WEST OF WINNEBAGO REGIONAL NEWS: Green Lake County, Marquette County, Waupaca County, Waushara County

Heart of Wisconsin: Green Lake Co. established as the state’s center of population

Local News

GREEN LAKE, Wis. (WFRV) – Home is where the heart is – and our heart is apparently located in Green Lake County.

Over 200 years ago, the United States Census Bureau began calculating the United States “center of population,” which is a point at where an imaginary, flat, weightless, and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if everyone were of identical weight. This point represents the average location of where people in the United States live, according to the United States Census Bureau.

This century-old tradition is still very much a part of this nation as the U.S. Census Bureau continues to calculate the country’s center of population every 10 years. What officials have noticed is that each time the center of population is calculated, it is always in a different location than it was before.

The states that at one point in time have been designated as the nation’s center of population include Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia.

And the pattern of change only continued as we welcomed the start of the new decade in 2020. Based on the 2020 Census population, the center of population for these next 10 years is reportedly located near a small town known as Hartville, Missouri.

In addition to calculating the nation’s center of population, the U.S. Census Bureau can also find each state’s center of the population, also referred to as “the heart of the state”.

Officials have been calculating the center of population in Wisconsin since 1880, and surprisingly enough, the cities of Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay have never been established as the ‘hearts’ of the state.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2020, the state’s center of population was located at 43°43’19.0″N 89°01’08.0″W. These coordinates lead to an obscure plot of land found in the small town of Markesan, Wisconsin.

Other cities that have been calculated as Wisconsin centers of populations in past decades include Princeton and Montello.

Below you can find an interactive map showcasing the centers of population in Wisconsin since 1880.

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