HARTVILLE, Missouri (KXAN) — Every 10 years, the U.S. Census and NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey coordinate to calculate the center of the U.S. population in order to look at shifts and trends of where people live.

For the most recent 2020 Census, the center of U.S. population was determined to be in Hartville, Missouri.

The calculation is done by counting the population of the United States, finding their location and averaging it out across the country. What they come up with is “the average location of where people in the U.S. live,” according to a NOAA news release on the topic.

This location has been calculated since 1790, when the center of U.S. population was in Kent County, Maryland.

Locations in Missouri have held the title of center for the last five decades.

The shift of population west has continued ever since 1790 as is evident by looking at the map of the average center of population over the years. A more southerly shift is also noticeable since the year 1920.

Mean center of U.S. population
Mean center of U.S. population (Courtesy: U.S. Census)

NOAA and the U.S. Census held a celebration of sorts to mark the new center of U.S. population in Hartville, population 600, late in September.

Courtesy: NOAA
Courtesy: NOAA

The calculation won’t be made again until after the next U.S. Census in 2030.