Talk:Metropolitan statistical area

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject United States (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Urban studies and planning (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Urban studies and planning, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Urban studies and planning on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Twin Cities[edit]

According to the Wikipedia page "Minneapolis-St._Paul", the 2000 Census lists the Twin Cities as 15th largest, but this page shows it as the 16th largest.

Also, this describes the Twin Cities as Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington, but it is clearly including numerous other cities including Richfield (5th largest city in Minnesota?), Roseville, St. Louis Park, Anoka (5th most in the state), etc..... Does this count include the 7 county metro area or the 13 county metro area?

Posted by

I see you are not a member. Please consider joining Wikipedia.

As for the ranking, there may be some error or inconsistency, perhaps due to vandalism, someone typing the wrong numbers, etc. Please check the census page and change them if they are wrong. The area here, as stated in the Twin Cities page, is the thirteen county area.

The Twin Cities are Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Bloomington, because that is the official name under the Census MSA designation. DirectorStratton 06:45, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Tri-State Area[edit]

I'm a Chicago resident who has heard "Tri-State Area" being used to refer to Chicago, southeast Wisconson, and northwest Indiana. I didn't want to change the page, because the NYC Tri-State Area already has an article, but can anyone else confirm or deny that this is a Chicago-area term as well? -Trillian

"Tri-state area" or "tri-state region" is sometimes used to describe the greater Chicagoland area. It is also used for the southwest Ohio-southeast Indiana-northern Kentucky area around Cincinnati. There are probably other areas that are known by that name as well. olderwiser 13:17, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)
The old Tri-state bus line handled traffic to and from Michigan to Chicago. In that case, the states were IL, IN and MI, although the Consolidated Metro Statistical Area is WI, IL, and IN. (Chris Light (talk) 20:55, 15 December 2008 (UTC))


This page is hopelessly illegible using Netscape. I'm going to try mozilla and see if that works.

Did it work with Mozilla? It looks fine in IE. -- Zoe

I'm using netscape, and I don't have any prolbems seeing this page.Gentgeen 22:17, 1 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Unofficial "metropolitan areas" vs. Metropolitan Statistical Areas[edit]

We shouldn't confuse unofficial and vague ideas of metropolitan areas with specific census-defined Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area is a group of counties defined by the U.S. Census to exist. This is what is discussed in this article. The "Delaware Valley" is a vague term used unofficially. There is no reason to suggest that it is identical to the Census Bureau's Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City Consolidated Metropolitan Area. For instance, I doubt most people would recognize Cecil County, Maryland or Cape May County, New Jersey as part of the "Delaware Valley," even if they are part of the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City Consolidated Metropolitan Area. We need to stop acting as though the areas defined by the census area are an NPOV description of metropolitan areas in the US. For instance, the Washington-Baltimore CMSA is ridiculously huge, including almost entirely rural counties as far out as West Virginia or Maryland's Eastern Shore. Many have suggested that this definition is largely done in order to lower the government's cost of living assessments for federal workers by including lots of cheap, rural areas in the metropolitan area where so many federal employees live. I think we need to get our acts together on this. john k 04:20, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Suspected vandalism[edit]

Apologies if the revert of an edit by was inappropriate. Someone using that IP number has vandalized Abortion, Lynndie England and Andrew Jackson this morning. Since I cannot verify his edit I have reverted it.

User contributions
For (Talk)
Showing below up to 50 results starting with #1.
View (previous 50) (next 50) (20 | 50 | 100 | 250 | 500). (Hide minor edits |  bots | logged in users)
   * 04:44, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) Lynndie England (top)
   * 04:44, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) Lynndie England
   * 04:33, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) Abortion
   * 02:11, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) Andrew Jackson
   * 02:10, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) Andrew Jackson
   * 01:51, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) United States metropolitan area (top)
   * 01:38, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) Korn
   * 01:37, 18 Dec 2004 (hist) KoЯn

--[[User:Tony Sidaway|Tony Sidaway|Talk]] 04:52, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Excuse Me?[edit]

I was the person who made the Northern Jersey section of the article. I clarified it as North Jersey, as Trenton is actually a part of the Philadelphia metro area. Is clarification vandalism. Vandalism would be considered defacing the site with f**k yous all over it. This was not vandalism, it was a reasonable edit. Use your f**king mind before making stupid vandalism claims.

