California Museums


There are over 1,500 museums in California. They are evenly distributed among communities of all sizes, in urban, suburban, and rural areas – and in every county across the state.

Museums are foremost educational organizations that serve the public. California museums collectively serve 2.465 million K-12 schoolchildren per year, which is the equivalent of 39.6% of California’s public and private school population each year.

It is estimated that California museums serve nearly 22 million visitors per year. That is equivalent to the entire population of Southern California, or Australia.

Museums are good public investments and contribute greatly to the economy. According to a recent study, California museums have a $6.55 million financial impact on the economy and support 80,722 jobs. Even though museums operate as nonprofits, they generated $492 million in tax revenues for the State of California in 2017, in addition to over $1 billion in federal taxes.

Museums are stewards of the cultural and natural heritage of California, the nation, and the world. The vast majority of California museums have a costly and irreplaceable permanent collection that they preserve for the public’s benefit and research.

Learn more about California museums.