Mark Twain was Born There…. Now, Nobody Lives There

Mark Twain was born in the village of Florida, Missouri, in 1835. He’s more closely associated with Hannibal, Missouri, the town that inspired Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Twain and his family moved to Hannibal when he was four.

The population of Florida, Missouri, is zero people according to the 2010 Census. That’s right, a place/city/town/village with zero/nil/goose egg population. Florida is tied with 19 other places for the “least populated places in the United States.” Mark Twain once said that Florida, Missouri was “a nearly invisible village.” Now, it’s basically the home to the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site.

Birthplace of Florida's most famous resident, Mark Twain.

The twenty “zero population” places in the US, in 2010, are as follows (the term “CDP” means census designated place):

Some of these places are “ghost towns.” Some of these places are summer resort communities with no year-round residents. And a few of these places are “place-holders” for future populations (Mertarvik, UC Merced, the four Texas places.)

Image result for Greenhorn, Oregon

The data source for this analysis is a little hard to find. It’s the 2010 Census Gazetteer, and it’s hidden on the Census Bureau’s Geography Division website, here. This is a great dataset, since it has information on whether the place is an incorporated or unincorporated place, latitude/longitude, and land area. (A “gazetteer” is essentially a geographic directory, or index.)

Chisana's post office

By the way, the “largest place” (in terms of population) is New York City, New York, with an April 1, 2010 population of 8,175,133.

Another factoid of interest: there are 29, 261 “places” in the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, according to the 2010 Census.


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