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Center of Population, 1790-2010

Census of Population, 1790 to 2000 With Territorial Expansion

The mean center of population is the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless, and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all residents were of equal weight. Historically, the movement of the center of population has reflected the expansion of the country, the settling of the frontier, waves of immigration and migration west and south. This data visualization shows how, since 1790, the center of population has moved steadily westward, angling to the southwest in recent decades.

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Geography Division, "Centers of Population Computation for the United States 1950-2010," issued March 2011


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