Also, look at my other contributions. Some of them aren't vandalism edits. Nobody else bitched about them!

As I said, I wasn't clear and was only reverting on suspicion, and you have my sincere apologies, your edit was not vandalism. Look at all of the other changes above, and you'll see that quite a few were clear vandalism and were reverted either by me or by other editors. This was the one borderline case in which I chose both to revert and leave a message so that if I had been mistaken the edit could be restored by you or another editor. Your IP number is probably a WWW proxy and thus your posts are difficult to distinguish from the vandal. This kind of occurrence--being mistaken for another poster using the same IP number--will never happen to you again if you choose a username. Your IP number is currently listed on Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress so any edits from that IP in the near future will be scrutinized closely and the IP number itself may be blocked. As I use a WWW proxy which is also being intermittently blocked because it is also used by a vandal, I sympathize. --[[User:Tony Sidaway|Tony Sidaway|Talk]] 02:34, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
As a wise man once said : "It's all good"

Out of date MSAs[edit]

Why are we using here out of date MSAs? The latest version ([1]) has rather broken up some of these, notably. john k 14:55, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I've heavily revised the article. I used the new (2003) MSAs. I removed discussion that pertains to the old definitions (PMSAs and CMSAs, New England MSAs being based around towns and cities rather than counties). I hope this is acceptable. john k 03:21, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Somebody mentioned that the CMSA/PMSA definitions are the ones used for the most recent census, and the MSAs are for the next (2010) census. Mackerm 03:37, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yuck. I don't like throwing out the old CMSA definitions in favor of MSAs only, since I feel the combined areas better reflect metropolitan populations. While it looks like the Census Bureau has stopped using CMSAs, they now record data for Combined Statistical Areas (CSAs) [2]. I'd be much happier if we used these instead. - EurekaLott 03:51, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

To Mackerm, I'm not sure what you mean - MSAs aren't determined by the Census Bureau, but by OMB. The new ones went into effect in 2003. They have no necessary connection to any individual census, in that they are merely categorizations of counties, which do not change. EurekaLott, the CSAs are even more outlandishly huge than the CMSAs. The CMSAs were pretty awful at reflecting metropolitan areas, imho - Baltimore and Washington being combined into one was an awful idea, for instance. At any rate, whatever the CSAs are, they are explicitly not metropolitan areas. Notably, the word "metropolitan" does not appear. Furthermore, they are combinations of metropolitan and "micropolitan" areas. As such, using these instead of the MSAs seems inappropriate. If we are going to base our description of US metropolitan areas on OMB's definitions, we ought to use, well, the definitions that OMB uses, and not manipulate their stuff to fit better with our own sense of what things should be. john k 04:48, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Expansion to top 50[edit]

Would anyone object if I expanded the list to show the top 50 rather than top 25? The main reason this is important is because advertisers/marketers often target top 50 metro areas, and anything below 50 is comparatively neglected. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 18:56, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Sounds okay to me. The next 25 are listed at List of United States metropolitan statistical areas by population in a table basically the same as this one. Conveniently, the top 50 are also the 50 with populations >1,000,000. john k 19:51, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I won't have time to do this very soon, so if anyone else wants to tackle it, please feel free. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 01:57, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If you all are going to change the data to the 2003 statistical areas, it would be good to cite the census page which lists the population figures. (I can only find data at with the 2000 population figures). Mackerm 23:11, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I was just using the 2000 census population figures. john k 02:11, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Is there a page at with these figures? I find it surprising that the Dallas and Philadelphia areas have exactly the same populations. I say go back to the official totals. Let's wait for the new census to use the new statistical area definitions. Mackerm 03:03, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Huh? I added up the populations of the counties included in each MSA. This would be exactly what the census will do at some point. No need to wait until 2010. As to Philly and Dallas, that is a mistake I made while transferring my info from one form to another. I will correct it. I used the county and city data book to get the population figures for the counties. john k 03:19, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

