The 2010 Census data has been calculated and the government has announced that Plato, MO is the new “population center” of the United States. It sure sounds impressive, but what the hell does “population center” mean?
The mean population center represents the point at which a perfectly flat and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all 308.7 million residents weigh the same and are counted where they live.
Ah, now there’s an important statistic that was well worth the time spent to calculate it, especially since it’s based on the tenuous assumption of all people weighing the same. Why not calculate the center of the population on a flat map if everyone wore water wings and moved 5 miles in the direction of their grandmother’s house? All the same, the people of Plato are really excited about it.
Village leaders will unveil a commemorative survey marker next to the local post office.
Well that sounds just awesome. People can stop by the post office, pick up some stamps, wave to the slow fella that sits on the park bench all day, and then take a photo of themselves next to the population center of the United States. Act fast though, in 10 years the center could be somewhere else, like West Plato.