Culture

How big were the crowds for Trump's inauguration anyway?

Photos and videos circulating around the web appear to show smaller attendance for Donald Trump's inauguration than for Barack Obama's in 2009.

Once again, the question on people's minds about Donald Trump is some form of "how big was it anyway?"

No, we're not talking about his hands, which became an internet meme after being so widely discussed on the campaign trail that Trump addressed it on stage during one of the presidential debates.

This time, we're talking about the crowd at his inauguration Friday. People appeared to turn out in smaller numbers than for his predecessor, Barack Obama, in 2009.

It was summed up in this tweet:

So, how many people did attend?

Apparently, the National Park Service won't be helping clear this up anytime soon. It no longer releases official estimates, according to Politifact, after a dispute over a tally involving the Million Man March in 1995.

Still, here are some data points to consider.

The DC Metro subway tweeted that ridership as of 11 a.m. ET, an hour before Trump's swearing in, was less than half that of the same time in 2009.

Additionally, there were spots at all the Metro's station parking garages.

And there was a video taken by NBC News correspondent Katy Tur at 1:40 p.m. ET showing empty stands and thin crowds along the parade route.

That didn't stop some people from trying to make the comparison seem even worse than it was. Snopes collected images circulating around the web that tried to pass off crowds for various sports and other events as comparisons to Trump's inauguration.

Trump's administration didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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