Population: Westward Ho

Fred Kleiboeker's corn-and-soybean farm, 6½ miles northwest of Centralia, looks much like the rest of the crop land in Illinois' flat, picture-book farm belt. But it is now acreage with a difference. Last week, after analysis of the 1960 census results, Commerce Secretary Luther Hodges announced that a point on Kleiboeker's farm has become the population center* of the'U.S.—defined by Hodges as the spot at which the nation's 179 million people can convene with the minimum travel mileage.

The U.S. population center has been inching inexorably westward ever since the first census in 1790 located it near Chestertown, Md.,...

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