Visitor Stats
Newsroom of the Smithsonian
Because the Smithsonian museums are free, we cannot base our visit tallies on a number of tickets sold.
Smithsonian security officers use hand clickers to count everyone entering the museums (in some buildings they count people leaving) through public entrances during the hours the museums are open. The counts sometimes include staff, as well as visitors who leave the museum and return. A person visiting three Smithsonian museums on any given day will be counted three times. For these reasons, we always refer to the numbers below as "visits" rather than "visitors." The newest Smithsonian museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), has an automated counting system that counts visitors (and staff) as they enter the museum.
Visit numbers are compiled on a calendar-year basis. Since 2001, the total visits to the Smithsonian have also reflected the number of visits to the National Zoo.
Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand or tenth of a million (M), depending on volume.
All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo closed to the public on March 14, 2020 due to COVID-19. Seven museums and the National Zoo reopened in phases between July and Sept. with timed tickets and a limited schedule. The museums and the National Zoo closed again on Nov. 23.
Totals for 2020
Smithsonian American Art Museum (With the Renwick Gallery)387,403
National Portrait Gallery321,286
National Museum of African American History and Culture367,727
National Museum of African Art23,111
National Air and Space Museum267,003
National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center311,548
National Museum of American History310,645
National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.)143,532
National Museum of the American Indian Heye Center (New York City)49,646
Anacostia Community Museum6,137
Arts and Industries Building0
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum38,582
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden133,050
National Museum of Natural History572,638
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum66,117
S. Dillon Ripley Center27,188
Smithsonian Institution Building, "The Castle"100,002
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 30,051
Freer Gallery of Art 49,280
National Postal Museum84,862
National Zoo356,463
Total Visits in 20203.3 M
2005 - 2001
2000 - 1970
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