How Many Natural History Museums Are There?

Natural history museums are a treasure trove of knowledge for anyone who is curious about the world we live in. These museums showcase a wide range of exhibits, from dinosaur skeletons to minerals, and from live animals to human evolution.

But have you ever wondered how many natural history museums there are in the world? In this article, we will explore the answer to this question.

What is a Natural History Museum?

Before we delve into the number of natural history museums in the world, it’s important to understand what exactly constitutes a natural history museum. A natural history museum is a type of museum that showcases exhibits related to natural history, including geology, paleontology, botany, and zoology.

These types of museums typically have collections of specimens like rocks and minerals, fossils, plants and animals that are displayed in exhibits or dioramas. The specimens may be preserved through various methods like taxidermy or skeleton reconstruction.

How Many Natural History Museums Are There?

According to estimates by the International Council of Museums (ICOM), there are approximately 10,000 natural history museums around the world. These museums vary in size and scope. Some are small regional institutions while others are large national or international organizations.

Natural History Museums Around the World

The United States has the largest number of natural history museums with over 1,200 institutions according to ICOM data. Some popular examples include:

  • The American Museum of Natural History in New York City
  • The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
  • The Field Museum in Chicago

Other countries with significant numbers of natural history museums include France with over 500 institutions and Japan with over 300.

The Importance of Natural History Museums

Natural history museums play an important role in educating the public about the natural world. They provide a unique opportunity for people to see and learn about specimens that they might not otherwise have access to. These museums also conduct research on their collections, which can help us better understand our planet’s history and ecosystems.

Moreover, natural history museums are important centers for conservation efforts. Many of these institutions work to preserve endangered species through captive breeding programs and other initiatives.


In conclusion, there are approximately 10,000 natural history museums around the world. These institutions serve as important educational resources and play a crucial role in conservation efforts. Whether you’re interested in dinosaurs or botany, there is likely a natural history museum near you that can satisfy your curiosity about the amazing world we live in.