Go West ... and South: a shift in U.S. population

Census data shows movement trends

Plato, Mo., does not usually make national headlines, though the U.S. Census Bureau has declared a spot 2.7 miles outside of town to be the absolute center of the nation’s population.

If all 308,745,538 million U.S. residents weighed the same, and stood where they resided on a life-sized map of the country in April 2010, the map would balance on a fulcrum at that spot in Missouri.

The fact that the new center of the nation’s population is 23.4 miles southwest of Edgar Springs, Mo., where it was for the 2000 Census, tells the story of a country whose population migrated to the South and West during the decade.