The Population Centre of the US: Plato, Texas County, Missouri

There are many fascinating articles and diagrams at the US Census
Bureau website (  However, being a loving of cartography since
my childhood (a very fitting trait for a contributor to a website named
Mercatornet!) it is the large variety of maps that really interest me.  I would like to share one with you, the mean
population point
of the United States of America, tracked census by census.  An explanation of this map is given here:

“The U.S. mean center of population, as of April 1, 2010, is near Plato, Mo., an incorporated
village in Texas County. The U.S. Census Bureau calculated this point 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.”

As the map
shows, since 1790 the mean centre of population has been tracking steadily towards
the West and, since 1920, towards the South. 
Since 1790 (the date that the first US mean centre of population was
calculated) the point has moved 872.9 miles. Since the last census in 2000, the
point has moved 23.4
miles.  This
centre point presumably has all sorts of implications for Electoral College
votes and for future presidential elections.  It also shows the continuing relative growth
of the South and West of the country. 
Aside from all that important stuff, I merely like the map and the clear
visual representation of the changing geographical distribution of the US
population.  It also provides another
piece of information to be stored in my brain under the heading: “Pub Quiz



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