In recent years, the federal government’s Institute for Museum and Library Services has engaged in a major effort to document the population of museums in the U.S. The IMLS dataset includes all manner of museums – of art, public history, natural history, and many other museums subsectors, including those that are private (commercial and nonprofit) and public, i.e., operated by a government body . While other museum databases have been prepared by private sector organizations, the IMLS data represent the most comprehensive tally of museums . It includes about 35,000 individual museums available to U.S. residents

This measure represents the number of those museums located in every county for every 100,000 county residents.

Additional Information: Counties with indicator value = 2,973. Average county indicator value = 26.3. Median county indicator value = 15.8.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

U.S. Share of World Creative Goods Trade is Rebounding! Overall, America’s role in global cultural trade declined steadily from 2002 through 2009, but we have seen a rebound in 2010 and 2011. Almost all of this is due to exports, which change more—both up and down—than imports in the U.S. Trade surpluses are good news for the U.S. economy!