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The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is a field in Kansas.

Many states consider themselves the heartland of America, but where exactly is the geographic center of the U.S.? If you’re including only the lower 48 states, look no further than a nondescript field north of Lebanon, Kansas (located at 39° 50' 00" N 98° 35' 00" W). Not much marks this otherwise typical stretch of Midwestern farmland, except for a nearby historical marker noting that the location was determined by the U.S. Geological Survey, and that the point is “where a plane map of the 48 states would balance if it were of uniform thickness.” In earlier times, this accolade garnered enough tourists for a motel to be built nearby, selling souvenirs and a night’s rest at the center of the country. While the souvenirs remain (in downtown Lebanon), the motel has since closed up shop.

Of course, this isn’t the center of the entire U.S., which drastically stretched its borders when it welcomed Alaska and Hawaii into the union at the end of the 1950s. In 1959, a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey concluded that the new center of the U.S. (excluding territories) had lurched northwest toward the small town of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, which today posts a similar plaque regarding its centralized status. How long Belle Fourche keeps its title remains to be seen, as many contenders to be the 51st state — whether Puerto Rico, Guam, or some other territory — could once again relocate the bullseye of the U.S.

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