This image from Vox compares the crowds at Trump's inauguration to the crowds at Obama's 2009 inauguration.

These photos have times in the corner, 11:04 for Trump's. Were both these photos taken at the times they claim?

  • 9
    For the benefit of non-Americans: what time is it supposed to peak? Before 11:04? After 11:30?
    – Golden Cuy
    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:23
  • 3
    @AndrewGrimm The inauguration was at noon Local time, or 17:00 UTC. I'd expect it to peak within minutes of then.
    – Tim
    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:24
  • 5
    @AndrewGrimm While Tim's answer is probably correct, it's important to not that, as anyone who has tried to get around D.C. on crazy days like this konws, it's just flat impossible for the number of people on the mall to increase that much in 20 minutes. The simple fact is that the sidewalks can support that volume of people, not to mention the metro. Driving: forget it. If you could get a car into the city, you'd have no where to park it.
    – JimmyJames
    Jan 23, 2017 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


The pictures seem to be genuine and are used by many media outlets. The picture, if presented by itself, does show a bias by choosing only half of the picture and showing the left side of Trump's crowd, while the right side was more populated.

Regardless, Obama's 2009 inauguration had a much bigger crowd.

The two full pictures as presented by pbs:


There is also this timelapse video of Trump's inauguration showing that the picture is pretty representative of the maximum amount of crowds present. The full pictures appear in the Vox article and were also used by:

Business Insider have a picture taken from another angle showing a similar amount of crowd:

picture 2

I tried to find a picture of the 2013 inauguration from the same perspective, but couldn't. The closest that I found was a picture from cosmopolitan, that compares the crowd from a different angle:

picture 3

The 2013 photo is credited to Robb Carr at Getty and can be seen in full on this 2013 Atlantic article.

  • 9
    The people.com article explains why everyone was clustered around the right side (perhaps as if they were leaving) - the TV screens were only on that side for some reason.
    – Tim
    Jan 23, 2017 at 12:26
  • 1
    @Tim In light of that, it makes the Vox comparison more "interesting"... Jan 25, 2017 at 18:00
  • 1
    @AdamCaviness: To be completely fair, the "Obama half" of the picture is also the one from the whole view with fewer people in it. (There are some empty spaces on the right, which is what the selected half of the picture shows, where there are none to the left.)
    – DevSolar
    Feb 1, 2017 at 11:43
  • @DevSolar You are correct, that is the case. Thanks for pointing that out. Feb 1, 2017 at 14:09

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