45th parallel north

The 45th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 45 degrees north of Earth's equator. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean. The 45th parallel north is often called the halfway point between the equator and the North Pole, but the true halfway point is 16.0 km (9.9 mi) north of it (approximately between 45°08'36" and 45°08'37") because Earth is an oblate spheroid; that is, it bulges at the equator and is flattened at the poles.[1]

45th parallel north

At this latitude, the sun is visible for 15 hours 37 minutes during the summer solstice, and 8 hours 46 minutes during the winter solstice. The midday Sun stands 21.6° above the southern horizon at the December solstice, 68.4° at the June solstice, and exactly 45.0° at either equinox.[2]

Around the world

Starting at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the parallel 45° north passes through:

Co-ordinates Country, territory
or sea
45°0′N 0°0′E  France Aquitaine
Rhône-Alpes – passing just south of Grenoble
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
45°0′N 6°44′E  Italy Piedmont – passing just south of Turin
Lombardy - passing by Voghera
Emilia-Romagna – passing just south of Piacenza
Veneto – passing just south of Rovigo
45°0′N 12°27′E Adriatic Sea Gulf of Venice
45°0′N 13°44′E  Croatia Istrian Peninsula, islands of Cres and Krk, and the mainland again
45°0′N 15°46′E  Bosnia and Herzegovina
45°0′N 18°44′E  Croatia
45°0′N 19°6′E  Serbia Passing through the centre of Ruma and through northern part of Sremska Mitrovica
Passing through the northern edge of Stara Pazova, 30 kilometres NW of Belgrade
45°0′N 21°24′E  Romania Passing just north of Ploiești and just south of Târgu Jiu and Râmnicu Vâlcea
45°0′N 29°39′E Black Sea
45°0′N 33°36′E Crimea Controlled by  Russia, claimed by  Ukraine – passing just north of Simferopol, and just south of Feodosiya
45°0′N 35°24′E Black Sea
45°0′N 37°13′E  Russia Passing just south of Krasnodar, and just south of Stavropol
45°0′N 47°15′E Caspian Sea
45°0′N 51°4′E  Kazakhstan Mangystau Province
45°0′N 56°0′E  Uzbekistan Karakalpakstan (autonomous republic) – including Vozrozhdeniya Island in the Aral Sea
45°0′N 59°50′E  Kazakhstan Kyzylorda Province
South Kazakhstan Province
Zhambyl Province
Almaty Province
45°0′N 80°2′E  People's Republic of China Xinjiang – passing through a 45×90 point (halfway between the North Pole and the Equator, and halfway between the Prime Meridian and the 180th meridian)
45°0′N 93°13′E  Mongolia Govi-Altai Province
Bayankhongor Province
Övörkhangai Province
Dundgovi Province
Dornogovi Province
45°0′N 111°46′E  People's Republic of China Inner Mongolia
45°0′N 112°31′E  Mongolia Sükhbaatar Province
45°0′N 114°7′E  People's Republic of China Inner Mongolia
45°0′N 131°30′E  Russia Primorsky Krai - passing through Lake Khanka
45°0′N 136°37′E Sea of Japan Passing just south of Rishiri Island,  Japan
45°0′N 141°41′E  Japan Hokkaidō
45°0′N 142°32′E Sea of Okhotsk
45°0′N 147°31′E Kuril Islands Island of Iturup, administered by  Russia, claimed by  Japan
45°0′N 147°59′E Pacific Ocean
45°0′N 124°1′W  United States Oregon – passing just north of Salem
Montana / Wyoming border
South Dakota
Minnesota – passing through Minneapolis
Wisconsin – passing through a 45×90 point (halfway between the North Pole and the Equator, and halfway between the Prime Meridian and the 180th meridian)
45°0′N 87°37′W Lake Michigan Green Bay – territorial waters of the United States
45°0′N 87°21′W  United States WisconsinDoor Peninsula
45°0′N 87°9′W Lake Michigan Territorial waters of the United States
45°0′N 86°9′W  United States MichiganSouth Manitou Island
45°0′N 86°5′W Lake Michigan Territorial waters of the United States
45°0′N 85°46′W  United States Michigan – Leelanau Peninsula (Leelanau County)
45°0′N 86°5′W Lake Michigan Grand Traverse Bay – territorial waters of the United States
45°0′N 85°47′W  United States Michigan (Antrim County, Otsego County, Montmorency County, and Alpena County)
45°0′N 83°26′W Lake Huron Territorial waters of the United States and Canada
45°0′N 81°27′W  Canada OntarioBruce Peninsula
45°0′N 81°11′W Lake Huron Georgian Bay – territorial waters of Canada
45°0′N 79°59′W  Canada Ontario
45°0′N 74°54′W  United States New York state – for about 10 km (6.21 mi)
45°0′N 74°46′W  Canada OntarioCornwall Island
Quebec – running just north of the border with New York,  United States
45°0′N 73°54′W  United States New York – running just south of the border with Quebec,  Canada
Vermont – running just south of the border with Quebec ,  Canada
New Hampshire
45°0′N 67°4′W Passamaquoddy Bay
45°0′N 67°0′W  Canada Deer Island, New Brunswick
45°0′N 66°57′W Bay of Fundy Territorial waters of Canada
45°0′N 65°10′W  Canada Nova Scotia – passing just north of Fort Edward
45°0′N 61°57′W Atlantic Ocean
45°0′N 1°12′W  France Aquitaine – passing just north of Bordeaux


Sundial at the 45th parallel in Senj, Croatia.

