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Economic Census


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Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas

The economic census provides data for the following types of statistical areas in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Metropolitan Statistical Areas have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.

Micropolitan Statistical Areas

Micropolitan Statistical Areas have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.

Metropolitan Divisions

Metropolitan Divisions are subdivisions of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (into smaller groupings of counties) which include a single core with a population of 2.5 million or more.

Combined Statistical Areas

Combined Statistical Areas are combinations of adjacent Metropolitan and/or Micropolitan Statistical Areas that retain their own designations as Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Areas within the larger area.

  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines the "employment interchange measure" as "the sum of the percentage of employed residents of the smaller entity who work in the larger entity and the percentage of the employment in the smaller entity that is accounted for by workers who reside in the larger entity."
  • Combinations for adjacent areas with an employment interchange of 25% or more are automatic.
  • Combinations for adjacent areas with an employment interchange of at least 15% but less than 25% are based on local opinion as expressed through the Congressional delegations.

These areas are defined in terms of whole counties (or equivalent entities) under the auspices of the OMB.

"Non-Metro" Areas

For the 2007 Economic Census, the sum of all counties in a state that were not part of a metro area were assigned a unique GEOTYPE code for Non-Metro Area. For the 2012 Economic Census, "Area Outside of Metro Areas" is now treated as a Geographic Component of the State and is assigned GEO_COMP code = "G0".

Boundary Changes

A significant number of Metropolitan, Micropolitan, and Combined Statistical Areas have changed boundaries between 2007 and 2012, and a number of new areas have been identified. For information on these metro area changes, see the MetroNotes.

Note: Data is tabulated for Metropolitan and Micropolitan areas defined by the Office of Management and Budget as of January 1, 2012.

Coding

They are identified by a 3-digit ANSI Combined Statistical Area code (CSA), 5-digit ANSI Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area code (MSA) and 5-digit ANSI Metropolitan Division code (MD), which are sequenced alphabetically within each parent and component Metropolitan area.

Note: Metropolitan Area boundaries can change annually with changes in population and commuting patterns as documented in the American Community Survey, so the Metropolitan Areas published for the latest economic census may be different from those published previously.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Economic Planning and Coordination Division | 1-877-790-1876 | Last Revised: May 29, 2014