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Center of the Country? Try Tebbetts, Profs Say

Posted: Oct 2, 2012 4:50 AM by Associated Press

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COLUMBIA (AP) - A pair of Michigan math professors have concluded that a small town in Missouri's Callaway County is the population center of the lower 48 U.S. states, no matter what the Census Bureau says.

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.

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