Several questions on this site, and people's common perception, is that the Weasleys are poor.

However, on apparently a single source of income, Arthur Weasley supported a family of nine. (I assume Ginny was born before Charlie and Bill moved out, correct me if I'm wrong).

This is done without relying upon gifts or outside support, because they "make do".

So, are the Weasleys actually poor when comparing income to other, smaller, Wizarding families, or do they just have a sizeable income that's just stretched between too many people right now? (Actually, in the epilogue we see that all the kids are out of the house, and that same income is then split among only two people, Arthur and Molly. Are they still poor?)

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    I had a few friends whos familys were like this, parents made good money, but it only goes so far with tons of kids. But once the kids move out the parents suddenly start taking vacations all the time, buying new cars, ect.
    – Himarm
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:55
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    There is evidence that they live paycheck to paycheck as it were (empty vault), which supports Arthur supporting them all (just to add support to your question)
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:55
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    It's common to measure poverty relative to family size (e.g. here). So the Weasleys could very well be "poor" according to such a definition when they're raising lots of kids and not when they aren't, even if Arthur's income doesn't change.
    – Micah
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:55
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    (Also, your assumption about Charlie and Bill is complicated.)
    – Micah
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:57
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    Arthur also works in a very disregarded field... it's unlikely that he's paid very well for it, since the wizarding world doesn't really care much about muggle technology... See harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/…
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


The Weasleys are not especially poor. It's just that Arthur works at a comparatively low paying job at the Ministry, and has a huge family to feed. Molly is a housewife and does not add to the income.

As to how poor they are, well, they are helped by not having to feed their children throughout the year. I think, when its just Molly and Arthur at home, they get on fine, even manage to save up some money for the Christmas and summer holidays, when the kids come home.

Summer is an especially hard time because of the need to buy school books and other items for up to five children at a time. As is evidenced in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4: At Flourish and Blotts

Harry enjoyed the breakneck journey down to the Weasleys’ vault, but felt dreadful, far worse than he had in Knockturn Alley, when it was opened. There was a very small pile of silver Sickles inside, and just one gold Galleon. Mrs.Weasley felt right into the corners before sweeping the whole lot into her bag.

Despite all this, the Weasleys do get along well enough. There is never a case of not having enough food to put on the table. In fact, Mrs. Wealsey is known for her wonderful cooking, always making enough to fill the stomachs of everyone at the table, and then some.

There's also the jackpot that Arthur won in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The Weasleys spent that money to holiday in Egypt. If their financial situation was very tight, there would be no question of blowing the money away on a foreign trip.

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    A foreign trip for a family of wizards might not be as expensive as you'd imagine. The biggest expense for normal people travelling to a place like Egypt is just getting there. With any number of cheap/free modes of magical transport available to them, that's not even an issue. Then you've got lodging - but we know they already have a bigger-on-the-inside tent they can just set up anywhere. So really, it's just a matter of food, which is actually considerably cheaper there (relative to an average British income). A trip to Egypt might end up being cheaper for them than staying home... Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 20:06
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    As for trip to Egypt, that question was asked not long ago and some answers try to provide more psychological explanation of that decision. Other than that, Weasleys are typical media poor family - they are said to be poor, other people treat them as poor but they don't actually face consequences that poor people do in real world. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 20:18
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    Also bear in mind who called them poor - Draco clearly believed (at the time) that proper pureblood families have major wealth to back up the purity of their lineage. Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 22:22
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    @Shadur Do we know of any proper pureblood families with as many kids as the Weasleys?
    – user31178
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 22:56
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    @Angelo.Hannes Actually the tent belonged to Perkins, Arthur Weasley's colleague at the Ministry. As Arthur says in GoF, "Doesn't camp much anymore, poor fellow, he's got lumbago." Even in DH, Ron, Hermione and Harry use the same tent, since Perkins' lumbago has got so bad. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 7:48