The museum in figures

The Natural History Museum Basel is part of the presidential department. Below are its key financial, research and visitor numbers for 2020.


87,25% of our income comes from contributions by the canton of Basel-Stadt. Besides that, we finance the museum's operation through admission fees, sales in the museum shop, revenue from services and through third-party funds from sponsors, benefactors and foundations.


53,5% of our expenses relate to staff costs. 27.8% are needed to cover the cost of renting the museum's premises. Around a fifth of our expenditure is used on running the museum, maintaining the collections, carrying out research and for exhibitions.

Income in detail

Admissions 447'119.– 4,29%
Museum shop 101'916.– 0,98%
Other revenue 144'056.– 1,38%
Third-party funding 634'837.– 6,09%
Public contributions 9'089'631.– 87,25%
Total 10'417'559.– 100%

Expenses in detail

Material costs 2'054'852.– 19,7%
Property rental 2'792'688.– 26,8%
Staffing costs 5'570'019.– 53,5%
Total 10'417'559.– 100%

Visitors and users

Permanent Exhibitions 49'991 55,2%
Temporary Exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year 26'337 29,1%
Temporary EARTH AT ITS LIMITS 3'804 4,2%
Night at the museum  8'704 9,6%
Third party events 1'694 1,9%
Total number of visitors and users 90'530 100%

School groups

Canton Basel-Stadt 757 72,6%
Canton Basel-Land 194 18,6%
Rest of Switzerland 74 7,1%
Abroad 17 1,6%
Total 1'042 100%

Figures for collections and research

Number of loans of objects   5'660
Number of days on which guest scientists visited   282
Number of new collection objects   17'051
Scientific publications by the museum's own employees   53
Scientific publications by external scientists about parts of the collection   72


COVID 19 protective measures

In order to contain the spread of the new type of coronavirus, event restrictions and bans as well as the temporary closure of cultural institutions were repeatedly imposed in the year under review. In total, the museum had to remain closed on 59 additional days, 192 events were canceled or postponed and there were 64 cancellations of room rentals.