Mean Center of Population for the United States: 1790 to 2010

Posted: June 25, 2014 in Culture


The U.S. mean center of population, as of April 1, 2010, is near Plato, Mo., an incorporated village in Texas County. The U.S. Census Bureau calculated this point as the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all 308,745,538 residents counted in the 2010 Census were of identical weight.

Ever since Chestertown, Md., was determined to be the center of population after the first census was conducted in 1790, the center of population has told the story of America, illustrating how we’ve grown as a nation. It follows a trail across the country ─ across Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana a nd Missouri ─ that reflects our history of settling the frontier, waves of immigration and regional migration.

The Census Bureau will install a commemorative “geodetic control mark” at a site near the official coordinates during a dedication ceremony in May 2011. This survey disc will be used by satellites and land surveyors to conduct scientific surveys to generate precise position data that serve as the found ation for accurate mapping and charting in America.

The Mean Center of Population 37.517534 N, 92.173096 W Coordinates (latitude, longitude) in decimal degrees of the 2010 mean center of population and the most western and southern point in our nation’s history, as well as the most southerly movement from the previous decade.

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