2010 Mean Center of Population for the United States

Caitlin Dempsey

Updated:

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced the mean center of the United States based on the 2010 Census.  The official mean population center for the United States 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.

 

A cropped map showing the centers of population for the United States from 1790 - 2010.
Mean center of population as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau – 1790 – 2010.

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

Table: Centers of Population 1790 – 2000

Listed here is a table of the center of population as calculated by the US Census from 1790 to 2000.

YearLatitudeLongitudeCounty, StateLocation
200037.6969870-91.8095670Phelps County, MOapproximately 2.8 miles east of Edgar Springs
199037.8722200-91.2152800Crawford County, MO,10 miles southeast of Steelville.
198038.1369400-90.5738900Jefferson County, MO,1/4 mile west of DeSoto.
197038.4630600-89.7061100St. Clair County, IL,5 miles east-southeast of Mascoutah.
196038.5994400-89.2097200Clinton County, IL,6-1/2 miles northwest of Centralia.
195038.8041700-88.3688900Clay County, IL,3 miles northeast of Louisville.
195038.8391700-88.1591700Richland County, IL,8 miles north-northwest of Olney.
194038.9483300-87.3763900Sullivan County, IN,2 miles southeast by east of Carlisle.
193039.0625000-87.1350000Greene County, IN,3 miles northeast of Linton.
192039.1725000-86.7208300Owen County, IN,8 miles south-southeast of Spencer.
191039.1700000-86.5388900Monroe County, IN,in the city of Bloomington.
190039.1600000-85.8150000Bartholomew,IN6 miles southeast of Columbus.
189039.1988900-85.5480600Decatur County, IN20 miles east of Columbus.
188039.0688900-84.6611100Boone County, KY,8 miles west by south of Cincinnati, OH.
187039.2000000-83.5950000Highland County, OH,48 miles east by north of Cincinnati.
186039.0066700-82.8133300Pike County, OH,20 miles south by east of Chillcothe.
185038.9833300-81.3166700Wirt County, WV,23 miles southeast of Parkersburg (2).
184039.0333300-80.3000000Upshur County, WV,16 miles south of Clarksburg. Upshur County was formed from parts of Barbour, Lewis, and Randolph Counties in 1851(2).
183038.9650000-79.2816700Grant County, WV,19 miles west-southwest of Morefiled. Grant County was formed from part of Hardy County in 1866 (2).
182039.0950000-78.5500000Hardy County, WV,16 miles east of Moorefield (2).
181039.1916700-77.6200000Loudoun County, VA,40 miles northwest by west of Washington, DC.
180039.2683300-76.9416700Howard County, MD,18 miles west of Baltimore. Howard County was formed from part of Anne Arundel County in 1851.
179039.2750000-76.1866700Kent County, MD,23 miles east of Baltimore.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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