Tebbetts MO on the Katy Trail named as population center of the U.S.

Tebbetts, a very small town on the Katy Trail, is not exactly a large population center.  But it has been named the geographical center of population of the U.S. by a pair of Michigan professors. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the scoop:

Turner Katy Trail Shelter in Tebbetts by Wally Hartshorn on FlickR
Turner Katy Trail Shelter in Tebbetts by Wally Hartshorn on FlickR

The 2010 Census pegged the south-central Missouri town of Plato, located in Texas County, as the official center of the U.S. population distribution. 

But two researchers from Michigan's Grand Valley State University say the distinction really belongs to Tebbetts, about 120 miles north of Plato. Tebbetts is an unincorporated Missouri River town of fewer than 80 residents near the Katy Trail State Park.

The Columbia Missourian reports the Michigan researchers relied on a three-dimensional map to determine the population center of the 48 contiguous states. The Census calculation uses a flat map.

Image credit: Turner Katy Trail Shelter in Tebbetts by Wally Hartshorn on FlickR.  License: CC-BY-NC 2.0.

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