Centroid Towns is a social documentary project studying the twenty-five cities that have been the mean center of population of the United States using photography, oral history interviews, and local archive research. The project puts a face to statistical data, chronicling these towns and their inhabitants to illuminate the ongoing social and political transformation of America. The project began in 2014 and is ongoing. 

The Centroid, or mean center of population, is described by the U.S. Census Bureau as “the point at which an imaginary, flat, weightless, and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if weights of identical value were placed on it so that each weight represented the location of one person on the date of the census.” This point is calculated every ten years to accompany the Census, first located in 1790 near Chestertown, Maryland, and moving steadily westward, currently residing near Plato, Missouri.

www.centroidtowns.com

Sue and Sunshine at the Travelers Inn Motel, Olney, Illinois, 2016

Nykie, Juliette, and Connor at the Jefferson County Fair, Hillsboro, Missouri, 2017

Mr. William, Ellicott City, Maryland, 2016

Using Format