Talk:Statistical area

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Requested move[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. 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 proposal was Moved all articles on User:Buaidh's list. Mdann52 (talk) 12:44, 26 September 2012 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

– These moves will create uniform naming across related articles in accord with WP:PRECISION.  Buaidh  15:06, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Finally, I don't know what to do about the article Great Lakes census statistical areas, which I found while poking around just now. Is this a notable topic? --Orlady (talk) 19:01, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I think some of the confusion is due to the fact that the OMB changed its terms. IIRC, prior to the 2000 Census, metropolitan areas were defined as MSAs (standalone metro areas) or CMSAs (Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas) that were made up of PMSAs (Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas). Here's a 1999 list. In other words, there used to be a classification that included the word "primary", but that's no longer the case.
That said, the List of United States primary statistical areas does serve a purpose by providing is a way for readers to compare metro areas that are in CSAs with those that aren't. The comparison can't be made in the list of MSAs or the list of CSAs. However, there's a lot of discussion on that list's talk page about the validity of making the comparison. Several years ago, User:Polaron made some strong arguments in favor of deletion, including this guidance (see p. 10) from the OMB: "Because Combined Statistical Areas represent groupings of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (in any combination), they should not be ranked or compared with individual Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas."
At the state level, I prefer names like Orlady suggested, perhaps something like List of Core Based Statistical Areas in Arizona (a state which has no CSAs) and List of Core Based and Combined Statistical Areas in Rhode Island (which does). It's a bit of a mouthful, but I think it avoids the problem of implying that the areas are creations of the individual states. - Eureka Lott 04:27, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The Great Lakes census statistical areas is a list of Primary Statistical Areas bordering the Great Lakes. The concept of a Primary Statistical Area has been around for more than a decade. The Great Lakes census statistical areas article uses the term "Combined Statistical Areas, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (independent of the Combined Statistical Areas), and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (independent of the Combined Statistical Areas)" for the Primary Statistical Areas. The term "Primary Statistical Area" has acquired a working acceptance, at least on Wikipedia. The term generates 9,120 Google references, most on Wikipedia and mirrors, but also many elsewhere.
The OMB is scheduled to redefine the Statistical Areas next year. If we use names like the List of Core Based Statistical Areas in Arizona, and the OMB adds a Combined Statistical Area to the state, then the article name and all links need to be changed. I prefer more generic names such as the requested Arizona statistical areas. These articles can include state-designated statistical areas as well as OMB defined areas. Alternatively, we could limit the articles to just OMB defined areas with List of OMB statistical areas in Arizona or List of US statistical areas in Arizona.
I've added tables for Puerto Rico to the List of United States primary statistical areas, the List of United States combined statistical areas, List of United States core based statistical areas, the List of United States metropolitan statistical areas, and the List of United States micropolitan statistical areas.
Please see the new Statistical area#Distribution table.
I've created nearly all of the tables for the OMB areas over the past six years. I've received many suggestions for name changes. I suggest we move with due caution. Yours aye,  Buaidh  02:40, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – in this proposal for mass over-capitalization, the concepts of capitals and case were not even mentioned. Perhaps it should be retracted, and formulate a better plan after consulting MOS:CAPS. Dicklyon (talk) 08:19, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Please clarify your concerns. It is not helpful to suggest that the other participants in this discussion are unfamiliar with MOS:CAPS. Are you saying that terms like Metropolitan Statistical Area are not proper nouns? --Orlady (talk) 20:19, 19 August 2012 (UTC) PS - Further to my first comment on this page, please note that discussion of this requested move began at User talk:Buaidh#"United States" statistical area article titles. Not all arguments on that page have been repeated here. --Orlady (talk) 20:23, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The articles are US-centric, and the proposed words are too generic. Either the content needs to be globalized, or "United States" needs to stay in the titles. There is also the small capitalisation problem, as per Dicklyon. