Over the span of seven books (and eight movies), the Harry Potter universe has grown to immense sizes. With tons of locations, characters, and history, the Potterverse is filled with things that even hardcore fans might have missed the first time around.
One eagle-eyed fan of the series has realized that there is a problem with the class sizes of Harry’s educational courses while at Hogwarts. Namely, that Harry’s classes only ever seem to have less than 20 students in them, despite J.K. Rowling stating on the record that Hogwarts has roughly 1,000 students.
At first glace, it may not seem like a big deal. But BuzzFeed did some basic math on the issue, so let’s break it down:
-If Hogwarts has 1,000 students, and there are seven different grades/years of being a student, than each grade should have about 143 students.
-If you divide the 143 students in each grade into the four houses (assuming the sorting hat dishes out roughly equal house assignments), than each house of each grade would have roughly 35 students in it.
But Harry’s classes aren’t that full — and they contain students of every house. Neither is his Gryffindor common room. Think about it, how many students were actually in the same grade/year as Harry, Ron, and Hermione? Not that many. Certainly not an equal distribution of 1,000 students.
Tumblr user marauders4evr has a perfectly logical, although crushingly depressing, explanation for the lack of young wizards and witches:
Oh my god…
I just realized something.
For years, we’ve all wondered how there can be 1000 students (according to J.K. Rowling) in Hogwarts when there are only a handful of students in Harry’s year.
The math doesn’t add up.
We’ve all just assumed that it was an error.
But what if there’s normally dozens of students in each house, in each year?
What if Harry’s year was the exception?
What if there were less students in the Hogwarts Class of 1998 because the period when the other kids would have been conceived (1979-1981) was when Voldemort’s reign of power was at its peak? Between the dozens of adults who joined the Order, the dozens of civilians who were killed in Death Eater raids, and the dozens of adults that didn’t want to bring a child into the world, just then…It’s actually entirely possible that there was a baby drought for a few years in the wizarding world, leading to a smaller class size a decade later.
It’s perfectly reasonable to believe that parents of the wizarding world simply weren’t making babies from 1979-1981, an account of Voldemort and the ensuing war. After Voldemort was defeated (the first time), there was likely a post-war baby boom, meaning that by the time Harry and his friends were in their third or fourth year of Hogwarts, the numbers should have evened back out.