Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Hey, I wonder what the mean center of the U.S. is?” NewsFeed sure has.
Turns out the mean center–by which we mean the point where the U.S. would balance out if placed on a scale, based on how the population is spread across the country, if every person weighed the same–is in Missouri and has been for the past 30 years. Well done Missouri, you might be thinking.
(More on TIME.com: See 10 questions with Robert Groves)
But wait, there’s more to this Census Bureau story than meets the eye. It seems like our population is shifting and while the mean center has usually fallen in Phelps County, Mo., it’s thought to soon fall in Texas County, Mo. Due to the population growth in Western states–specifically Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho–the mean center will likely make its way right out of Missouri by mid-century.
(More on TIME.com: See why Britain wants to drop the census)
Luckily, mid-century is years away, so Missourians have some time to think of other ways to be special. Just kidding Missouri, we’d love you even if you weren’t at the center of the country. You have the St. Louis Arch, after all. (AP via Salon)