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Stars Hollow, the fictional town in Gilmore Girls, is often described as small, insular, and quaint. The Connecticut hamlet is so small that Babette and Miss Patty know what is going on with everyone in town. If the town meetings are anything to go by, Stars Hollow is teeny, but do fans ever find out the actual population? Yes. The population of Stars Hollow is revealed in the pilot episode of the show, but there is some deep mystery surrounding it.  

How many people live in Stars Hollow?

Early episodes of Gilmore Girls showed a sign welcoming people to the town of Stars Hollow. In later viewings, the sign states that it was founded in 1779. In the original airing of the pilot episode and early DVD versions, the sign tells fans the town’s population.

So, exactly how many people live in Stars Hollow? According to early episodes, 9,973 people are living in the town in 2000. That seems like a surprisingly large population for a town that is considered so close and connected. There is reason to believe that Stars Hollow doesn’t have anywhere near the population advertised in the pilot episode.

The population of the town changes pretty drastically in season 5

Gilmore Girls is known for having several different plot holes or minor discrepancies. For example, Lane Kim mentions her father during early episodes of the show, but he is never seen, and she completely stops talking about him in later seasons. The population of the town is also a major plot hole. In the pilot, fans learn that more than 9,000 people are living in town. That’s not what Kirk Gleason thinks is happening, though.

The cast of 'Gilmore Girls' poses for a promotional photo
The cast of ‘Gilmore Girls’ | Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA

In season 5, Jackson Belville runs for town selectman against Taylor Doosey. Kirk runs a sample to determine who is most likely to win. Kirk uses the Gallup Poll as a guide. He revealed that he needed to poll .002 people, based on his calculations. A reddit user did the math and figured out the population of Stars Hollow. Based on Kirk’s sample, Stars Hollow would have had between 500 and 800 residents in 2004. That’s much lower than what the pilot would have fans believe, though.

Lorelai Gilmore seems confused about the size of the town, too

If Kirk is wrong about the size of Stars Hollow, Lorelai is confused by it, too. In season 3, Lorelai tells Dean Forrester that it’s impossible to avoid each other because they live in a “tiny, little hamlet”. The term hamlet is pretty specific. Hamlets, generally speaking, are smaller than villages and are simply unincorporated sections of a larger town. In most cases, Hamlets rely on a larger municipality for basic services, and they generally don’t have a local government.


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While there is no specific population limit for a hamlet, there are generally accepted rules. Typically, a municipality is a village if it has less than 2,500 inhabitants. A small town can have up to 10,000 inhabitants. If the sign in early airings of the show is correct, Stars Hollow would be considered a small town. If Kirk and Lorelai got it right, Stars Hollow would be regarded as a small village. Since there is a town government, it likely wouldn’t qualify as a hamlet.