The 2010 Center of Population for the U.S.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced the “Center of Population” for the 2010 Census.

What is the “Center of Population”? According to the Census Bureau,

The mean center of population is determined as the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all residents were of identical weight.

So, onto what you’re really wanting to see. Drum-roll please…

The 2010 Center of Population for the U.S. is in Texas County, Missouri (2.9 miles from Plato, MO).

Here’s the official press release about it. Click here for an interactive timeline map of previous centers of population (1790 is pictured below).

Some more information about the history of the Center of Population for the U.S.:

Historically, the center of population has followed a trail that reflects the sweep of the nation’s brush stroke across America’s population canvas. The sweep reflects the settling of the frontier, waves of immigration and the migration west and south. Since 1790, the location has moved in a westerly, then a more southerly pattern. In 2000, the new center of population in Edgar Springs, Mo., was more than 1,000 miles from the first center in 1790, which was near Chestertown, Md.

Here’s the center of population for each state (the black dots on the map). That map uses data from available from from here.

A similar version of this was originally posted at the company that I work for’s product blog (Disclosure: the product deals w/ transparency, gov’t, & technology)

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Jeff Ribeira

This is pretty awesome. The interactive map that compares the means from decade to decade is particularly interesting. It’s neat to see the dotted line just march consistently westward and then just in the past 40 years, it seems there has been a fairly significant shift towards the Southwest. Thanks for sharing!