Skip to Main Content

2020 U.S. Population Center.

2020 U.S. Population Center

Field review by the editors.

Hartville, Missouri

It took two years, but Hartville finally got a monument marking it as the "Center of Population 2020." The monument, a silvery disk inset into the top of a small red granite pedestal, was dedicated with much fanfare on September 21, 2022, in Hartville City Park. "City" is a stretch: according to the 2020 census, Hartville had a population of 594.

2020 U.S. Population Center.

As is often the case with Population Centers (determined every ten years), the monument that marks it is not placed at the true Center, which can be on private land or otherwise inaccessible, but in the nearest town where people can see it. In 2020, Hartville was the lucky closest community to a Center that is actually 14.6 miles away, in a farmer's field. There's a marker there, too -- a tiny one -- but it will be seen by far more cows than people.

2020 U.S. Population Center.

U.S. Census Bureau director Robert Santos, who unveiled the monument in Hartville, noted that the Population Center had shifted less than 12 miles from its 2010 location: the even tinier town of Plato, Missouri. It was the second-smallest shift in U.S. history, which maybe indicates a trend or maybe not; no one will really know until 2030.

"You'll be famous," Census Bureau director Santos told the Hartville crowd. It's a fame that lasts just ten years, and is best appreciated by those who take road trips to Population Center monuments, or by those who feel most comfortable at the center of things.

Also see: America, Get Centered!

2020 U.S. Population Center

Steele Bluff Rd, Hartville, MO
South edge of town. From MO-5/S. Main St. turn east just south of the bridge across Woods Fork onto Steele Bluff Rd. Drive a hundred yards. Turn left into the small park. The monument will be ahead, on the right, next to the flagpole. It's an engraved metal disc set into the top of a granite block.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Pitcher Who Killed Batter With BallPitcher Who Killed Batter With Ball, Mansfield, MO - 10 mi.
Hubble Telescope ReplicaHubble Telescope Replica, Marshfield, MO - 23 mi.
George Bush Was In Our ParadeGeorge Bush Was In Our Parade, Marshfield, MO - 23 mi.
In the region:
Carl: Muffler Man Chef, Springfield, MO - 42 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Missouri

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Missouri.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Missouri Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

National Ballpark Museum, Denver, Colorado (Jul 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings