If you worry that chain eateries are slowly yet insidiously taking over the United States, rest assured—we don’t live in a cultureless corporate wasteland. In fact, new data shows that our country has more museums than Starbucks and McDonalds locations combined.
According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, there are currently 35,000 active museums in the U.S. That’s twice as many as our country is thought to have had in the mid-1990s, The Washington Post reports. If you’re skeptical of these numbers, know that while the study included big institutions like the Smithsonian museums, it also counted smaller, more obscure affairs—think family-owned exhibitions that earn under $10,000 per year.
The report yielded other surprising finds. For instance, there are currently more museums in Los Angeles than New York, Chicago, San Diego, or Washington, D.C. And even in rural areas, many counties have historical societies, history museums, and other local centers of learning. Of course, not all places are so lucky. Many counties in the Deep South didn’t have any museums at all, although it might be just that they didn't show up on tax records or otherwise slipped through the cracks, and so weren't included in the data.
To see which parts of the U.S. have the most museums on a per-capita basis, check out The Washington Post’s full analysis.
[h/t The Washington Post]