Where's the center of California?

Where is the center of California?

It depends what you mean by “center”.

The geographic center, as listed here, is in Madera County, close to Fresno.

What about the “center” of population? As of 2020, it’s much closer to Bakersfield:

Map of California with geographic and population centers

This surprised me. It turns out that half of California’s 38 million people live in the LA area! Only 20% of the state lives in the Bay Area, and less than 5% live north of Sacramento.

Map of population distribution of California by latitude and longitude

If you’re curious, check out the full analysis. I also made a map for every state. Here’s that analysis.

The data is from OpenDataSoft and World Population Review.