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Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States

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Title: Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Geographic centers of the United States, John Hagelin, Hilham, Tennessee, Blue Mont Central College, Coffeyville, Kansas
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Geographic Center of the Contiguous United States

Geographic center of the contiguous United States is located in USA
Geographic center of the contiguous United States
Geographic center of the contiguous United States.

The geographic center of the contiguous United States is the center of 48 U.S. states. It has been regarded as such by the U.S. National Geodetic Survey (NGS) since the 1912 additions of New Mexico and Arizona to the United States.

It is located about 2.6 miles (4.2 km) northwest of the center of Lebanon, Kansas at , which is approximately 12 miles south of the Kansas-Nebraska border. While any measurement of the exact center of a land mass will always be imprecise due to changing shorelines and other factors, the NGS coordinates are recognized in a historical marker in a small park at the intersection of AA Road and K-191. It is accessible by a turn-off from the U.S. Route 281.

It is distinct from the geographic center of the United States, which reflects the 1959 additions of the states of Alaska and Hawaii, which is located at a point northeast of Belle Fourche, South Dakota.


The marker located near Lebanon, Kansas
A close-up of the plaque on the historical marker
A small chapel and picnic ground adjacent to the marker

In order to protect the privacy of the private land owner where the point identified by the 1918 survey falls a proxy marker was erected in 1940 some half a mile away.

Its inscription reads:

LAT. 39°50' LONG. -98°35'
NE 1/4 - SE 1/4 - S32 - T2S - R11W
Located by L.T. Hagadorn of Paulette & Wilson - Engineers and L.A. Beardslee - County Engineer. From data furnished by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
Sponsored by Lebanon Hub Club. Lebanon, Kansas. April 25, 1940

An American flag usually flies atop a pole placed on the monument. A covered picnic area and small four-pew chapel are nearby.

Method of measurement

In 1918, the Coast and Geodetic Survey found this location by balancing on a point a cardboard cutout shaped like the U.S. Although this method was only accurate to within twenty miles, and the Geodetic Survey no longer endorses any location as the center of the U.S., the identification of Lebanon has remained.[1][2]

Modern methodology has identified the location as Latitude 39.828127, Longitude -98.579404 .

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^

External links

  • Smith County Map, KDOT
  • Kansas Travel article
  • In the Middle of Nowhere, a Nation’s Center, New York Times
  • Center for Land Use Interpretation article about the origins and accuracy of the marker
  • Roadside America article
  • USGS information
  • The Center of the United States article about applying mathematical methods to geography

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