The U.S. Census Bureau has announced the mean center of the United States based on the 2010 Census. The official population center as of April 1, 2010 is a location near the town of Plato in Missouri. (Related: Population Center of the United States, 1790 – 2020)
The Census Bureau defines the mean center of population 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.”
The mean center of population has been calculated every ten years starting in 1790 where it was located in Chesterton, Maryland. Since then, the center has moved westward and slightly south as the western states have become more populated.
To mark this new mean center of population, a commemorative geodetic control mark will be installed at the location during a ceremony in April, 2011.
Maps, white papers, and data relating to the mean center of population can be accessed here.
About the 2010 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.
2.7 – Distance in miles from the center of population coordinates to Plato, Mo., the nearest incorporated municipality and nearest place for which the Census Bureau provides data.
109 – The 2010 Census population of Plato, Mo.
26,008 – The 2010 Census population of Texas County, Mo., where the village of Plato is located