clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The real center of the US lies in the woods of Missouri

New, 7 comments
colorado forest stock 1020
colorado forest stock 1020

If you stood beside a certain tree in Plato, Missouri and began walking to the US border, you would encounter the same amount of people no matter which direction you chose to go. That spot in Plato is the centroid of the United States — not the US's exact center, but the center point of its population's distribution. Orion sent someone out to find the centroid as determined after the 2010 US Census, an ever-shifting spot that by now has likely moved farther southwest. The advent of air conditioning and the draw of cities has pushed the point more to the southwest each decade that it's measured — but coming climate change may alter its next location in unpredictable ways.