List of geographic centers of the United States
This is a list of geographic centers of each U.S. state and inhabited territory. The geographic center of the United States is northeast of Belle Fourche in Butte County, South Dakota Coordinates: , while that of the contiguous 48 states is near Lebanon in Smith County, Kansas . The geographic center of North America lies near Rugby, North Dakota , though this designation has no official status. In 2017, a new calculation of the geographic center of North America placed it near the town of Center, North Dakota.
Geographic centers of the states and the District of ColumbiaEdit
The list given below has been only slightly modified since it was first produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the early 1920s. At that time, the center for a state was found by suspending a cardboard cutout of the state by a string, and then drawing a vertical line from the suspension point. After rotating the cutout 90 degrees and drawing another vertical line from the new suspension point, the intersection of the two vertical lines was used as the geographic center. The result is dependent upon the type of projection used.
Updated list of geographic centersEdit
Although there have been different definitions offered for the geographic center, an intuitive one, and one used by the USGS, is "the State of gravity of the surface, or that point on which the surface of the area would balance if it were a plane of uniform thickness." An updated list of geographic centers using this definition (which is equivalent to the state's centroid) is given below. It was derived by minimizing the sum of squared great circle distances from all points of land in a state (including islands, but not coastal waters, following the earlier practice of the USGS). It represents a slight improvement over the list originally published.
The geographic center of the contiguous United States, determined in this way, is at ; this is 5.4 miles from Agra, Kansas, 5.7 miles from Kensington, Kansas, and 26.9 great circle miles west of the longstanding designated site near Lebanon, Kansas.
|Alabama||12.1 mi (19.5 km) southwest of Clanton|
|Alaska||77.9 mi (125.4 km) northwest of Denali|
|Arizona||49.7 mi (80.0 km) east-southeast of Prescott|
|Arkansas||14.2 mi (22.9 km) northwest of Little Rock|
|California||36 mi (58 km) northeast of Madera|
|Colorado||29.2 mi (47.0 km) northwest of Pikes Peak|
|Connecticut||1.1 mi (1.8 km) east of East Berlin|
|Delaware||11.7 mi (18.8 km) south of Dover|
|District of Columbia||Near 3rd and P Streets, Northwest|
|Florida||5.8 mi (9.3 km) northwest of Brooksville|
|Georgia||17.7 mi (28.5 km) southeast of Macon|||
|Hawaii||27.7 mi (44.6 km) off-shore south of Wailea-Makena|
|Idaho||21.4 mi (34.4 km) west-southwest of Challis|
|Illinois||28.8 mi (46.3 km) northeast of Springfield|
|Indiana||10.8 mi (17.4 km) northwest of Indianapolis|
|Iowa||7 mi (11 km) northeast of Ames|
|Kansas||2.1 mi (3.4 km) southeast of Bushton Bend|
|Kentucky||3.4 mi (5.5 km) southwest of Lebanon|
|Louisiana||5.8 mi (9.3 km) southeast of Marksville|
|Maine||12.6 mi (20.3 km) north of Dover-Foxcroft|
|Maryland||3.3 mi (5.3 km) north of Bowie|
|Massachusetts||Irving St. and Wellington St., Worcester|
|Michigan||6.6 mi (10.6 km) west of Cadillac|
|Minnesota||10 mi (16 km) southwest of Brainerd|
|Mississippi||7.7 mi (12.4 km) west-northwest of Carthage|
|Missouri||21 mi (34 km) southwest of Jefferson City|
|Montana||10.1 mi (16.3 km) west of Lewistown|
|Nebraska||12.3 mi (19.8 km) northwest of Broken Bow|
|Nevada||26 mi (42 km) southeast of Austin|
|New Hampshire||2.6 mi (4.2 km) east of Ashland|
|New Jersey||4.3 mi (6.9 km) southeast of Trenton|
|New Mexico||13.8 mi (22.2 km) south-southwest of Willard|
|New York||11.5 mi (18.5 km) south-southeast of Oneida|
|North Carolina||12.7 mi (20.4 km) northwest of Sanford|
|North Dakota||2.7 mi (4.3 km) southwest of McClusky|
|Ohio||24.9 mi (40.1 km) north-northeast of Columbus|
|Oklahoma||4.4 mi (7.1 km) south of Edmond|
|Oregon||29.1 mi (46.8 km) southeast of Prineville|
|Pennsylvania||2.7 mi (4.3 km) southwest of Bellefonte, in State College|
|Rhode Island||2.4-mile (3.9 km) west of Crompton, in West Warwick|
|South Carolina||9.7 mi (15.6 km) southeast of Columbia|
|South Dakota||7.9 mi (12.7 km) northeast of Pierre|
|Tennessee||2.5 mi (4.0 km) northeast of Murfreesboro|
|Texas||23.6 mi (38.0 km) north of Brady|
|Utah||3.1 mi (5.0 km) northwest of Manti|
|Vermont||3.7 mi (6.0 km) southeast of Roxbury|
|Virginia||16.6 mi (26.7 km) west of Buckingham|
|Washington||7 mi (11 km) west-southwest of Wenatchee|
|West Virginia||4.9 mi (7.9 km) east-southeast of Sutton|
|Wisconsin||9.3 mi (15.0 km) east-southeast of Marshfield|
|Wyoming||60.6 mi (97.5 km) east-northeast of Lander|
Geographic centers of the U.S. territoriesEdit
Very little information exists about the geographic centers of the U.S. territories. In a geological survey of all geographic centers in the U.S., the U.S. Department of the Interior did not measure the geographic centers of the U.S. territories. Similarly, the USGS does not include the territories in its list of geographic centers. In terms of each territory’s land area, only one territory, Puerto Rico, has a confirmed geographic center. There are also official geographic centers of territorial exclusive economic zones, though those geographic centers are based on a territory's territorial waters (not land area).
