In this paper, threading dislocation densities in GaN and AlGaN epitaxial layers have been evaluated using two different X-ray analysis techniques; a Williamson Hall (WH) plot and reciprocal space mapping (RSM). GaN and AlGaN have crystalline growth composed of columnar structures that can be estimated by coherence length and angular misorientation measured by X-ray. A WH plot can provide information about coherence length and tilt angle from a linear fit to the linewidth of the triple axis rocking curve (000l) symmetric reflections. RSM is typically used to obtain this data, but it is more involved in technique. The two dominant components of threading dislocation densities (screw and edge types) in the GaN and AlGaN epitaxial layers were found to be similar by both techniques. The treading dislocation density correlates to the size of columnar structure as determined by coherence length, tilt angle, and twist angle. The effect of Al composition in AlGaN alloys on these dislocation densities was investigated and found to depend on strongly on the type of nucleation layer, GaN or AlN.