 count is well calculated, there are 280~ students in Hogwarts. I think there are a lot of wizarding schools in the Rowling’s world.

Lets say half of the Wizards marry with Muggles, and other half marry with each other. A family has 2 kids overall so 280/7 = 40 students per year. 40/2= 20 families needed for one year. Families are made by 2 people, so we need 30 wizards and 10 muggles for a year. Lets say, a wizard will have a baby when he/she is overall 27 years old (fair isn’t it?), so we need 27 years to make other births. 27×30 is 810 wizards. Do we have 810 wizards in the world? I don’t think so.

I could say, 1 school is enough for England in this numbers don’t you agree? How many English/England-related wizards are in HP World?

I think the counts reflect well of the movie. But, movies often times condense content so as not to overwhelm the viewer with something that goes just fine in a book.

It would be interesting to see Dave’s numbers projected out against the population of England compared with JKR’s numbers. How many families and wizards/witches are there really in the country? The world? Is the Statute of Secrecy protecting a small portion of the population, or a large one? If it is too small, it would just fade away; too large, and there would be no need for the SoS!

I totally agree with the article. I’ve been thinking about his for a while too, and I ended up with around 300 students. Ten in every year for every house, what would be 10 x 7 x 4, and that’s… 280, and to make it a round number 300, ’cause it’s possible that a few more or less, it would be pretty odd if every year exactly 40 new students arrived at Hogwarts.

Besides, if there were 250 students in every house, the common rooms have to be huge.

And about the ‘double potions’ thing: I think means two hours and not two houses together, because in my opinion, every class there are two houses together (of the same year). That would be 10 x 2 = 20 students, that’s quite a normal number. I’m quite sure I’ve read it somewhere in the books, or at least something that would assume it…

I’m sure the article is much more likely than JKR’s estimate, but really, she probably never thought of it until the student asked her, so a thousand would be the best number she thought of at the top of her head. I’m sure that a first year, when writing home, would guess the same amount. The grandeur of the place and the new faces would suggest as much.

i dunno, i alway imagined hogwarts with at least 1000 students, is it not possible that the students are divided unevenlly among the houses?

I think JK’s count is pretty accurate because she wrote the book and planned it out didn’t she? so if she really did do that, then she probably counted the way you first did. Without looking at the scenes from the movies, you can determine the number. Since they probably couldn’t get 1,000 kids and adults in the movie to act as a whole wizard population, they modified it to about 10 or 14 (as you mentioned) students per scene. If you think about it in your mind, there is probably about 400 students in one middle/elementary school in a suburb. That means that if there is 1 house per school, and (we’ll substitute grades for houses) there are 4 grades at the school, then 400 divided by 4 houses will give you 100 students per house. then if you take that and divide by 7 for every year, you get 14.285714. if you round that to about 14 to 15 students per year, then that doesn’t make sense. if we do it JK’s way, it makes more sense. 1000 is a much more reasonable number to be working with and thinking about while calculating student body population. and plus, there could be millions of wizard families in the HP world. I could be living next to one right now…

Well I think that J.K. is right but only from the counting of the BOOKS.The movies are completely different then the books. They couldnt have that many people for a movie so they settle with a smaller number of people.

Also there are different wizarding schools. For example Durmstrang and Beuxbatons. There must be more schools than that also because in HP and the GoF when Harry is at the Quidditch World Cup Harry says he sees kids about his age he didnt know. Then he realizes there are kids from different schools because Hogwarts couldn’t be the only one.

We must remember that there are not even numbers of students in every house. Taking Harry’s year for example, we see there are 5 boys and 3 girls in Gryffindor, however in Slytherin, there is a smaller number of students in their year. There are only 4 boys and 2 girls, noted. So, it is impossible to estimate how many students there are, since we don’t know the exact number of any given year. Also, maybe 1000 she meant it had the capacity to hold 1000, not the actual present student body.

As an additional note about the number of wizarding families. We are told in Deathly Hallows that it is not mandatory to send your child to Hogwarts. There are those who go abroad and those who are home-schooled, just like in the Muggle world of schools.

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.

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.

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.

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 studies 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!