FYI, the data for all these is available at [3] under table 3a. Should there also be a list of consolidated metropolitan areas, which are also defined by the OMB? olderwiser 03:48, Feb 2, 2005 (UTC)

It seems to me that ultimately we should have a list of all Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, Combined Statistical Areas (which are groups that combine MSAs and McSAs into units similar to the old CMSAs), and so forth listed. We should also, ultimately, have articles on all of them which are separate from articles like Greater Cleveland, which should detail the unofficial ways in which terms like that are used, and perhaps discuss both the CSA for Cleveland (which includes Akron as well), the MSA (which includes Cuyahoga and several neighboring counties) and the cosniderably smaller urbanized area, which is mostly just the larger part of Cuyahoga County. The last definition, of urbanized area, seems to me at least as natural as the MSA definitions, and much more logical than the utterly enormous old CMSA definitions, or the new CSAs. Being from the Washington DC area, the urbanized area - which seems to consist of DC, Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax City, and the majority of Montgomery, Prince George's, and Fairfax Counties, with perhaps parts of Prince William and the city of Manassas - seems much more reasonable to me in terms of where I would expect somebody from the "Washington Area" to be from than the enormous MSA, which includes places like Frederick or Solomons or Fredericksburg, not to mention some county in West Virginia. john k 04:30, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I changed my mind about expanding to top 50, as I hadn't noticed the full list linked in here before. That list resolves my concern. However, I do agree with John Kenney that a more refined listing is needed in the Wikipedia. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Contrib 13:26, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • I am definitely in favor of an additional page that focuses on CMSAs and other categories, just to show that there are different ways to define a "metropolitan area". Funnyhat 22:47, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The Bay Area[edit]

I am confused, why doesn't the Bay Area include the San Jose Area. In fact, Fremont is closer to San Jose than Oakland. In fact, I thought that the Bay Area is actually the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Metropolitain Area

Yeah, I agree, that would make sense. However, this chart is taken from the US Census, and they are basically the undisputed experts on the matter. There is a term that I sometimes see used "combined statistical area". This is a little more inclusive- it combines DC and Baltimore for example, as well as all three major cities in the bay area.--Cms479 (talk) 20:37, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Urbanized Area[edit]

I've included a new post for Urbanized Area which is important in determining urban population densities, urban sprawl, and urban/rural population ratios. Should we include a mention to it in this article? It seems appropriate.

A note on asterisks[edit]

Every metropolitan area on this page could have an asterisk next to it stating: "People consider XXX metro to be actually larger than this" or "People actually consider XXX metro to be smaller than this." Unless there is a very good reason to add a note (ie. SF's population is almost twice as big if San Jose is added), don't do it. DirectorStratton 06:31, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Bay area Again[edit]

I realize that it is acknowledged in the article text that the San Fransisco bay area size is an point of contention. I also realise that this list is based on some kind of goverment statsical formula. However, there is a logical inconsistency that needs to be fixed, and by far the best place to do that would be here. Every other page on this wiki, that refers to the bay area includes San Jose and Santa Clara county as part of the metropolitan bay area. For instance, the San_Francisco , San_Jose,_California and San_Francisco_Bay_Area, as well as List_of_metropolitan_areas_by_population articles all list the San Francisco Bay Area as including San Jose, resulting in a Population of over 7 million. Why do they all do this? Because it's correct. The bay area is unbroken urban or suburban area from San Francisco south to San Jose, and back up north from San Jose to Oakland. It is all part of the same area. I would guess that only people with whom this is a contended issue are people who create MSA's. As I understand it, this is not an article about MSA's, but metropolotian areas. It either needs to be fixed, or a resonable explantion needs to be provided.

