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.


Totals for 2018 (through end of August)
Smithsonian American Art Museum (With the Renwick Gallery) 2.2M
National Portrait Gallery 1.6M
National Museum of African American History and Culture 1.4M
National Museum of African Art 98,000
National Air and Space Museum 4.7M 
National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center 1.1M
National Museum of American History 3.2M
National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.) 781,000
National Museum of the American Indian Heye Center (New York City) 270,000
Anacostia Community Museum 24,000
Arts and Industries Building 16,000
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum 221,000
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden 559,000
National Museum of Natural History 3.7M
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum 575,000
S. Dillon Ripley Center 85,000
Smithsonian Institution Building, "The Castle" 815,000
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  92,000
Freer Gallery of Art  200,000
National Postal Museum 371,000
National Zoo 1.1M
Total Visits in 2017 20.9M