


How Many Students Are There At Hogwarts?
by Steve Vander Ark
There are actually about three hundred, it would seem,
although there is plenty of debate on the subject. Here's
the evidence from the books themselves:
There are more or less ten students (depending on the vagarities of the
Sorting) in each House per year, five
boys and five girls.
Harry's class in
Gryffindor has the
following students in it:
If there are more Gryffindors
of that year, isn't it strange that we haven't heard about them in six years'
worth of books? Not a one has spoken up in class, has been part of any
parties or activities in the common room, or anything like that. Judging
by the numbers cited above for
Herbology, flying,
and Potions, they must not
even be in the same classes. If there are any others, where in the world are
they? We do have evidence suggesting the existence of two more girls,
but if they exist they have been awfully quiet.
Assuming the ten students per
House per year numbers, that would work
out to forty students per year for a total of about 280 students. This meshes
with the several times that Harry has seen
"hundreds" of people in the
Great Hall (in
PS7 when
Harry was Sorted and
GF17
when he was chosen for the Tournament,
for example).
The number of teachers would
also suggest a fairly small number of
students. In
GF12
Harry looks along the staff table in the
Great Hall. He
notes teachers by name until
he gets to Dumbledore in the middle
of the table. He has named Flitwick,
Sprout,
Sinistra,
Snape, and an open chair for
McGonagall on that side, which means
that there would be the same number on the other side, for a total of eleven,
counting Dumbledore. Add
Trelawney, who we know doesn't attend
these functions, and we get an even dozen
teachers. Twelve
teachers would not be able
to teach classes to a thousand
students, unless they used
Time Turners
constantly, which doesn't seem likely.
The Sorting in PA5 takes only as
long as a fairly quick conversation between
Harry,
McGonagall, and
Madam Pomfrey and a subsequent chat
between Hermione and
McGonagall. The duration of these
chats seems quite short. But if there are a thousand
students at
Hogwarts, there would be between
150 and 200 students to sort
every year. Even at the rate of two per minute, that would mean the sorting
would last for over an hour. Would the rest of the
students really be willing
to sit for that long waiting to eat? I think it would get a bit long. And
the sorting we've witnessed in the books certainly doesn't seem to last
over an hour.
On the other hand, there are about a hundred carriages to take
students to the
castle from the
train station in Hogsmeade
(PA5).
There were also 1200 seats available around the tables at the Yule Ball
(GF23). And during one
Quidditch match, there were two
hundred Slytherin supporters
in the stadium when we
know that the Ravenclaws and
Hufflepuffs were backing
Gryffindor
(PA15).
So there are some references that support the "thousand student"
concept. But by far most of the evidence suggests a much smaller number...
