Geographic center of the United States
While the exact centre of a landmass like the United States will be imprecise for a number of reasons, including such factors as the exact placement of thousands of miles of changing shoreline, the U.S. National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has produced designated measurements for the center of the United States.
From the time of the 1912 additions of New Mexico and Arizona, until the 1959 additions of Alaska and Hawaii, the NGS placed the geographic center of the United States at a point near the town of Lebanon, Kansas. Since 1959 this location still stands as the geographic center of the contiguous United States.
When Alaska and Hawaii joined the union in 1959, the NGS calculations moved the geographic center of the United States approximately 550 mi (885 km) Northwest by north, designating the proxy location to be the town of Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The town of Belle Fourche has a park dedicated to the honor of geographic center of the United States.
The actual calculated location and associated marker are about 20 mi (32 km) north of Belle Fourche, on an uninhabited parcel of private pastureland. This location is approximately 12 mi (19 km) east of the South Dakota/Wyoming/Montana border. There is not much to see at the actual location except an old flag on small concrete slab with the station marker set in the concrete. On the marker it reads "U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Reference Marker." According to the NGS data sheet, the actual marker is "set in an irregular mass of concrete 36 inches below the surface of the ground."
- Geographic center of the contiguous United States
- Mean center of United States population
- Median center of United States population
- Center of population
- Position of the Geographic Center of Area, Mean and Median Centers of Population: 2010 from the U.S. Census Bureau website
- http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=PU2386 designates the "Center" as 44 58 02.07622(N) 103 46 17.60283(W)