Take a nice long look at List of metropolitan areas by population, especially the Talk page. The article is largely crap and there are continuing edit wars over nationalistic pride. If we were to change the definition of a metropolitan area to what "most people" think constitutes the metropolitan area, then we will have constant disputes over how large/small each area is. Better to have a standard, warts and all. In fact, using a standard is the only way this article will have any value. If it makes you feel better I have added POV/neutrality tags to List of metropolitan areas by population. DirectorStratton 15:23, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
You may also want to look at Combined Statistical Area. DirectorStratton 15:41, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I understand and agree that standard is needed. Editing wars over silly points of pride serve no one. However, in the case of the bay area and San Jose, this is not a "most people" issue. Whether San Jose belongs in the Bay area is just not a point of contention with anyone. As a quick anecdote, Everyday, I wake up from my house in Palo Alto(Santa Clara county), which is purportedly in the San Jose metropolitan area, and take a 2 minute drive to get a cup of coffee in East Palo Alto(San Mateo County), in the San Francisco Metropolitan area. That just makes no sense, no matter what definition of metropolitan you use. I do understand the slippery slope argument though. If we change this one, then pretty soon New York and Detroit will soon be edited into the same metro as well. However, if the standard on this page is so unrelenting that it cannot change an obvious and gapping flaw , then I suggest the articles name be changed from United States Metropolitan area to Metropolitan Statistical Area, to better reflect what it actually is.
The "everyone thinks" arguement is the same as the "most people think" argument. I could just as easily live in Racine County, Wisconsin in the Milwaukee area and drive to work every day in Kenosha County, Wisconsin in Chicagoland. So combining SF-San Jose by your argument would again spawn a rash of pointless fights. As for moving this article, would you set up a new US metro area page on some "new" standard? To my knowledge, the US Census is the only widely-recognized officially-published publicly-available standard. This is their definition of a metropolitan area, and it's the only standard thereof that we have to work with. DirectorStratton 15:25, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I wrote a long reply about how your analogy wasn't analogous(it wasn't), and how very wrong you are. But I realize that this discussion has become sidetracked, and I would like to get back on track. Here, I think is the gist of it: can you, the US census's "standard", or anyone else come up with a reason, geographic, economic, political or otherwise, why Santa Clara county should be a separate metropolitan area from the rest of the bay area? If someone can, then awesome, lets put it as a footnote in the article, because this is a subject that has come up in the past and will come up again in the future if not addressed. Otherwise it makes very little sense to not integrate Santa Clara county with the rest of the Bay Area. Why object if there is no objection?
I take your silence to mean you have no further objection. Great. Unless anyone else objects, I'm going to integrate the San Jose MSA with the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont MSA. I will add a footnote explaining that it is not an official MSA. It would be more elegant to explain why they are considered by the OMB to be to disparate areas, but no explanation seems forthcoming. I've been thinking about it all week, and I can't think of one(this is not to say that a reason doesn't exist, but I'm really starting to doubt it). Any ideas?
I haven't responded because you haven't made any new or convincing arguments. To state yet again, if we abandon the Census standard, the conflicts and, more importantly, the subjectivity will never end (people from Washington will want to integrate Baltimore, Cleveland will want to integrate Akron, people will want to add more counties and conglomerate urban areas, etc.). You continue to use the "everyone thinks" argument, which is not how articles are written. DirectorStratton 17:59, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
As this article is about Metropolitan areas, not specifically Census-designated MSAs, a great disservice is being done to those who want accurate rankings. San Francisco and San Jose are part of the same metropolitan area the same way Baltimore and Washington are. Why are Combined Statistical Areas not being cited instead? These areas are compiled by the Census bureau, are more current, and present a more accurate ranking of major US metropolitan areas by size. Although I will agree CSAs have some problems, just like MSAs and CMSAs, they get it right on the large cities. "Everyone thinks" these things because they are true, and the Census Bureau, by nature of these CSAs, seem to agree. (The CSAs of November 2004 seem to combine the SF and SJ areas, the Baltimore and DC areas, and the LA-Inland Empire areas, among others.) It's a simple fact: roughly 7 million people live in the Bay Area; it is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States, right behind DC-Baltimore. The cities in these two areas share similar cultures and are vitally interconnected the same way portions of New Jersey are to NYC and Philly, or as Dallas is to Fort Worth. If the article is about "metropolitan areas," not specifically MSAs and CMSAs (which have their own articles on Wikipedia) then it is owed to the reader for this article to incorporate more accurate forms where necessary, such as the CSA. Otherwise we are artificially inflating the populations of the areas surrounding certain major cities while ignoring and fragmenting others. Catsonmars 06:59, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