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 15:52, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - Apparently the purpose of the change has not been made sufficiently clear (I don't really want to copy the entire discussion from User talk:Buaidh#"United States" statistical area article titles, but maybe I need to do so). Some of these articles existed for a long time with names like combined statistical area, which was problematic because it deals with a very limited topic, but there are lots of possible types of "statistical areas" that could be combined, thus becoming "combined statistical areas". Buaidh recently moved these pages, without discussion, to names like United States combined statistical area. Those changes still failed to communicate that the scope actually is a very specific concept defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, best described (in the case of the example) by the proper noun "Combined Statistical Area". The proposed capitalization change is intended to indicate that the concepts covered in these articles are official names (proper nouns) and not generic terms. Most of the current article titles, such as "United States combined statistical area", were invented here at Wikipedia, largely for purposes of anticipatory disambiguation. That's not consistent with WP:Article titles. If it turns out that there is an need to disambiguate one of these titles, the proper way to do that would be with titles such as Combined Statistical Area (United States). --Orlady (talk) 18:15, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. That make sense, as does your above !vote. I'll need to read again. I think disambiguation is needed as the terms sound generic, even if capitalised. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:50, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I still think that the "United States" disambiguation, however done, needs to stay. Without it, it is too easy to misread the titles as generic terms. Capitalisation is not enough. Wikipedia's title capitalisation style may not be familiar to all readers. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:23, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
The kind of anticipatory/explanatory disambiguation that SmokeyJoe proposes is inconsistent with WP:Article titles and WP:Disambiguation. --Orlady (talk) 16:37, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Where does the policy and guideline say it is OK to confuse international readers? The titles are using common word reasonably expected by a non-expert to have technical meaning. But they do not, and instead the articles are a specialist coverage relevant to only one country. Unless the coverage is globalised, and I don't see how, then the titles should indicate that the content has no relevance outside this one country. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:17, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
By convention, Wikipedia does not disambiguate titles for terms that are unique to a particular country. For examples of titles that may appear to have global meaning, but in fact are unique to one country and are not disambiguated, see Listed building, Free Appropriate Public Education, and Persons of National Historic Significance. --Orlady (talk) 01:33, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, for whatever it's worth, I dissent from the consensus for that convention. I think all these articles should specify their unique applicabilities in their titles. I prefer more precision in titles because the information becomes available by hovering the cursor over the bluelink. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:23, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Partial support. I support Orlady's points 1 and 2 (here). Using the official terms certainly is preferable to the current Wikipedia-coined names, and a search indicates that all of our current articles using the title "statistical area" are US-based. Disambiguation should of course be considered if there's a concrete need to do so (ie. another concrete article for which the reader could be looking with the same search term). Orlady's other suggestions seem reasonable at first sight as well, although it would probably make most sense to consider them separately to avoid complicating this RM any further. It's already confusing as it is. Jafeluv (talk) 09:23, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't much care what system we use for naming these articles as long as we maintain consistency. As an alternative, we could just make the following three moves:
Yours aye,  Buaidh  15:45, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Um... I don't support any of those three moves, as the new names "ain't right" (IMO). The proposed names may (or may not) be marginally better than the current names, but the possible marginal improvement doesn't justify the proposed renames. I like Jafeluv's suggestion of doing the 8 renames that s/he identifies as "Orlady's points 1 and 2", then proceeding with more focused discussions of the remaining topics. --Orlady (talk) 16:34, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem with your first two suggestions. I can strike the other five move requests (including the request for this article) if we get a consensus. To reiterate, these are:
We may never get a consensus on the remaining five articles, though they do need to be moved somewhere. Yours aye,  Buaidh  20:59, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment: The eight articles listed above are the highest priority to rename because they seem to have higher visibility than most of the other articles in this collection (that's a judgment based on an admittedly small sample of page-view histories -- YMMV). Note, however, that the problem with the "remaining" articles is not limited to the five you named above. There are 50 articles with names in the form "Alabama statistical areas" that are also problematically named and should be dealt with, plus that Great Lakes census statistical areas article I found along the way. --Orlady (talk) 01:33, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, please. Let's rename this subset. We can deal with the more complicated titles separately. - Eureka Lott 23:27, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. 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.

