Crowd Counting: Why It’s Important

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Crowd Data US

Crowd Counting: Why It’s Important

On January 21st, 2017, millions of women and men participated in the Women’s March on Washington throughout the United States. It is estimated that 725,000 people marched in Washington D.C., and thousands of people marched in 654 U.S. cities. This was likely the largest single day demonstration in U.S. History.

Since then, 8,700 protests throughout the U.S. have been recorded by the Crowd Counting Consortium (CCC). The CCC was formed in a response to requests for more data on political crowds following the Women’s March. The CCC is a nonpartisan organization with a mission to record protests in the United States. On their website, they state that their data is used solely for the public interest, and is not research being conducted by the CCC.

The CCC receives their data from publicly reported estimates of protests and marches. They validate all of their submitted reports with local news sources, law enforcement statements, social media, and photos. 2017 marked the beginning of a new era of political protests in the United States. Thankfully, we now have the CCC to rely on to continue to record numbers from future demonstrations. Most recently, they recorded the first 2018 Women’s march on January 20th. Now that we have access to this data, what can it be used for? And what can we learn from it?

Women's March 2018

According to the CCC’s data from the past year, 74% of protestors were against the Trump Administration’s policies or in support of issues that conflict with the President’s agenda. These people have been dubbed the “resistance” because of their motivation to directly resist the current White House Administration. Furthermore, the data has revealed that these protests were not one-offs. Protests and demonstrations have been consistent and continuous throughout the year. We’ve witnessed many major protests such as the March for Science, March for Truth, airport protests against the travel ban, and LQBTQ Pride marches.

Protests have been so abundant that they have occurred every single day, somewhere in the U.S. since Trump’s inauguration. This level of protest is unprecedented and has proven that the “resistance” hasn’t dissipated since the original Women’s March. The data can be very telling of the regions where the protests are occurring. States that went for Trump in the general election have proven to have some of the highest number of protests, such as Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Finally, another important revelation to come from the CCC’s data are the protests in support of President Trump. About 7% of the protests in the past year have been in support of Trump’s presidency or his policies. The CCC data also recorded the counter-protests that appeared at pro-Trump rallies. In most cases, the counter-protestors outnumbered the size of the original demonstration.

There are many takeaways to be discovered from the CCC’s data over the past year. As the Trump era continues, we can expect more protests in the future and more opportunities for data collection. If you want to continue to stay up to date on protests and demonstrations currently going on, follow @crowdcounting on Twitter for the latest news and numbers. If you’d like to view the data, head over to the Crowd Counting Consortium where you can download their data and learn more about the past year’s protests.


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