United States Micropolitan Statistical Areas (µSA, where the initial Greek letter mu represents "micro-"), as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), are urban areas in the United States based around an urban cluster (urban area) with a population of 10,000 to 49,999. The micropolitan area designation was created in 2003. Like the better-known metropolitan area, a micropolitan area is a geographic entity used for statistical purposes based on counties and county-equivalents. The OMB has identified 576 micropolitan areas in the United States.
The term "micropolitan" was created by author G. Scott Thomas for a 1989 article in American Demographics magazine, and was expanded in his 1990 book, The Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities. It gained currency in the 1990s to describe growing population centers in the United States that are removed from larger cities, in some cases by 100 miles (160 km) or more. Lower land and labor costs have led some micropolitan areas to develop many housing subdivisions and suburban cultures similar to those found in larger metropolitan areas.
Micropolitan cities do not have the economic or political importance of large cities, but are nevertheless significant centers of population and production, drawing workers and shoppers from a wide local area. Because the designation is based on the core town's population and not on that of the whole area, some micropolitan areas are actually larger than some metropolitan areas.Torrington, Connecticut, had a population in excess of 180,000 in 2000; Torrington's population in that year's census was only 35,202.
The largest of the areas, centered around
See also 
External links 
- 2010 United States Census
- USCB population estimates
- United States Office of Management and Budget
- Nasser, Haya El (June 27, 2004). "Small-town USA goes 'micropolitan'". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Nasser, Haya El (November 22, 2004). "For political trends, think micropolitan". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- McCarthy, Michael J. (August 23, 2004). "Main Street America Gets a New Moniker". Real Estate Journal/Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on Jul 27, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- Thomas, G. Scott (July 21, 2008). "Dreamtowns that offer refuge from big cities and congested suburbs". bizjournals. Retrieved 2008-07-23.