PIKE COUNTY, Ind. -- To the casual observer, the median center of U.S. population, as determined by the 2010 census, is a rather unremarkable spot in a Southern Indiana cornfield.
It's a lonely place where the broken stalks remind passers-by that last harvest season is well in the rearview mirror, and that the next planting season is still on the horizon.
But for the U.S. Census Bureau, this location southwest of Petersburg, Ind., is a key point on the map for government geographers, who have kept track of the nation's median population center since 1880. Back in those days, it was in Dayton, Ohio.