In Europe the 45th parallel hits the Bay of Biscay coast of France in the west. It crosses the river Rhône at Pont-de-l'Isère, just north of Valence, Drôme and through Grenoble. It then continues across the Massif Central and into the Aquitaine region. The city of Bordeaux is just south of the parallel. East of Bordeaux, in the municipality of Saint Seurin sur l'Isle, it intersects the Prime Meridian in the corner of an unremarkable field by the side of the A89 highway. There is no marker or other indication of this singular point on the parallel. It can, however, be visited easily by taking secondary roads from Saint Seurin and consulting a standard GPS signal.

In northern Italy it parallels the river Po, near Rovigo, passing by Voghera, then just south of Turin before passing into France in the Cottian Alps.

Further east it passes through the Balkans: Romania (just north of Ploiești, and through Târgu Jiu), the Serbian autonomous province of Vojvodina, the eastern tip of Croatia, the northern edge of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a section of Adriatic Croatia. The capital city of SerbiaBelgrade is just south of the parallel.

In Russia it runs from the west coast of the Caspian Sea to the east coast of the Black Sea, through the Republic of Kalmykia, Stavropol Krai and its capital Stavropol, and Krasnodar Krai and its capital Krasnodar. In Ukraine it crosses the Crimea and its capital Simferopol.


After leaving Russia the parallel passes through southern Kazakhstan, skirting the northern edge of the Ustyurt Plateau. It intersects the city of Burylbaytal at the southern tip of Lake Balkhash and the city of Qyzylorda further west. At the border with Uzbekistan it bisects the Aral Sea and its toxic Vozrozhdeniya Island peninsula, site of an abandoned Soviet bioweapons laboratory.

In northwest China it passes through the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang and the oil city of Karamay. Transecting southern Mongolia it passes through the provinces of Sükhbaatar, Dornogovi (and its capital Sainshand), Dundgovi, Övörkhangai, Bayankhongor, Govi-Altai, and Khovd. At Khanka Lake it enters northeast China, cutting across Heilongjiang and continuing through part of Jilin and eastern Inner Mongolia.

It leaves the Asian mainland on the coast of Primorsky Krai in Russia, north of Vladivostok and continues through the northern part of the Sea of Japan. It passes through Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park and the adjacent town of Horonobe on the northern tip of Hokkaidō, the northernmost of Japan's main islands, before heading east across the North Pacific Ocean.

North America

The part of the 45th parallel called the Collins–Valentine line defines part of the international border between Quebec, Canada, and New York and Vermont, United States.
The 45th parallel defines most of the border between Montana and Wyoming in the United States.

Throughout the United States the parallel is marked in many places on highways by a sign proclaiming that the location is halfway between the North Pole and the equator.[3][4][N 1]

The 45th parallel forms some boundaries of or passes through many U.S. states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as going through the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The parallel once formed the northern boundary of the original Colony of Virginia, as outlined in the London Company charter.[5]

Going from west to east, the line makes landfall at the Pacific coast in Oregon. After crossing Idaho and the Rocky Mountains, it makes up most of the boundary between Montana and Wyoming. It then passes through the Great Plains and continues further East directly through Minneapolis, MN.

In Michigan, the Old Mission Peninsula in Grand Traverse Bay ends just shy of the 45th parallel. Many guidebooks and signs at the Mission Point Lighthouse describe it as being halfway between the equator and north pole. When the Grand Traverse Bay recedes below normal level, it is possible to walk out to the exact line.

Further east, the 45th parallel roughly marks the Canada–United States border between the St. Lawrence and Connecticut rivers, between the Canadian province of Quebec and the states of New York and Vermont. The parallel is sometimes called the "Canada line" or the Collins–Valentine line. After the Seven Years' War, the 45th parallel was declared the boundary between New York and Quebec. Under the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842, original measurement errors stand so that the boundary is not exactly at 45 degrees north but is where the survey monuments were erected in 1772. The actual boundary of Vermont lies approximately 1 kilometre (3,300 ft) north of the parallel due to an error in the 1772 survey.[6]

All of mainland New Brunswick lies north of the 45th parallel. Approximately two-thirds of Deer Island, plus all of Campobello and Grand Manan islands, are south of the 45th parallel.

The parallel roughly bisects mainland Nova Scotia. Halifax is approximately 40 km (25 mi) south of the parallel.

See also


  1. Due to the fact that the Earth's equatorial radius is not exactly the same as its polar radius, the 45th parallel line is not exactly half way between the equator and the north pole when traversing the surface of the Earth. The 45th parallel line represents a perfect angle bisector between the equator and the north pole when seen from the Earth's center. See this image of a sign on the 45th parallel south for exact distance values.


  1. "The Half-Way to the Pole Line". 2 May 2006. Archived from the original on 2 May 2006. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  2. "Duration of Daylight/Darkness Table for One Year". U.S. Naval Observatory. 2019-09-24. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  3. "Concord Monitor: "New Hampshire is halfway between the equator and the North Pole – just don't ask where"". concordmonitor.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  4. Brown, K. Williams (July 10, 2011). "The beauty of halfwayism". Statesman Journal. Salem, Oregon. p. 5D. Retrieved July 9, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  5. "The First Charter of Virginia; April 10, 1606". The Avalon Project. 2008.
  6. "The Canada–U.S. Border – Townships Heritage WebMagazine". townshipsheritage.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
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