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In Perfect Balance!



This month’s feature story is about our U.S. center of population. That’s the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the Unites States would balance if all U.S. residents (standing on the map) were of identical weight.

Now, I really had to think about that one for a while! Just picturing that spectacle takes a great imagination. And, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all of identical (i.e., perfect) weight!
Seriously, as the map in the feature story shows, the center of population, determined every ten years by the U.S. Census Bureau, is a very worthwhile statistic to track. It illustrates the development of our country as Americans settled the frontier and continued their way west and south over the years. And it shows us what the trends are in where we live and work.
I’ve had the privilege to visit the site of the 2000 U.S. Center of Population in Edgar Springs, Missouri, as well as several individual state centers of population. These sites have been marked and commemorated in a variety of ways since the 2000 U.S. Census. One of these many lovely sites is in the state of Colorado. This commemorative marker, near Denver, is not only fun to find, but holds breathtaking views.
Maybe your state has such a marker! See a map with information about the state center of population markers on the NGS COP Project site.
Happy geocaching,

Originally published on March 17, 2008.

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