With the world watching, Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States on Friday. And as is the tradition, the size of his crowd immediately became the hot topic of discussion.
From the looks of things, Trump’s inauguration drew far fewer people than either of former President Barack Obama‘s inaugurations. In fact, according to early estimates, Trump’s crowd size may be historically low.
In 2009, Obama drew a record 1.8 million people. His 2013 inauguration saw 1 million people. According to the Washington transit agency, the number of trips taken on the D.C. Metro by 11am on Friday morning was 193,000, less than half the 513,000 taken by that time on inauguration day in 2009.
Metro Ridership: As of 11am, 193k trips taken so far today. (11am 1/20/13 = 317k, 11am 1/20/09 = 513k, 11am 1/20/05 = 197k) #wmata— Metro (@wmata) January 20, 2017
Side-by-side photos reflect the smaller numbers for Trump, who has long touted his ability to draw a crowd and complained about the television media not showing his crowds in their coverage.
The crowd size comparison, from 2009 and today. pic.twitter.com/iMYZy9PRK8— Matt Viser (@mviser) January 20, 2017
10:34 a.m. exactly, 4 years ago and today. pic.twitter.com/HhoTQqIqsS— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 20, 2017
Literally dozens coming the mall for this historic day pic.twitter.com/17bCwGxYmF— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) January 20, 2017
It is important to note that it is not entirely clear exactly when in the day all of the photos circulating online were taken, meaning the crowd could be bigger than what the photos suggest. Here’s what it looked like from a lower level:
All that said, according to Dan Gross, the deputy communications director for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Trump’s crowd size is estimated at around 250,000. That’s lower than George W. Bush’s crowd in 2001, which was estimated at around 300,000.
Crowd count is in:— Dan Gross (@DanJGross) January 20, 2017
Trump 2017: 250,000
Obama 2013: 1,000,000
Obama 2009: 1,800,000#Inauguration
The smaller crowd size also caused a brief scandal for America’s new president after Twitter users discovered that the new header image on Trump’s account was taken from Obama’s inauguration. The image was quickly changed after a short outcry.
So, there you have it: Trump’s crowd size was smaller than Obama’s. Does it matter? Not really, but it sure has people talking.