This whole argument is really irrelevant. The article is informative and there are really no large problems with it. Anyone who thinks that the two should be combined can add at the bottom that many think that they should be combined, but the official rankings separate them. If you really want to know my opinion on the matter, I agree with Stratton. If we give in to the whims of a select group, are we really telling the truth? Trekkie4christ 03:55, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Metropolitan Area?[edit]

This Article is misleading. OMB difined the "METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA" and NOT "METROPOLITAN AREA" which this article claims. Those two terms are different. Yes-- there is the word "Metropoliatan" word on "MSA" but it does not necesarilly defines A Metropolitan Area. "MSA" is just a technical term used by the OMB or the Census Bureau like the other term "Combined Statistical Area" for organizational statistical purpose. Thus, CSA or MSA should not be interchangebly use with a much flexible "metropolitan area".

What I mean is neither of CSA or MSA can claim the term "metropolitan area" exclusively. For example in this article it claims that MSA is an exclusive defenition of what a "Metropolitan Area" is and ignoring CSA completely.

The thing is all Region has their own comfort level. Some Region are contented calling their own "Metropolitan Area" within the MSA only. BUT other regions are also more contented calling their "Metropoliatan Area" within the larger CSA.

I agree with the suggestion that this article should be merge with the "list of Metropolitan Statistical Are" or if not the Title of this article should be renamed (and STRONGLY suggest) as "Top 25 largest Metropolitan Statistical Area" to be more objective and NOT simply "Metropolitan Area". The reason why many people here are confused and has been disputing the rankings.

Primary dispute includes the breaking up of an obviously large "metropolitan areas" into smaller pieces like in the case of greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area. Los Angeles was broken into 3 MSA while San Francisco was broken into 6 MSA. The CSAs of both SF and LA are the more acceptable figure of defining their "Metropolitan Area"

My suggestion is why not use the "Combined Statistical Area" instead? which I think better reflects or fit the true nature boundaries of the large metropolitan areas in US.

But I also undestand some people also disputing about some groupings in "CSA", particularly the Baltimore-Washington DC area. Some say it is too large, does not really exsist as a ONE "true metro area" since it also covers a lot of rural areas between them.

LA, and SF Bay Area However are more urbanely connected and are more strongly connected socially, economically, and in commuting patterns but was ironically split up into several small pieces on the list.

Furthermore, The MSAs in LA and SF also has only one Media Designated Market Area each, making them more tightly attached (LA-Riverside-Vetura has only one DMA San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose has only one DMA)meaning they get their Local News and show programs in one source unlike D.C. and Baltimore which has seperate DMA completely.

Heres a link which ranks all the CSAs including those MSAs and Micropolitan Area (These are all from official facts from Census Bureau website)

I suggest that if many here especially who lives in DC-Baltimore Area is uncomfortable joining their 2 metropolitan together then split them up and just use their MSAs numbers and rank them appropiately on the ranking list I provided.

on the otherhand since its universally accepted that San Francisco Metro and San Jose Metro are just part of one huge Metro Area and most people who lives there accepts this then we should use the figures of its CSA rather than its MSA in this particular sitiuation.

Keep in mind tha this is not a "VAGUE" defenition of what the SF Bay Area metro is, The Census Burea and OMB officially recognize this Metro Area with firm and defined boundaries only they do not call it "Metropolitan Statistical Area" but "Combined Statistical Area".

If this Article intetion is to be more objective (showing standards) then change the Title into "METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS" and not "Metropolitan Areas"

But if this article is trying to reflect the true US "Metropolitan Area" then it should be more comprimising.

