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Center, North Dakota
Center of North America
Location of Center, North Dakota
Location of Center, North Dakota
Country United States
State North Dakota
County Oliver
 • Total 0.48 sq mi (1.24 km2)
 • Land 0.48 sq mi (1.24 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,975 ft (602 m)
 • Total 571
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,209.21/sq mi (466.52/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 701 Exchange: 794
FIPS code 38-13180
GNIS feature ID 1028320

Center is a city in Oliver County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of, and the only incorporated place in, Oliver County. The population was 571 at the 2010 census.


Center was founded in 1902. The city was named from its location near the geographical center of Oliver County. Coincidentally, it has also has been calculated to be the geographical center of North America.

The town is somewhat notable for the blizzard-related death of Hazel Miner, who would go on to be the subject of a song and memorials.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.46 square miles (1.19 km2), all of it land.

Southwest of Center, there is a large open air coal mine. Southeast of Center, at Nelson Lake there is a large power plant. West of Nelson Lake there is the static inverter plant of HVDC Square Butte.

Peter Rogerson, a professor of geography at the University at Buffalo in New York, used new scientific methods and the azimuthal equidistant projection to calculate the "geographic center" of the North American continent. He found Center, North Dakota, to be the continent's geographic center.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 293
1940 509 73.7%
1950 492 −3.3%
1960 476 −3.3%
1970 619 30.0%
1980 900 45.4%
1990 826 −8.2%
2000 678 −17.9%
2010 571 −15.8%
2019 (est.) 578 1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 571 people, 252 households, and 169 families living in the city. The population density was 1,241.3 inhabitants per square mile (479.3/km2). There were 310 housing units at an average density of 673.9 per square mile (260.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.0% White, 0.5% African American, 3.2% Native American, and 0.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 252 households, of which 20.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.9% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.71.

The median age in the city was 49.3 years. 19.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.4% were from 25 to 44; 40% were from 45 to 64; and 17% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.3% male and 48.7% female.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Center has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.


It is in the Center-Stanton School District. The district formed in July 2004 from the merger of the Center and Stanton school districts.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Center (Dakota del Norte) para niños

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