Need for an article on PMSA[edit]

Maybe I missed it, but I don't see an article or discussion addressing the term, "Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA)" The term appears numerous times in the wikipedia article below on the NY Metropolitan area, but it not defined in that or other Wikipedia articles.

see: and

Techguy95 (talk) 23:53, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

The term is no longer used by the Office of Management of Budget. See this 2004 bulletin for more information.

Federal agencies that use the statistical area definitions for nonstatistical program purposes should note that the 2000 standards changed the terminology used for classifying the areas. Under the 1980 and 1990 standards there were two types of areas: (1) Metropolitan Statistical Areas and (2) Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas that consisted of Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The terms "Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area" and "Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area" are now obsolete.

- Eureka Lott 00:43, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Actually, Wikipedia still has articles about PMSAs, specifically United States primary statistical area and List of United States primary statistical areas. The above discussion didn't resolve the question of name and scope for those articles. If the term appears in New York metropolitan area, I guess that article needs work. --Orlady (talk) 03:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I read the New York metro article. It does discuss PMSAs -- as a construct that was used in the past. IMO, the article provides adequate information on the topic. I don't think a hyperlinkable article on PMSAs is needed, but one could be written if someone is motivated to do so. --Orlady (talk) 03:51, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the United States primary statistical area concept is entirely a Wikipedia construct (PSA vs PMSA). See Talk:List of United States primary statistical areas for some old discussion. I don't know if the article should exist. - Eureka Lott 04:17, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I also think that article is problematic, as is the associated list (at least the title of that list). The best resolution might be to create a general article about U.S. concepts and definitions of statistical units for metropolitan centers (or, more broadly, concentrations of population) -- then, not every term would seem to need its own stand-alone article. That would also resolve the issue of "statistical area". --Orlady (talk) 13:10, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Does the statistical area article meet that description, or do you have something else in mind? - Eureka Lott 14:22, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I'm thinking of something that departs entirely from the dictionary-style focus of pretty much all of the current articles. Ideally, it would outline the evolution of the concept of a "metropolitan area" in the United States context (with links to Metropolitan area) and describe/explain/define the various statistical constructs and terminology that the U.S. government has used over the decades. For the U.S. government definitions, the Census geography manual for the 1990 Census traces the concept within the Census Bureau from 1950 to 1990. The New York metropolitan area article traces a lot of history, with specific reference to the NY metro area. I think the various OMB notices regarding changes for 2000 and 2010 are all still findable online. I think the more generic background story about the idea of a "metropolitan area" (and its son, the megalopolitan area) that would have to come from books and papers in the fields of urban planning and human geography. Does that make sense to you? --Orlady (talk) 00:54, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

FYI on related CFD discussion of category names for metro areas[edit]

Related to the earlier RM discussion on this page is an ongoing discussion at WP:CFD regarding the names of categories for certain US metropolitan areas. See Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2013 March 4#Metropolitan areas in the United States. --Orlady (talk) 15:54, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. 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 proposal was no consensus, discussion having been stale for almost two weeks now. A definite proposed alternative may help focus future discussion. --BDD (talk) 17:38, 26 April 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

Statistical area → ? – The term "statistical area" is a generic one referring to any kind of geographic unit used for collection or reporting of some sort of statistic (i.e. data). Contrary to its use in this article, it is not a specific term for metropolitan areas, and it is not used in that narrow fashion by the U.S. Census Bureau. The current article should be significantly edited and moved to a new title to be determined more consistent with its scope, and a new short article about "statistical areas" in general should be created at this page. --Relisted. Steel1943 (talk) 17:26, 13 April 2013 (UTC) Orlady (talk) 03:40, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

  • I propose a move to Metropolitan and micropolitan areas in the United States. As I see it, this article (and other articles such as "Alabama statistical areas") is intended to present an overview of the different "metropolitan" and "micropolitan" statistical area concepts used in the United States. The current title is an artifact of having conceptualized the article as a dictionary definition, rather than as an article about a set of related concepts. I've looked for another term that would encompass both "metropolitan area" and the micropolitan concept, but could not find one, and I decided it doesn't hurt to put them into the title. --Orlady (talk) 04:28, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

