Missouri town pinned as nation’s new population center


The people of Hartville, Missouri don’t think they are the center of the universe.

They know that.

OK, “the universe” is a stretch – but, as of Wednesday, the town of 594 people is the population center of the United States.

The US Census Bureau works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make this determination after each census. Over the past decade, the center has shifted approximately 12 miles, from Texas County, to Missouri.

The first official center was Kent County, Maryland, 23 miles east of Baltimore, in 1790. It was in Illinois from 1940 to 1970, after which it moved from St. Clair County to Missouri .

NOAA began commemorating population centers in 1960 with geodetic markers. A celebration was scheduled for Wednesday at Hartville City Park with remarks from local, state and federal officials and musical performances.

“The 2020 population center memorial mark is a tribute to Hartville, the surveying community and the science of geodesy,” said Juliana Blackwell, director of NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey, which was responsible for locating the center. . “The memorial mark represents the last stop on the center of the People’s Trail, and its exact location and coordinates will be added to the National Spatial Reference System for use by surveyors, geocachers and geospatial enthusiasts for decades to come. come.”

Hartville is approximately 280 miles southwest of Jacksonville.

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