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March on Washington: How Big Was the Crowd?

Our attempt to calculate the true size of the 9/12 march.

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

September 14, 2009 - 7:49 am
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But the people on Pennsylvania aren’t standing still: they’re walking, marching, at something between 2 and 4 miles per hour because that’s how fast people march. Let’s choose 3 mph: that would mean a line of people marching past a single point for three hours would be about 9 miles long. In that time, there would be enough people to fill that chunk of Pennsylvania about 8 times. That’s conservative, as what I’ve heard from people actually marching is that it was pretty packed; it wouldn’t be hard to believe the 1.5 million number either.

That’s 800,000 people.

The Park Service method, filling just the Capitol end of the Mall, is 250,000, but we have many reports of much overflow, and we also can figure that they wouldn’t have marched past for three full hours if there were only that many.

The legacy media estimate of 60-70 thousand is ludicrous: we have pictures of twice that. Still, it’s been reported, so we’ll keep it.

That’s a pretty wide range. To summarize:

Rumored number 2 million
“People meter” count 1.5 million
Eight “Pennsylvania Avenues” full of people 800 thousand
Grant Memorial area by Park Service method 250 thousand
Legacy media reports 70 thousand

Average all of those and we get 900,000 plus (924,000). Throw out the outliers, we get 850,000. And remember that the 1.5 million was a real count; it’s inherently a more believable number. Our estimate should be “pulled” upward by that.

Conclusion: probably well more than 850,000 in the crowd.

Which is a lot of people.

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Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle
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