But the scope includes all the OMB-defined statistical area types, not just MSAs and µSAs. The article seems to be about the OMB's statistical areas, not about metropolitan areas and such more generically. It's not clear what new scope you envision, or how to get there, or whether that would be a completely different article. And in looking it over, I fixed a bunch of over-capitalization. Just because the OMB capitalizes these category names doesn't mean they are proper names, and other sources, such as the US census, suggest not. Dicklyon (talk) 05:05, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

As I see it, metropolitan statistical areas, standard metropolitan areas, standard metropolitan statistical areas, consolidated metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, primary metropolitan statistical areas, New England City and Town Areas, and combined statistical areas (i.e., the various different terms that the government has used over the last several decades; I probably have left a couple out) are all fundamentally "metropolitan areas". That is, they are regions that contain one or more core areas of substantial population, together with adjacent communities that have a high degree of economic and social integration with the core(s). The Census Bureau uses a variety of other types of statistical area units, such as census tracts, that are not related to the concept of a metropolitan area (nor a micropolitan area) and are not covered in this article.
You make a good point when you say that the article is not about the areas themselves, but about the definitions and designations. (This has much to with why I didn't put a particular proposed new name in the RM request.) How about Metropolitan and micropolitan area designations in the United States or Metropolitan and micropolitan area classifications in the United States? --Orlady (talk) 19:55, 27 March 2013 (UTC) Regardless, articles like Alabama statistical areas could be renamed to "Alabama metropolitan and micropolitan areas", because those articles are about the actual areas. --Orlady (talk) 20:07, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. Oh, dear. The page was moved again a little while ago, without reference to this discussion. The new name of Statistical area (United States) was justified in the edit summary with the statement "This article refers to U.S. use of the term". The move doesn't help anything. As a speaker of U.S. English, I am very sure that the term 'statistical area" does not equate to the usage in this article. Further, while the Census Bureau does use that two-word noun in the context of discussions of MSA, CSA, micro areas, etc. (for example, at this page), they also use the term to refer to other types of geographically-delineated census statistical units, for example at this page. Non-Census uses of the term in the U.S. include the Baltimore and Alaska examples I cited earlier on this page. Please, let's discuss naming of this article, instead of silently moving it around. --Orlady (talk) 20:48, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Some broader thoughts: I've been trying to keep the concept of a metropolitan area separate from the concept of a defined statistical area. It seems to me that a metropolitan area is a rather amorphous and highly intuitive concept. There are usually many different definitions for any given metropolitan area. The main concept is that of a relatively high density population area surrounding a principal city or set of communities.
On the other hand, a defined statistical area, such as the 1098 statistical areas defined by the OMB for the United States and Puerto Rico, is a concept used primarily for dealing with statistical data rather than for defining the region of an extended community. The OMB has embraced statistical areas defined by counties and county equivalents to simplify the collection of data. To further complicate the notion of a defined statistical area, the OMB has defined both a Core Based Statistical Area and a Combined Statistical Area for the principal cities of 169 metropolitan areas, most commonly the most populous areas, but not consistently. All of these OMB defined statistical areas have titles ending in "Statistical Area", so it seems pretty logical to collectively name them accordingly, whether it be "Statistical area (United States)", "OMB statistical area", "OMB defined statistical area", or whatever.
Please see the List of metropolitan areas of the United States which links both metropolitan areas and statistical areas. Yours aye,  Buaidh  01:44, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, most of the current names for these units (exceptions include "New England City and Town Area" and "Metropolitan Division") contain the words "statistical area", but that doesn't necessarily make "statistical area" an appropriate general descriptor for them. In fact, the census uses, and in many instances defines, a number of additional types of "statistical areas", including but not limited to census tracts, municipalities,census-designated places, census county divisions, counties and states. What the "areas" discussed in this article have in common is not their use for statistical purposes, but rather the fact that they all are definitions/delineations/descriptions of regions of concentration of population and economic activity that are associated with at least one core city and extend beyond the boundaries of that city. That is, they are all ways of conceptualizing and defining metropolitan areas for statistical purposes. This is discussed in Census Bureau and OMB documents and web pages such as [1] and [2] and [3]. Yes, the existence of both core-based areas (MSAs and micropolitan statistical areas) and combined statistical areas adds complexity, as does the existence of "metropolitan divisions" within the nation's largest metropolitan statistical areas, but that complexity exists because in reality, the geographies of metropolitan areas are complex. The reality is that many American cities are the centers of an economically integrated multi-city region, but in turn are in the region of influence of a much larger city -- much like a planet can be at the center of a system with several moons, but that planet is in turn part of the solar system.