Despite the bad spelling, the comment above is spot on. "Metropolitan area" and similar generic terms are not identical to the Census Bureau's specific, technical definition of MSA. --JWB (talk) 04:34, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Wayne, New York[edit]

Why is Wayne included in the NYC metro area? I'm taking it out pending's on the other end of the state, with a miniscule population, and not part of any MSA I'm aware of... Tomertalk 19:23, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I think the former link was an error. The Wayne in the metropolitan division name refers to Wayne township in New Jersey. Polaron 19:46, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah. Well, that makes sense. I'll add it back in with the link pointing to the right place (that makes the NJ link in the "state" column more rational as well). Thanks! Tomertalk 21:05, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

The Bay Area, yet again[edit]

I know this is a point of contention, but I had to weigh in. While locally I think we mean "Bay Area" to be to area around the water, officially the Bay Area consists of nine counties, one of which is Santa Clara (which includes San Jose). This is confirmed by the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. I'm not just saying this to bump the Bay Area up on the list (I really couldn't care less how we "rank", and I don't usually think of San Jose as being in the "Bay Area"), but because the Bay Area is always defined as the nine counties, and it seems inconsistent that the definition has changed for this article. Of course, I understand this article is never going to be perfect, because of its nature. Still, I like consistency. DejahThoris 20:25, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Is Philly area 4th largest?[edit]

On the List of metropolitan areas by population page, South Florida/Miami area is listed as being bigger than the Delaware Valley by one rank (Miami is #45, Philly is #46).Which is it, since this page lists Philly as bigger than Miami?Andrewia 16:52, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

If you're looking for consistency between the information in List_of_metropolitan_areas_by_population and other articles, I'm sorry to say that you're not going to find it (yet). United_States_metropolitan_area will show you the rank that you're looking for. These are ranked by the U.S. Census Bureau definition, the most official definition that can be found for U.S. Metro areas. All ranking of U.S. metro areas within U.S. metro area articles should reflect this. If you are interested, there are a few of us who are trying to start a Wikiproject:United States Metropolitan Areas. Also, if you have any thoughts on how U.S. metro area articles should be written, I encourage you to append your ideas to this page.
Regarding the worldwide rankings in List_of_metropolitan_areas_by_population, my understanding is that the editors looked for a definition that best fits the definition of metro areas in other countries. In my opinion, it does a very poor job at this. For instance, some metro areas (Tokyo, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, Dhaka, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok, etc.) are ranked according to the definition of that country (that is: Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Bangladesh, Brazil, Thailand, etc.), while U.S. metro areas are ranked by a definition that is rarely, if ever, used in the context of describing entire metro areas. In addition, I've never heard of any U.S. metro area ranking ever based on FIPS definitions, except on Wikipedia. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks. Ufwuct 21:44, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
The UN list on which List of metropolitan areas by population is based on uses Census-defined urban areas as the definition for metropolitan areas in the US. My guess is that using county building blocks tends to include too much rural territory compared to other countries' metro area definitions. However, since it looks like we're relaxing the adherence to the UN list somewhat, we could probably put in MSA data for all the US cities in the List of metropolitan areas by population to match what is in United States metropolitan area. --Polaron | Talk 21:58, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
The UN list on which List of metropolitan areas by population is based on uses Census-defined urban areas as the definition for metropolitan areas in the US. My guess is that using county building blocks tends to include too much rural territory compared to other countries' metro area definitions.
Yes, I agree with User:Polaron's assessment. I'm just still not sure why there had to be a custom-made definition (well, not really custom-made, but not a metro area definition) only for U.S. metro areas. Is the U.S. the only country for which this adjustment is necessary? Do all other countries have metro area definitions that coincide perfectly with the U.N. definition? I find it hard to believe that, besides the U.S., no other country would include any non-urbanized area in their metro area definitions. I'm just wondering. Thanks. Ufwuct 00:53, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Those countries that do have official metro area definitions use building blocks that are more similar to US townships. For countries that don't have official metro area definitions, urban areas (usually adjusted to some administrative area) are used when official statistics are available. For countries that don't have either urban or metro area official definitions, administrative areas (city propers) are used instead. But you are correct that other countries' metro area definitions also include non-urban territory -- just that the official US definitions typically include a larger proportion of non-urban territory. --Polaron | Talk 01:05, 30 July 2006 (UTC)


