Census Bureau

Table 3. MAJOR METROPOLITAN AREAS AS OFFICIALLY DEFINED AND AS DEFINED UNDER CURRENT STANDARDS: 1940-1990

(Population in thousands. Data for 1960, 1970, and 1980 include corrections made after publication of final census reports.)

    METROPOLITAN DEFINITIONS REPORTED IN CENSUS   METROPOLITAN DEFINITIONS USING CURRENT STANDARDS1
Year |
|
|
Number
of
areas
Land area
(square
miles)
Population Change since
previous census2
Percent
of U.S.
total
|
|
|
Number
of
areas
Land area
(square
miles)3
Population Change since
previous census2
Percent
of U.S.
total
Number Percent Number Percent

1940                 11 22,977 33,799 (NA) (NA) 25.6
1950   14 35,170 44,946 7,116 18.8 29.7   14 39,026 45,524 7,369 19.3 30.1
1960   22 56,694 63,851 12,319 23.9 35.6   22 71,948 68,118 13,987 25.8 38.0
1970   31 111,857 83,332 11,998 14.4 41.0   32 144,800 95,103 14,529 18.0 46.8
1980   35 163,752 104,024 6,940 7.1 45.9   35 177,367 107,655 7,707 7.7 47.5
1990   40 187,334 124,776 13,444 12.1 50.2   40 232,030 132,713 14,225 12.0 53.4

1Major metropolitan areas (MMAs; areas of one million or more population) as they would have been defined assuming current MA standards (those adopted in 1990) had been in effect. (Certain minor changes in the standards adopted in 1990 have not yet been fully checked for possible effects on 1940-80 definitions.)
2In constant (end-of-decade) boundaries.
31940-80 based on 1980 land-area measurements for counties.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division,
Population Distribution Branch

Authors: Richard L. Forstall and James D. Fitzsimmons
Last Revised: October 31, 2011 at 10:03:15 PM