Sources: USA Today arrest records, OMB Metropolitan Statistical Areas, 2019 Census population estimates. Daily Yonder graphic.

The 337 people arrested as of March 30th in connection with the January 6 invasion of the Capitol are spread across major cities, towns, and rural areas in numbers roughly proportionate with the U.S. population.

Just over 14% of the people who have been arrested for the January insurrection were from rural areas. That’s about the same percentage of the U.S. population that lives in rural counties.

On the other end of the rural-urban spectrum, more than half (53%) of the people arrested for the Capitol insurrection live in a major metropolitan area, according to the analysis. That’s roughly proportionate to the percentage of the U.S. population that lives in major cities and their suburbs (56%).

About 21% of the arrestees were from medium-sized metropolitan areas, and 10% were from small metropolitan areas. Those percentages are also roughly equivalent to the percentage of the U.S. population that lives in those types of counties.

In other words, on the face of it, where people live is not a good predictor of whether they are likely to have been arrested for invading the Capitol.

Our analysis is similar to the results we got in February when we looked at the 222 people who had been arrested at that time. 

To produce our analysis, we coded each arrestee by their hometown, as identified by their arrest records and local news reports,  and compared their locations to the overall distribution of the U.S. population. Our categories were major metropolitan areas (more than 1 million residents), medium-sized metropolitan areas (250,000 to 1 million), small metropolitan areas (50,000 to 249,000), and nonmetropolitan areas. We used the 2013 Office of Management and Budget metropolitan counties list and population figures from the 2019 Census estimates.

The government has made 337 arrests for the Capitol invasion, as of March 30th. The January 6 incursion was conducted by people who opposed the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. 

We were able to find geographic information on 322 of the arrestees. 

  • 174 were from major metropolitan areas.
  • 68 were from medium-sized metropolitan areas.
  • 33 were from small metropolitan areas. 
  • 47 from nonmetropolitan (or rural) areas. 

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