|American Samoa||North of
Manu’a District (EEZ)
|The geographic center of American Samoa’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 35.08 miles (56.45 km) northeast of the island of Ta‘ū.
The geographic center of Tutuila (the main island) is about 1.03 miles (1.65 km) southwest of Fagatogo.
|Guam||Guam[note 2]||The geographic center of Guam’s exclusive economic zone is in the Pacific Ocean, about 73.65 miles (118.53 km) west-southwest of Cocos Island and 76.08 miles (122.45 km) west-southwest of the main island of Guam.
The exact geographic center of the main island of Guam is unknown — it is probably somewhere within the village of Chalan Pago-Ordot, because that is the default center starting point of Guam on Google Maps.
(Center of EEZ)
|Northern Mariana Islands||Northern Islands Municipality||The geographic center of the Northern Mariana Islands’ exclusive economic zone is in the Pacific Ocean, about 18.33 miles (29.50 km) northeast of the island of Pagan.|
|Puerto Rico||Orocovis Municipality||The geographic center of Puerto Rico is in the Orocovis Municipality, about 2.58 miles (4.15 km) west of the main town of Orocovis.|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Between Saint Thomas
and Saint Croix
|The exact geographic center of the U.S. Virgin Islands is unknown — the default center starting point for the U.S. Virgin Islands on Google Maps is located in the Caribbean Sea, 18.21 miles (29.30 km) south-southeast of Saint Thomas and 18.31 miles (29.47 km) north of Saint Croix — note that this point is the approximate center of the 3 main islands, not the center of the exclusive economic zone|
|U.S. Minor Outlying Islands||[note 3]||There is no information about the geographic centers of the islands in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands (or the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands as a whole).|
- Geographic center of the contiguous United States
- Geographic center of the United States
- List of extreme points of the United States
- List of extreme points of U.S. states and territories
- List of U.S. states and territories by elevation
- Mean center of the United States population
- Median center of United States population
- The U.S. Census Bureau treats the District of Columbia as a state-equivalent and a county-equivalent for statistical purposes.
- All of Guam is counted as one county-equivalent by the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Each of the 9 island groups in the U.S. Minor Outlying Islands is counted as a county-equivalent by the U.S. Census Bureau.
- https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/Elevations-Distances/elvadist.html ‘’Elevations and Distances in the United States.’’ USGS. Retrieved June 2019.
- https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-calculations-reposition-geographical-center-north-america-1-180961932/ Smithsonian.com. New Calculations Reposition the Geographical Center of North America. Jason Daley. January 30, 2017. Retrieved June 2019.
- Douglas, E.M. 1923. Boundaries, Areas, Geographic Centers, and Altitudes of the United States and Several States. Bulletin 689. U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, DC.
- Adams, Oscar, S. 1932. Geographical Centers. The Military Engineer 24, 138: 586-587.
- "The Geography of Wyoming". Netstate.com. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
- Van Zandt, Franklin. 1966. Boundaries of the United States and the Several States. Bulletin 1212. U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, DC.
- Rogerson, P. 2015. A New Method for Finding Geographic Centers, with Application to the U.S. States. The Professional Geographer. Published online Aug 15, 2015; DOI:10.1080/00330124.2015.1062707 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00330124.2015.1062707#.Vd30QflVhBc Retrieved 2015-08-26
- A marker, dated 1981, at a nearby road intersection states: "The Geologic Survey Branch of the Department of Natural Resources determined the central point to be at latitude 32° 38' 46" N., longitude 83° 25' 54" W."
- https://pubs.usgs.gov/unnumbered/70039437/report.pdf "Geographic centers of the United States." U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved June 2019.
- http://disfrutaorocovis.com/en/historic-sites-2/geographic-center-of-puerto-rico Disfruta Orocovis. Geographic Center of Puerto Rico. Retrieved June 2019.
- http://www.marineregions.org/gazetteer.php?p=details&id=8444 Marineregions.org. Marine Gazetteer Placedetails — American Samoa Exclusive Economic Zone. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
- https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/oceania/as.htm Worldatlas.com. American Samoa. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
- http://www.marineregions.org/gazetteer.php?p=details&id=48957 Marineregions.org. Marine Gazetteer Placedetails. Guam Exclusive Economic Zone. Retrieved June 2019.
- https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/oceania/gu.htm Worldatlas.com. Guam. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
Google Mpas — Guam / U.S. Virgin Islands. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
- http://www.marineregions.org/gazetteer.php?p=details&id=48980 Marineregions.org. Marine Gazetteer Placedetails — Northern Mariana Islands Exclusive Economic Zone. Retrieved June 2019.