Whether they are about art, history, technology, science, or education, museums mean a great cultural contribution to their countries. A recent study by the education consultancy agency Studying in Switzerland ranked countries by the number of museums in their territory and gathered data on the most visited museums in the world, with the contribution of UNESCO, Statista, and other institutions.
Findings show that out of 95,000 museums globally, the majority (33,082) is located in the US, Germany comes second with 6,257 and Japan third (5,738). However, the museums in these countries are not the most visited worldwide.
The museum with the highest number of annual visitors remains, undefeated, the Louvre in Paris, which alone attracts more than 9 million people every year. Beijing’s National Museum of China is in second place, and while Italy is only in 7th position in the list of countries with the most museums, the Vatican Museums are third in the world for number of visitors.
London museums rank high as well, with institutions like British Museum, Tate Modern, National Gallery, National History Museum, and Victoria & Albert Museum making one-fourth of the most visited ones. Among the top ten also figure New York’s Met, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the American Museum of Natural History.
As with most cultural spaces, in the past year museums suffered from the Covid-19 repercussions of enforced closures and drops in visitors due to bans on international travel. New research found out that, although at different levels, all the museums that shut down in light of the global pandemic (about 90%) saw a decline in visitors. The Metropolitan Museum of Art alone lost about 83% of its annual visitors, the Louvre about 75%, and the State Russian Museum halved them.