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What is the Center of Population and How Has it Changed Since 1790?

(1 min 14 sec)

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What is the Center of Population?

The center of population is the point at which an imaginary, weightless, rigid, and flat (no elevation effects) surface representation of the 50 states (or 48 conterminous states for calculations made prior to 1960) and the District of Columbia would balance if weights of identical size were placed on it so that each weight represented the location of one person.

The concept of the center of population as used by the U.S. Census Bureau is that of a balance point.

The 2020 national mean center of population is 37.415725 N, 92.346525 W, the most western and southern mean center of population point in our nation's history.  

The 2020 center of population is 11.8 miles from the 2010 center and 885.9 miles from the 1790 center.  Hartville, Missouri, the nearest incorporated municipality to the 2020 center of population, is a town of 594 people in Wright County, Missouri.

This video explains what the Center of Population is and how it’s changed since the first census in 1790. See the Center of Population press kit for more information.

(45 sec)


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