Academy Article

Visits to Historic Sites and Museums on the Rise


In updates released this morning, the Humanities Indicators report that:

  • In 2017, 28% of American adults reported visiting a historic site in the previous year—an increase of 4.4 percentage points from 2012, and a reversal of a decades-long downward trend.
  • Visitation rates have been converging among Americans of various ages, but college graduates remain substantially more likely to visit historic sites than those with lower levels of education.
  • Since hitting a recent low in visits in 1995, total visits to historic sites managed by the National Park Service increased 58% to a high of 120.3 million in 2016, before falling 7%, to 111.9 million visits in 2018.
  • In 2017, 24% of the U.S. adult population had visited a museum or art gallery in the previous year, an increase of almost three percentage points from the nadir in 2012.
  • As with historic sites, visitation rates have been converging among Americans of various ages, due in part to a substantial increase in visits by older Americans (ages 65 and above).

Visit for more data.





Humanities Indicators

Norman Marshall Bradburn and Robert B. Townsend