Historically, the Census and OMB have used other terminology that didn't always include the words "statistical area". It appears to me that they emphasize those words now in order to underline their position that these areas shouldn't be used for other governmental purposes, but other federal agencies tend to use them anyway. The effort to convince other agencies not to use these areas for nonstatistical purposes should not dictate the naming of articles in Wikipedia; these "areas" are about metropolitan aggregations, not statistics, and the Wikipedia articles about them should present them as metropolitan areas, not as statistical constructs. --Orlady (talk) 03:42, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Side note: Although the term "core based statistical area" is used in the OMB's 2010 publication of standards for these areas, it doesn't appear anywhere in the February 28, 2013, announcement of the new delineations. Instead, the OMB consistently refers to these as "metropolitan" and "micropolitan statistical areas". That makes sense, as it is possible to explain these areas without resorting to the clumsy "core based statistical area" terminology. If OMB can simplify its explanation of the topic in an official government document, perhaps Wikipedia can manage to emulate its example in encyclopedia articles (which are completely unofficial). --Orlady (talk) 15:54, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I think the move was helpful. "Statistical area" sounds like something with generic meaning. Apparently it doesn't, but that's beside the point. The usage, as defined by the discussion article, sounds like an artificial definition by US government. I think Statistical_area_(United_States) is a fine title. This is not to say that I support bold page moving during or after page move discussions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 02:36, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
That "bold" move was made without realizing that this discussion was in progress.  Buaidh  02:59, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Re to SmokeyJoe: Yes, the article does make it sound like "statistical area" is an artificial definition by the US Government. That's a problem, because "statistical area" is not in fact a term defined or used by the government in the manner described in the article. The article has created and given an artificial definition to a Wikipedia neologism, which is something that Wikipedia should not do. --Orlady (talk) 03:42, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I've made extensive edits to the article. Changes include removing many of the statements that suggest that "statistical area" is a defined term, as well as removing uses of terms that are no longer officially defined. I intend to include these later in a historical section. --Orlady (talk) 05:45, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
OMB Bulletin No. 13-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas uses the stand-alone term "statistical area" repeatedly. The OMB term "statistical area" has been used for decades.
The term "primary statistical area" is merely a substitute for the rather unwieldy phrase "statistical area that is not a component of a more extensive Combined Statistical Area as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget." Likewise, the term "most extensive statistical area" is a shortened form of the phrase "most extensive statistical area with a common principal city as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget." None of these terms is a neologism.  Buaidh  05:14, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
The cited use of "statistical area" without prefatory modifying words in government documents is always (AFAICT, anyway) in the context of documents that are focused on the topic of metropolitan and micropolitan area delineations. In that context it is clear what the paired words refer to. It would be a mistake to treat that shorthand usage as an indication that the OMB or any other government agency has formally defined "statistical area" as referring exclusively to this type of statistical area. For comparison, note that in documents about these areas, the Census Bureau sometimes treats "metropolitan area" or "metro area" as shorthand for "Metropolitan Statistical Area" and "micro area" as shorthand for "Micropolitan Statistical Area" (e.g., this press release and this report. Just as it would be a mistake to assume that this usage indicates that the government has formally defined the terms "metro area" and "micro area", it's a mistake to assume that shorthand uses of "statistical area" have profound significance.
I recall from past discussions that the term "primary metropolitan statistical area" may have been defined by the government in earlier decades, but it is no longer used (nor defined) by the federal government. If my recollection is correct, it's not a Wikipedia neologism, but its current use in Wikipedia (i.e., presenting tables of official government data for "primary statistical areas") looks like form of original research, which is contrary to policy. --Orlady (talk) 15:54, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