Cymru, please provide a source for your updates before making changes to the data so that users can verify the data as it's being changed. It would be very helpful. I'm not sure where your information is coming from. For instance, I just checked the Dallas metro area using [4] and the following counties have 2005 population estimates of:

  • Collin 659,457
  • Dallas 2,305,454
  • Delta 5,480
  • Denton 554,642
  • Ellis 133,474
  • Hunt 82,543
  • Johnson 146,376
  • Kaufman 89,129
  • Parker 102,801
  • Rockwall 62,944
  • Tarrant 1,620,479
  • Wise 56,696


You were correct to update the data, but I want to see what your source is. I prefer the above source because it lists the 2000, 2001, ..., 2005 population estimates for ALL counties in the U.S. Since the census bureau only updates their definitions with every decennial census, I think it would be sufficient just to add up all of the appropriate counties for each metro area. Thanks. Ufwuct 14:56, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

2005 Census Bureau estimates[edit]

The 2005 midyear estimates for metropolitan areas are now available here. We should start updating figures here as well as in List of United States metropolitan areas. --Polaron | Talk 23:08, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

San Fran metro wikilink removal[edit]

I removed the link to the Bay Area because the information on that page doesn't reflect the information here. A while ago, I added wikilinks to several of the metro areas, I left out some articles because those articles didn't list a population according to the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of a metropolitan area. Rather, these articles listed a population according to an outdated definition or possibly to a definition of what the editors thought the metro area should be. Two examples are L.A. and San Fran. Greater Los Angeles Area does not list a metro area definition anywhere in the article, talking instead about the "area". San Francisco Bay Area does not mention the metro area definition either, but at least mention that the basis for the population estimates in the article ("more than eight million people") is the CSA. But the CSA is not the same as the metro area. If/when these articles highlight and emphasize the metro area (and not just in passing, but as a major focus of the article), then I could agree with wikilink them. Until then, a wikilink to either of these articles is highly misleading. Thanks. Ufwuct 15:54, 17 September 2006 (UTC)


Why is somebody puting the wrong population for Greter Seattle? According to the WA State Office of Financial Management website the population is listed close to 4 million instead of 3.2. Furthermore the source isn't accuarate since Seattle isn't even mentioned.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:23, 13 November 2006.

Local agencies typically are unreliable and tend to inflate the numbers, sometimes to a significant degree. The Census Bureau's reason for existence is counting people. They are more reliable. See this source. Thanks. Ufwuct 22:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Well then why does Emporis along with the government census say otherwise? See [5] [6] You're source is innacurate so please stop putting the wrong information about the Puget Sound Region. Tboy206 18:20, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Well who knows what Emporis is counting, but the second link is for the CSA, not the MSA, they are different geographic units (for Seattle the MSA is 3 counties while the CSA is 7). Kmusser 16:58, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


Everyone, including the census, recognized Washington-Baltimore as a metro area. why not this chart?

also, the second chart depicts Houston as being 3 times denser than Washington, WTF!?

The Census split Washington and Baltimore into separate MSA's in 2004. Kmusser 20:36, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

2006 Census Estimate Available[edit]

The 2006 Census estimates are now available for counties, meaning that 2006 population estimates can now be added for CSA's and MSA's.--Criticalthinker 05:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The Houston MSA replaced Miami and is now #6. Postoak 06:52, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


The map appears to have Guam (GU) and Northern Mariana Islands (MP) switched. Richard K. Carson 05:13, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Edits Erased[edit]

Someone erased my updates to the list of metro areas yesterday. The page went back to what it was before. Why? I think the Orlando Metro area might be in the top 50 metro areas now. It has 2.6 million people in it's metro area. dpark609 Written 11:11 AM, May 12. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dpark609 (talkcontribs) 18:11, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