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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

Ophelia – Actually, I took it to mean that you don’t have to take the class in order to do the exam. Bill and Percy both got 12 OWLs, and it has been greatly implied that there would not be enough time in the schedule to have taken 12 classes � as Hermione tried to do in Prisoner of Azkaban, and needed a time-turner to pull it off. So, even though she was not in the Muggle Studies class, she still could have taken the exam, and, of course, would have gotten an O. That’s her 11th OWL even though she only took 10 classes.

There are a bunch of students at Hogwarts. I bet there would be at least a thousand students. I wish I was in one of those movies. I would just die to be in one of those What about you guys?

also, some students leave in their last year, and the goblet of fire proves that there are other wizarding school, beuxbatons and durmstang, and maybe there are alot others but just not as good.

i think there must have been much less than 1000 pupils there only seemed to be 1 teacher per subject theres no way that one teacher could teach that many pupils

I think there’s around 300. I mean in philosphers stone when they took their first flying lessons with the slytherins, there were 20 brooms, so if there’s 10 gryffindor and 10 slytherin first years, there’s 140 gryffindors and slytherins. with hufflepuff and ravenclaw there’s about 280.

i’m not sure eitherway but i was (re)reading GoF and in the chapter “The Yule ball” came across “The House tables had vanished; instead, there were about a hundred smaller, lantern-lit ones, each seating about a dozen people.”

as we know karkaroff came with 12 students, so did madam maxime i.e. additional 26, and add for musicians etc. from the weird sisters, still it will left too many seats if there were fewer strudents which implies that really there must have been around 1000 students (i shall rather call inhabitants) in hogwarts.

Well, i think that there could be 1000 students.

What is meant by double potions, to me, is that it is a double time then it usually is. And since the 4th book, we KNOW that there are more schools. 2 at least. there are Flours school, and Krumps school. there has to be more too. Just because you do not see them in the room, does not mean they are not there. And just because you do not interact with them, doesnt mean they are not there. Think of TV shows that show a school, there are many people in the school, but they do not interact with each other. Also think of regular school. If you are in a big school or were in a big school, did you interact with each and every student(class mate) in the school? if you did you are amazing!

Well, a double class that I’ve always taken means double the time period, not that freshman and seniors were in a class together. So it still could fit to have 36 in a class. And the idea that because there are five boys and girls in Harry’s house for his year doesn’t necessarily mean that every year and every house garners the same number. Although I do think that when Jo mentions a thousand, she didn’t have the numbers exact in her head as to how she reached that number.

Hey, I’d just like to say I don’t think there are necessarily going to be the same amount of people in each dorm as there are in Harry’s. I know you said approximately, but, for example, with the Gryffindor Girls of Harry’s year we only ever meet Hermione, Lavender and Parvarti. In Malfoys dorm there are only himself, Crabbe and Goyle. This is just what I think and even if you do account for wwhat I’ve just said your guess is closer than “one thousand”. JK probably hadn’t thought it over this much.

300 students is ridiculous! there must be 1000 students atleast..

the movie is no criteria to decide on anything. even the book for that matter will not list the names of all the students. but everytime the book or even, the movie, shows hogwarts, it seems like a huge castle with loads of witches/wizards in the corridors, or grounds/etc.

and we cannot judge muggle teaching standards with the magic world by comparing grade-strength and capacity; or how one teacher for a subject is too less or anything of this sort.

I have allways thought that the number of students was a bit bougus, I mean; also with the prefect system; how does it work?

Anyway, I think that the no. of pupils is around 500 with around 250 teachers. But there is evedence against that, in ‘Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets’ When Hermione and Harry go into the teachers study; it is described as a normal room with a small fireplace; to small for the Floo-Network.

But yet again in ‘Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire’ the book says that “Hundreds of students will try to put their name down” But then it says youve got to be of age ( 17 yrs old ) So this refers to SOME students in 6th yr and students in 7th year. Now to give the school a fighting chance, there must be at least 100 students in the 7th year and possibly 50 in the 6th yr. together that is around 150 students of age in Hogwarts.

Also; in the Books and the movies (this is the only thing they have in common) Harry, Ron and Hermione hardly ever pass any other students in the corridors or bathrooms.

I don’t actually think it matters about the maths. Put it this way, I would have imagined that there are maybe a few more than actually mentioned – random names came up frequently in the books. I don’t think it would be possible to mention over 500 peoples names (250 in Gryffindor + 100 x 3 for the other houses) so perhaps she has just stuck to a few prominent names.