"Primary statistical area" as is currently used in Wikipedia is a neologism. You may be confusing the older term "primary metropolitan statistical area (PMSA)" for it which is not the same. --Polaron | Talk 00:39, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
You're right. Thanks for straightening out my thinking. --Orlady (talk) 02:13, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't see how a term defined by a government agency or a standards organization is any less valid or artificial than a definition concocted by some ad hoc committee of self-appointed experts.  Buaidh  05:26, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
The fact that a pair of words is used together frequently in official documents does not make that pair of words an official term, nor does it provide a definition of that "term". My point is that the subject matter of this article is the U.S. government's definitions and delineations of metropolitan aggregations (including "micropolitan" versions) in the United States. The article is not about statistical concepts in geography as used in the United States, the array of geographical reporting units employed by the U.S. Census, nor any of a number of other topics that its title might imply. The article title should give a meaningful indication of its topic, which topic relates to metropolitan areas. --Orlady (talk) 05:45, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Neither the concept of a "statistical area that is not a component of a more extensive Combined Statistical Area" nor that of "most extensive statistical area with a common principal city" is being used by the U.S. Census Bureau or OMB. It is even specifically mentioned not to compare CBSAs to CSAs and Wikipedia should not be doing so. The term "primary statistical area" is certainly a neologism because we have not cited anything independent of Wikipedia that indicates that specific term is in widespread use. --Polaron | Talk 13:16, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Statistical areas were originally defined by the United States Census Bureau. They have had a variety of names over the years. We should add some information about the origins and history of these definitions to the article. The responsibility for defining these areas was transferred to the OMB to provide standard reporting definitions for all federal agencies and most state and local agencies. This at least gives them some legitimacy within the United States and Puerto Rico. The statistical areas are merely one (or two) of the many definitions for each metropolitan area. Without statistical areas, the metropolitan areas of the United States and Puerto Rico are without statistical data (for better or worse.)  Buaidh  05:58, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
So what do we call these "Office of Management and Budget defined statistical areas for the metropolitan and micropolitan areas of the United States and Puerto Rico"? "OMB defined metropolitan areas"?  Buaidh  11:52, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I suggested three titles earlier in this discussion: Metropolitan and micropolitan areas in the United States, Metropolitan and micropolitan area designations in the United States, and Metropolitan and micropolitan area classifications in the United States. Many other permutations are possible. IMO, "OMB" should not be in the title because (1) the abbreviation is not universally recognized, (2) many Americans who know about metro areas don't know that OMB is the agency that defines them, (3) OMB doesn't, in fact, work alone on this because the demographic expertise still comes from the Census Bureau, and, (4) as Buaidh and I agree, the article ought to address the origins and evolution of the concepts/definitions, and OMB hasn't been the entity in charge of those definitions for most of that history. On the other hand, my suggestions include "micropolitan" in the title because I don't think that much of anyone would recognize principal cities of just 10,000 people as "metropolitan" places. It would be great to find a way to encompass the "micropolitan" concept in the title without making it appear co-equal with "metropolitan"... --Orlady (talk) 12:52, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
I think we need a name that is (1) short and (2) not easily confused with the generic concept of a metropolitan area.  Buaidh  13:35, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
The OMB does not define metropolitan areas! The OMB defines statistical areas for U.S. metropolitan and micropolitan areas. That's why they are called Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas. If the OMB defined metropolitan areas, there would not be two defined statistical areas for most of the most populous U.S. metropolitan areas. If you walk the perimeter of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area, you would have no idea there was a metropolitan area anywhere near.  Buaidh  14:34, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
