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Types of museums in the UK

The Museum Association data suggests that local authority museums account for 24% of all museums. This is the second highest category after independent museums which comprise 43%. The table on the right presents estimated museum distribution by type in 2016/17.

Overall attendance

Attendance was higher in almost half (47%) of all museums 2016/17 compared to 2015/16. In contrast around one-third (32%) reported decrease in attendance and one fifth (19%) similar attendance levels. 



The chart below shows funding changes by museum type. Around 26% of all museums indicated that funding was lower in 2016/17 compared to 2015/16. It decreased in 39% of local authority museums and 54% of IFLA museums.

In 2016/17, 38% of IFLA museums and 37% of current local authority museums reported an increase in funding, compared to just 18% of all museums.

Around 42% of local authority museums indicated that their income had stayed the same. This compares with 35% of all museums and just 8% of IFLA museums.

The chart on the right shows that regular public income (all public revenue funding, such as money received from a local authority or higher education institution) stayed the same in 51%, and increased in 14% of all museums.

In contrast, 46% of all museums indicated that earned income from sources such as cafes and shops increased and 32% reported that this income was the same in 2016/17 compared to 2015/16. 

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