In QGIS I would like to update two columns with the centroid easting and northing of my polygons. I am using the field calculator. I have tried using $x and $y but this only seems to work for points.

I have checked the help but it does not seem to mention being able to do this.

  • hmm doesn't seem possible at the moment. Shouldn't be too hard to add in.
    – Nathan W
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 9:22
  • Any easy thing should be adding centroids to the columns added by "Export geometry columns"
    – underdark
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 10:44

3 Answers 3


Not sure if it worked 5 years ago, but now the solution looks like this:




Results are the same as while using the "Join" option mentioned above:

polygons' centroids m


A fast way (without field calculator) would be to

  1. create a centroid layer: Vector - Geometry Tools - Polygon Centroids
  2. join the centroid layer to the polygon layer: (Polygon) Layer Properties - Join tab
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. I had figured out I could do it this way, I just wondered if there was a way to do it through field calculator like for points.
    – James S
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 10:37

If you would consider doing it in workaround method here's how I did it:

Export your polygon as MapInfo file

Calculate centroids with Vector > Geometry Tools > Polygon Centroids

Export centroids as MapInfo File

Remove all unneeded info from Centroid MIF file, leave just coordinates

In your polygon MIF file add information that you have 2 more columns (x and y/lat and long) don't forget to update column count information.

In your polygon MID file copy all columns from centroid MIF file (excel will help here)

There might be a shorter/direct way to do this, but maybe my answer will help you.

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