June 6, 2003
OMB BULLETIN NO. 03-04
TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
||Revised Definitions of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, New Definitions
of Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Combined Statistical Areas,
and Guidance on Uses of the Statistical Definitions of These Areas
List 1 is an alphabetical list by title of 935 Metropolitan Statistical
Areas and Micropolitan Statistical Areas.
- Purpose: This bulletin establishes revised definitions
for the Nation's Metropolitan Statistical Areas and recognizes 49 new
Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The bulletin also designates Metropolitan
Divisions in those Metropolitan Statistical Areas that have a single
core with a population of at least 2.5 million. In addition, the bulletin
establishes definitions for two new sets of statistical areas: Micropolitan
Statistical Areas and Combined Statistical Areas. New England City and
Town Areas also are defined.
The definitions of the statistical areas in the attached eight lists
take effect immediately. The definitions reflect the Standards for Defining
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas that the Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) published on December 27, 2000, in the Federal Register
(65 FR 82228 - 82238), and the application of those standards to Census
2000 population and journey-to-work data. This bulletin also provides
guidance on the use of the definitions of these statistical areas.
- Background: Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3504(e)(3) and
31 U.S.C. 1104(d) and Executive Order No. 10253 (June 11, 1951), the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines Metropolitan Statistical
Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, Combined Statistical Areas, and
New England City and Town Areas for use in Federal statistical activities.
The attached lists represent the product of OMB’s once-a-decade
comprehensive review of statistical area standards and definitions.
OMB issues periodic updates of the areas between decennial censuses
based on Census Bureau data.
- Update of Statistical Areas: This bulletin provides
the definitions of all Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Metropolitan
Divisions, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, Combined Statistical Areas,
and New England City and Town Areas in the United States and Puerto
Rico based on the standards published on December 27, 2000, in the Federal
Register (65 FR 82228 - 82238) and Census 2000 data. The attachment
to this bulletin provides the following lists of statistical areas that
are recognized under the standards:
List 2 provides titles, definitions, principal cities, and Metropolitan
Divisions for 370 Metropolitan Statistical Areas. There are 49 new Metropolitan
Statistical Areas that are identified in the list. There are 11 Metropolitan
Statistical Areas that have a total of 29 Metropolitan Divisions.
List 3 presents the titles, definitions, and principal cities for
565 Micropolitan Statistical Areas.
List 4 identifies 116 Combined Statistical Areas and their 314 component
Metropolitan and/or Micropolitan Statistical Areas.
List 5 identifies in each state the Metropolitan Statistical Areas,
Metropolitan Divisions, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined
List 6 provides titles, definitions, principal cities, and New England
City and Town Area Divisions for 42 New England City and Town Areas.
List 7 provides titles and definitions for 9 Combined New England
City and Town Areas and their 25 component New England City and Town
List 8 identifies in each state the New England City and Town Areas,
the New England City and Town Area Divisions, and the Combined New England
City and Town Areas.
- Uses of Statistical Area Definitions:
All agencies that conduct statistical activities to collect and publish
data for Metropolitan, Micropolitan, Combined Statistical Areas, and
New England City and Town Areas should use the most recent definitions
of these areas established by OMB.
OMB establishes and maintains the definitions of Metropolitan and Micropolitan
Statistical Areas, Combined Statistical Areas, and New England City
and Town Areas solely for statistical purposes. This classification
is intended to provide nationally consistent definitions for collecting,
tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics for a set of geographic
areas. The Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards
do not equate to an urban-rural classification; many counties included
in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and many other counties,
contain both urban and rural territory and populations.
In periodically reviewing and revising the definitions of these areas,
OMB does not take into account or attempt to anticipate any nonstatistical
uses that may be made of the definitions, nor will OMB modify the definitions
to meet the requirements of any nonstatistical program. Thus, OMB cautions
that Metropolitan Statistical Area and Micropolitan Statistical Area
definitions should not be used to develop and implement Federal, state,
and local nonstatistical programs and policies without full consideration
of the effects of using these definitions for such purposes. These areas
should not serve as a general-purpose geographic framework for nonstatistical
activities, and they may or may not be suitable for use in program funding
OMB recognizes that some legislation specifies the use of Metropolitan
Statistical Areas for program purposes, including the allocation of
Federal funds, and will continue to work with the Congress to clarify
the foundations of these definitions and the resultant, often unintended
consequences of their use for nonstatistical purposes. In cases where
there is no statutory requirement and an agency elects to use the Metropolitan,
Micropolitan, or Combined Statistical Area definitions in nonstatistical
programs, it is the sponsoring agency's responsibility to ensure that
the definitions are appropriate for such use. When an agency is publishing
for comment a proposed regulation that would use the definitions for
a nonstatistical purpose, the agency should seek public comment on the
An agency using the statistical definitions in a nonstatistical program
may modify the definitions, but only for the purposes of that program.
In such cases, any modifications should be clearly identified as deviations
from the OMB statistical area definitions in order to avoid confusion
with OMB’s official definitions of Metropolitan, Micropolitan,
and Combined Statistical Areas.
- Lists of Metropolitan, Micropolitan, and Combined
Statistical Areas and New England City and Town Area Definitions: This
bulletin and its attachment that provides the eight lists of statistical
areas are available electronically from the OMB web site at /OMB
-- go to “Bulletins” or “Statistical Programs and
Standards.” The 2000 Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan
Statistical Areas are also available at http:/www./whitehouse.gov/OMB
-- go to “Statistical Programs and Standards.” (Information
on historical definitions of Metropolitan Statistical Areas is available
from the Census Bureau’s web site at: http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metroarea.html.)
- Inquiries: Inquiries concerning the Metropolitan
and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards and the statistical uses
of their definitions should be directed to Suzann Evinger (202-395-3093).
Inquiries about uses of the statistical area definitions in program
administration or regulation should be directed to the appropriate agency.
Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
Attachment (141 pages, 659 kb)
Sheet for the Lists of Areas in the Attachment to OMB Bulletin 03-04