U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Mean Center of Population Since 1790

U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau

Every 10 years since 1790, the U.S. government has taken a census. Today's map shows the mean center of population in the U.S. over the country's history. Missouri has held the honor of hosting the mean center of population for the past 40 years, with the small village of Plato, MO most recently earning the NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey disc.

The constant shift to the west should come as no surprise. As America expanded westward, the open plains of the west began to look more appealing than the crowded and expensive cities in the east. But what explains the sudden southward shift since the 1960s? Some historians speculate the widespread adoption of air conditioning in the 1950s finally made the Sun Belt summers tolerable, making the south a prime location for World War II veterans to settle and start their families in what came to be known as the Baby Boom.

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly. Thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau for this one.

Afternoon Map
Map: All 50 States Reimagined as Food Puns

Pun enthusiasts will recall that we've covered Chris Durso's Foodnited States of America before. Now the project, which was inspired by Durso's young son, is available in map form in the Foodiggity store.

If you can't figure all of these out on the map above, here's the complete list and a larger image of each state's selection.

Mapping the Most Popular Holiday Movie in Each State

Click to enlarge

The holiday season is all about unity, but few topics are more divisive than which Christmas movie is the ultimate seasonal film. For every Home Alone fan, there’s an Elf enthusiast. To settle the score, the folks at online TV service provider have collected the top-rated yuletide films as rated over at AMC, and cross-referenced them with Google Trends state data from the past 10 years. They crunched the data, and compiled it into a map of each state’s favorite holiday flick.

Residents of Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and Vermont liked films set in their home states: Christmas in Connecticut, Home Alone (filmed in Winnetka, Illinois), It’s a Wonderful Life (set in the fictional city of Bedford Falls, New York), and White Christmas (set in the fictional town of Pine Tree, Vermont) all came out on top in those states, respectively.

As for Southern residents, they preferred Christmas cartoons and comedies, like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In New England, movie fans kept it cozy with the classics, including White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street. Pockets of the Midwest appreciated National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and residents of the Atlantic Seaboard and the Great Lakes region liked Home Alone and Elf. And out West, the Nightmare Before Christmas reigned supreme.

Check out the full results in the map above.

The Afternoon Map is a semi-regular feature in which we post maps and infographics. In the afternoon. Semi-regularly.


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