Total attendance at Smithsonian museums and institutions rose in 2023 compared to the previous year. Despite the annual increase, the number of visits remained below the figures reported before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, totaling 17.7 million in 2023.
What is the Smithsonian?
The Smithsonian is a group of museums and research centers run by the U.S. government and mostly based in the District of Columbia. Public entry to all Smithsonian museums is free, with funds being provided through federal budget appropriations and donations. In 2023, the National Museum of Natural History was the most visited of the Smithsonian institutions, attracting over four million visitors.
Museums and galleries in the U.S.
The Smithsonian is by far the largest not-for-profit cultural institution in the United States, with revenue of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. That said, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York had higher visitor numbers than most Smithsonian museums in 2022, ranking among the most visited art museums in the world that year.