It's certainly true that the OMB (which in point of fact doesn't do these things unilaterally, but rather leads an interagency committee that decides these things) doesn't define metropolitan areas. (To the extent that metro areas are "defined", they are defined not by government, but by the combined effects of a lot of individual human actions and decisions over time.) What the federal government (led by OMB) does is define approximate representations of these areas for statistical purposes. The fact that the the Census Bureau sometimes treats "metropolitan area" or "metro area" as shorthand for "Metropolitan Statistical Area" and "micro area" as shorthand for "Micropolitan Statistical Area" (see ) and that numerous government documents and web pages about these definitions and concepts use those kinds of words in the titles (see [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14]) does indicate that the government thinks of these in terms of those concepts -- and not as some sort of bloodless "statistical area". I acknowledge that there exist government documents about these areas and concepts that use "statistical area" in the title without also using a term like "metropolitan" (see [15]), but they are rare. --Orlady (talk) 16:34, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Further to the above, I find that this Census Bureau page refers to the areas that OMB defines as "official metropolitan areas". I don't endorse the notion of using "official metropolitan area" in a Wikipedia article, much less a title of an article, but I do find that usage noteworthy in connection with discussions of an appropriate title. --Orlady (talk) 18:04, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
So, why don't we just call these "U.S. statistical areas"?  Buaidh  19:11, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Um, because (1) this isn't an official -- or even widely recognized -- term for the entities the article discusses and (2) there are myriad other types of "statistical areas" in use in the United States, including (but not limited to) census tracts and other census geographic units, labor market areas (link is to a new article that I created a few minutes ago after discovering that the title redirected to metropolitan area) that in the U.S. include "metros and micros" and other areas defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, community statistical areas defined in Baltimore for health-related purposes, fisheries statistical areas defined in Alaska, and any other geographic data-collection and reporting units used in the myriad Statistical Programs of the United States Government or by nonfederal researchers. --Orlady (talk) 20:49, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
These entities are certainly designed to represent metropolitan areas. They came out of the "Metropolitan Areas Standards Review Committee". We should just use United States metropolitan area (currently a redirect) to combined all concepts related to this into one article. We currently have too many articles (core based statistical area, metropolitan statistical area, micropolitan statistical area, combined statistical area, primary statistical area, statistical area) that could all be reasonably combined into one article that discusses metropolitan area standards as a whole for the United States. The title need not convey the complexities of the topic. That is for the article body to do. I would go for a simple title like "United States metropolitan area". We can easily explain the statistical nature of these entities in addition to the concept of the metropolitan area as a functional urban region in one comprehensive article. As it is currently, we have a bunch of very similar definitions in many different articles. They are all closely related and should be combined. --Polaron | Talk 00:39, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
How would you propose we label the column headings of the two tables in the List of metropolitan areas of the United States?  Buaidh  14:48, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
That's not a subject for this article-title discussion. Let's try to focus. --Orlady (talk) 15:54, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
The name of this article has a cascading effect on the hundreds of articles that deal with U.S. statistical areas, metropolitan and micropolitan areas, cities and counties.  Buaidh  18:56, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
That's not a valid reason to continue using a bad title. --Orlady (talk) 20:49, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
We've got to quit meeting like this.  Buaidh  19:24, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Here's a link to an old, short discussion [16] that is somewhat relevant. There is indeed concern from some people that metropolitan statistical areas are not metropolitan areas, which I have tried to address. --Polaron | Talk 05:13, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

My personal preferences for the name of this article are as follows:
  1. Statistical area (United States)
  2. U.S. statistical area
  3. United States statistical area
As I think this discussion has made very clear, the connection between these OMB defined statistical areas and the metropolitan and micropolitan areas of the United States and Puerto Rico is sufficiently complicated that it needs to be explained in detail in the article itself rather than reflected in an article title modification. Your aye,  Buaidh  15:43, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Since the title will necessarily be descriptive, not a name, it should have enough precision to define the topic, rather than abusing an overly-broad description. So yes I endorse including United States in the title, though I think I'd put United States statistical area first. Dicklyon (talk) 18:42, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. 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.

Another bad page move[edit]

Today's rename was worse than the bold mid discussion move it reverted. Both titles are bad, as explained above, but this one is worse. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:46, 13 April 2013 (UTC)