Bypassed by interstate highways and railroads, Hartville doesn’t have a big tax base or large industry. The local school, a nursing home, the gas station and the Dollar General store are the largest employers.
The nation’s population center is calculated every 10 years after the once-a-decade census shows where people are living. The heart of America has been in Missouri since 1980. Previously located in Plato, in the neighboring county, it moved only 11.8 miles (19 kilometers) southwest from 2010 to 2020. It is the smallest distance shift in 100 years and the second-smallest in U.S. history.