SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (ABC4) – Ever wanted to stand in the heart of Utah? No, it isn’t Salt Lake City or in Sanpete County as you may guess.
Since the first census in 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has been calculating the “center of population” in the country. This is a point where an imaginary, flat, weightless, and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if everyone were of identical weight. It is the average location of where people in the U.S. live, according to the Census Bureau.
Following the 2020 census, Hartville, Missouri, has been dubbed the ‘heart’ of America. The town of about 600 is located in the south-central part of the state, about 200 miles south-southwest of St. Louis. Since 1980, Missouri towns have been the population centers but the first-ever center in 1790 was in Maryland, just east of Baltimore.
WATCH: U.S. Census Bureau explains ‘center of population’
In addition to calculating the center of population for the U.S., the Census Bureau is also able to calculate the ‘heart’ of each state, including Utah.
This year, Utah’s center of population is located at 40°23’09.0″N 111°56’52.9″W. That is just north of where Sage Hill Drive and County Road meet SR-73 in the north portion of Saratoga Springs.
You can see the exact spot on the interactive map below:
This area has been Utah’s center of population for the 140 years the Census Bureau has been tracking this information for the Beehive State.
In 1880, the first center of population for Utah was 40°13’56.0″N 111°54’30.0″W, about 10 miles south of today’s Saratoga Springs. The furthest north Utah’s heart has ever been was 40°33’51.0″N 111°49’43.0″W in 1970. That point falls near the intersection of S 2165 E and E 10300 S.
In 1900, Utah saw its westernmost center of population at 40°16’02.0″N 111°45’29.0″W, which is in the western portion of Utah Lake, just off the coast of the Powell Slough Waterfowl Management Area.
This year’s point near Saratoga Springs is the furthest east Utah’s center of population has ever been.
Below is an interactive map showing where all of Utah’s centers of population have been since 1880.
Utah’s population has grown 18.4% since 2010, the fastest rate in the nation, according to the Census Bureau.