On Wednesday, U.S. Census Bureau officials will move America’s population center to an area near Hartville, Missouri.
The town will host an event where officials will place a tripod to mark the location.
The mean center of the U.S. shifted approximately 12 miles to the west during the 2010s, according to the Census Bureau. Officials used data from the 2020 census to make the determination.
“The center of population is a point where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if everyone were of identical weight,” U.S. officials said.
The center of U.S. population has always shifted west. In 1790 and 1800, the U.S. population center was in Maryland. It has since gone through Virginia, West Virginia (at the time, was part of Virginia), Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.
2020 marked the fifth straight decade the U.S. population center was marked in Missouri. The 12-mile move is the shortest distance the marker has ever had to move. During the 1800s, the U.S. population center would move up to 100 miles during a single decade.