The US Has More Museums than Starbucks and McDonald’s

March 27th, 2015

If you think there are more McDonald’s and Starbucks than just about any other entity in the United States, you may be surprised to find out the number of museums in the US has both companies beat. In fact, The Washington Postblog section is reporting there are more than 35,000 museums in the United States, a number McDonald’s with their 14,000 locations and Starbucks and their 11,000 cafes cannot even come close to.

Of course, while you may be thinking only of museums the size of New York’s American Museum of Natural History, Philadelphia’s Museum of Art or the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Brian Torchin has found that,  in reality, the majority of the 35,000 American museums are very small, and are often run by a family or a single individual, and with revenues of less than $10,000 a year.

Some are museums about one small thing — the SPAM museum in Austin, Minnesota, for instance, or the museum in Burlingame, California with its sole collection comprising Pez memorabilia. While others might be classified as ‘weird’ — Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas leaps to mind.

Interesting facts about America’s museums, however, include Los Angeles with the most museums out of any city in the United States, rural counties usually have more museums per capita than do those counties with large towns, and the southern states Georgia and Mississippi have the fewest museums of all.

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