I grew up in the Midwest, the heartland of America, got married, had kids, and moved two thousand miles away to the West; and according to new Census Bureau number crunching, I will now retire in the “new US heartland. It appears the West is now quickly surpassing the Midwest in population. It’s been one hundred sixty-one years since the Midwest was knocked out of its heartland status. If you’re wondering what difference it makes where the US mean center of population is technically located you would’t be alone, but it does indeed matter. It’s the geographic balancing point for the nation’s population. Political and consumer product appeal and their influence on the majority of Americans is based on this geographical distinction, although when asked to define America’s Heartland most people associate it with agriculture and farming. Of course the center point or heartland of America has been moving progressively westward since the very first center of population was located just east of Baltimore in seventeen ninety. Even if the center of population ends up being somewhere in Arizona during my lifetime, the Midwest will always be “heartland” to me.