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2020 Center of Population Press Kit

What is the Center of Population?

If the United States map was a scale and every person had equal weight, the center of population is the place where the scale would balance. In other words, the center of population is the average location of where people in the United States currently live.

Based on data from the 2020 Census, the current center of the population is near Hartville, Missouri.

The first center of population, based on the 1790 census, was located in Chestertown, Maryland. Since then, the center of population has moved west and south

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37.415725 N,  92.346525 W 

Coordinates (latitude, longitude) in decimal degrees of the 2020 Center of Population and the most western and southern center of population point in our nation's history.


Distance in miles from the center of population coordinates to Hartville, Missouri, the nearest incorporated municipality and nearest place for which the Census Bureau provides data. 


The 2020 Census population of Hartville, Missouri. 


The 2020 Census population of Wright County, Missouri, where the city of Hartville and the true center of population is located. 


Number of times the center of population has been in Missouri: 1980-2020. 


Distance in miles from the 2010 center of population, near Plato, Missouri, to the 2020 center of population, near Hartville, Missouri. This is the shortest distance the center of population has moved since 1920 (the center moved just under 10 miles between 1910 and 1920) and the second shortest distance to have ever moved since 1790.


Distance in miles from 1790 center of population near Chestertown, Maryland, to the 2020 center of population near Hartville, Missouri. 

Recognition Event

The event to recognize Hartville, Missouri, as the center of population of the United States is scheduled on Wednesday, September 21 at 4:30 pm Central Time at the Hartville City Park, Steele Bluff Rd, Hartville, MO. The event is free and open to the public and will include an on-site unveiling of a commemorative survey monument. (*Updated Sept. 9, 2022)

Photos from Recognition Event

This photo provided by NOAA shows the tip of a tripod resting on the center of the 2020 Center of Population Commemorative Survey mark, as part of a GPS survey to determine the precise latitude, longitude, and height of the mark on Sept. 14, 2022 in Hartville, Mo. The U.S. Census Bureau announced the nation’s new center of population in 2020 to be in Hartville, in the Ozark Mountains. (NOAA)

2020 Center of Population Commemorative Survey mark

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Page Last Revised - March 14, 2023
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