It actually seems that San Francisco and San Jose comprise the same metropolitan area, along with Oakland and all the other suburban communities. Metropolitan areas are defined by: distance; how often citizens of a city utilizes businesses and assets of the region; and/or if the area frequently works or functions together as one entity. The distance between San Francisco's and San Jose's downtown areas are only about 47 miles apart, the distance is even shorter if measured from the tip of one city to the tip of the other. This is no different than Seattle and Tacoma, or Irvine in Orange County and downtown Los Angeles. Each of these areas (rightfully so) are established as one metropolitan area. People of San Jose frequently utilize the cultural assets of San Francisco (and vice versa) such as its museums and art galleries, and its nightlife. Local television stations cover the entire region. Many residents of San Jose also commute to work to San Francisco on a daily basis. Professional teams such as the Giants and 49ers represent the region as a whole, as many in San Jose attend these sporting events. BART is working on plans to extend its rapid transit line to San Jose, which means the metro lines will encompass San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, thus meaning San Jose is part of the metropolitan area. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:34, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


How would you calculate the density of each metro area? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Divide the population by the sum of the area of the constituent counties. Unfortunately, this is a rather meaningless calculation since it largely depends on the definition of the metropolitan area. Yours aye, Buaidh (talk) 23:22, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Rephrase on lead[edit]

FYI: In case there are questions ...

I did a little rephrasing on the lead. The previous version seemed to imply that a metropolitan area is some sort of legal administrative division defined by the OMB (it did not say this explicitly but by treating the OMB definitions so formally and exclusively, without clarifying that, it was easy to get that impression). The wording also seemed to imply that the OMB owns the definitions of the metro areas in the sense that all sources exclusively adhere to the OMB definitions as the correct definitions for the metro areas. These things, of course, are all untrue. I rephrased to first describe what a metro area is in general and then move onto the OMB definitions.

--Mcorazao (talk) 23:01, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

BEA economic areas[edit]

I had added in some discussion about the BEA "economic areas" so as to not overemphasize the OMB definitions. Polaron stripped these out saying "BEA economic areas are not metropolitan areas".

Can I ask for a clarification? Why are the OMB definitions more authoritative here than the BEA definitions?

--Mcorazao (talk) 22:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

BEA simply uses the OMB definitions. These areas are also not claimed by any agency to be metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas are what are defined here. --Polaron | Talk 22:45, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
See also this page of statistics for metropolitan areas and this note at the BEA site. The BEA itself uses MSAs when talking about metropolitan areas. --Polaron | Talk 22:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, look, I don't feel like debating this and the BEA definitions are not important enough to argue about. I believe that it is useful for educational purposes to present some of the different pieces of information published by the U.S. gov't which, depending on how one defines "metropolitan area", can be useful in understanding the concept. Nevertheless, you are correct that (so far as I have seen) all of the federal agencies including the BEA refer to the OMB definitions as "metropolitan areas". --Mcorazao (talk) 22:56, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
While BEA economic areas are not defined to be metropolitan areas, I do agree with you that they are a useful concept and should probably have its own article. Maybe we can work on creating one? --Polaron | Talk 23:02, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
My personal opinion is that there is there is not sufficient notability in the BEA economic area definitions to create an article separate from this one. Having said that, there are countless articles with far less notability in Wikipedia ... --Mcorazao (talk) 22:03, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 01:15, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

United States metropolitan areaMetropolitan Statistical Area — This article deals with the specific OMB and Census definition of a Metropolitan Statistical Area and should be retitled as such to avoid confusion. The inconsistent capitalization in the page title looks unprofessional. The Metropolitan Statistical Area article has only ever redirected to this one until I attempted a copy/paste edit and fortunately realized there was a better mechanism. Proctorg76 (talk) 03:50, 30 March 2011 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support renaming. The new name is specific and accurate to the content of the article. The current name is much more vague than the actual content. -- DanielKlotz (talk · contribs) 03:00, 1 April 2011 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • I feel an urge to disambiguate. Are we sure that no entity outside the US uses a term of art that can be fairly translated Metropolitan Statistical Area? —Tamfang (talk) 09:33, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Calculating Commuter Exchanges[edit]

I'm sure this is very simple math, but I can't figure out exactly how commuter rates are calculated. I've gone to the Census website and downloaded the commuter numbers, but can't figure out how to calculate it. Could someone pick two counties and explain what you divide by what and so forther? --Criticalthinker (talk) 13:42, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Statistical area which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 17:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)