Also a point to mention is that this is just a suggestion as to howmany there are – it is up to you and your imagination to discover how many there are.

This is a difficult one. Is there a right answer? Do we go with JKR herself or the books that she wrote?

In any case, we can all agree that there is a discrepency. David’s math is completely correct.

I think it comes down to one simple thing. JKR must have always envisioned 1000 students in her school, because this is a more realistic number. However it would have hurt the story (by weakening each side character) to have to introduce 30 other guys bunking with Ron and Harry. Even Dean, Seamus, Lavender, and Parvati were kind of secondary; no one really cared too much about them.

So realistically, JKR made a writer’s move that deviated slightly from reality. She needed a smaller number of characters to work with to strengthen her story, but Hogwarts would be much less impressive as a tiny little shack next to a lake.

Well we know that there are more wizarding schools..we have the one where Fleur is from and the one where Victor Krum is from..But if there are that many wizards there have to be more..I think they only mentioned those two because it could only be three schools in the triwizard cup and it wasn’t an important detail for her to mention it..Every story and movie is not always on point with each other..If you liked the movie and the books why can’t you just enjoy it for what it was!

double potions means that its a double period and it goes for twice as long

Yeah, but Josh, doesn’t it also mean double students? Remember, the Gryffindors do Snape’s class with the Slytherins.

We know that Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean’s dorm room is in a tower, and that each year has a floor – there are five to a dorm so that would be 35 boys in Gryffindor and a further 35 females. So going by that there are 280 students but who is to say there’s only two towers off the Gryffindor common room? If there were two towers (or equiv for other houses) for each gender then we have already doubled it to 560, double that and you’ve got ‘about one thousand’. Hogwarts is so grand I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 32 dorms availible for each year. The reason we never ‘see’ any of the other dorms is because Harry’s the centre of the action. I hadn’t heard of Romilda Vane until book six, ‘though I’m fairly sure she wasn’t a first year (11 years old) trying it on with a sixth year *rolls eyes*

I always thought double potions meant a doulbe period, like it does in normal schools. All classes hav 2 houses in them, such as herbology, thats with hufflepuff, but its never described as “double herbology” (I think)

Also I have always thought there were 10 pupils in each house in each year, but i did notice while I was reading CoS that, during the Gryffndor/Slytherin quidditch game that there were “a hundred” people supporting slytherin…

Ok, lets say there were 1000 students. That means that’s approx. 145 per year (1000 divided by seven). Think about it in terms of sorting, say it takes an average of two minutes to sort someone (some are decided instantly, others take ages) then that’s 290 minutes or almost five hours! Even if it took an insanely short amount of time to sort someone then I think you would be pushing two hours at best. Now I don’t think anyone could expect a room of hungry children to sit that long!

Excellent point!

I found something else! On page 218 of OotP when Harry and Seamus are fighting Harry tells Seamus to go to Professor McGonagall and get moved to another boys bedroom, which suggests that there is more than one 5th year boys’ dorm! So if this is true for the whole school, then it could easily have 1000 students!

Very good point, but it’s not conclusive one way or the other. The exact quote is “If you’ve got a problem sharing a dormitory with me, go ask McGonagall if you can be moved, stop your mummy worrying–”

So, he doesn’t say “moved to another Gryffindor 5th year dormitory”. He just says moved somewhere else. He could be moved to an underclassman dorm (a drag, but if you really can’t live with someone…) or perhaps into a room that isn’t even a regular dorm at all. Since it was only suggested in anger and we’ve never actually seen someone move, we can’t know for sure.

Well also once the third year starts they get to pick their own classes so if you think about it the classes after that could really be smaller but still with 1000 students. I’m still not sure which to believe but some of these guys have a point when they say JKR planned it out. But 300 students does seem a little bit of a low number, especially considering the size of the school. Just my thoughts.

Also if the student-teacher ratio thing applies to Hogwarts their should be about 16 students per teacher. If you look at all the different subjects, that also means that their has to be a fair few teachers. But I don’t know if my math is correct that is still only, lets say their is 30 subjects, that means their is only 480 students. Sounds a bit better than 300 but still not as good as 750. I think 750 would be a bit of a better number than 1000.

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…

Dave-

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.

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? Voldie is back and therefore parents are keeping the kids at home. So, in the 97-98 school year Voldie is dead, 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?