United States metropolitan area

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Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) are large metropolitan areas of the United States as defined by the Office of Management and Budget. These areas are urban areas with a lot of people. An earlier version of the MSA was the "Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area" (SMSA). MSAs are used for official purposes.

MSAs are made up of counties and for some county equivalents[1]. In New England, because of the greater importance of towns over counties, similar areas are based on town units. These are called New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs).

MSAs are created around a central urban area —an areawhere there are a lot of people. The counties with the urbanized area are known as the central counties of the MSA. Other nearby counties (known as outlying counties) can be a part of the MSA if these counties have strong social and economic connections to the central counties. Aome areas within these outlying counties may actually be rural areas.

The population estimates for some metro areas are not always agreed upon. In some cases, different sources give numbers of people which differ by millions. The definitions used for the last U.S. Census differed from those for previous censuses. This makes it hard to compare official information from different dates. MSA boundaries do not stretch into Canada or Mexico. This can affect the number of people in several cities. For example, Detroit, Buffalo, El Paso and San Diego are often much larger than their MSA figures.

As of June 2003, there is now an additional classification, “Metropolitan Division.” The term metropolitan division is used for a county or group of counties that are a distinct employment area within a metropolitan statistical area that has at least 2.5 million people. A metropolitan division is a part of a larger metropolitan statistical area but it is often a distinct social, economic, and cultural area within the larger region.

Top 25[change | change source]

The following is a list of the 25 most populated metropolitan statistical areas and metropolitan divisions in the United States, according to the July 1, 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates:[2]

Rank Metropolitan Area Metropolitan Divisions State(s) Population
1 New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island   NYNJPA 18,815,988
  Edison NJ 2,319,704
  Nassau–Suffolk NY 2,759,762
  NewarkUnion NJ-PA 2,128,679
  New YorkWhite PlainsWayne NY-NJ 11,607,843
2 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana   CA 12,875,587
  Los AngelesLong BeachGlendale 9,878,554
  Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine 2,997,033
3 Chicago–Naperville–Joliet   ILINWI 9,524,673
  ChicagoNapervilleJoliet IL 7,952,540
  Gary IN 698,971
  Lake CountyKenosha County IL–WI 873,162
4 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington   TX 6,145,037
  DallasPlanoIrving 4,111,529
  Fort WorthArlington 2,033,508
5 Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington PA–NJ–DEMD 5,827,962
  Camden NJ 1,246,339
  Philadelphia PA 3,887,694
  Wilmington DE–MD–NJ 693,929
6 Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown   TX 5,628,101
7 Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach   FL 5,413,212
  Fort LauderdalePompano BeachDeerfield Beach 1,759,591
  MiamiMiami BeachKendall 2,387,170
  West Palm BeachBoca RatonBoynton Beach 1,266,451
8 Washington–Arlington–Alexandria   DCVA–MD–WV 5,306,565
  Bethesda-GaithersburgFrederick MD 1,155,518
  WashingtonArlingtonAlexandria DC–MD–VA–WV 4,151,047
9 Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta   GA 5,278,904
10 Boston–Cambridge–Quincy   MANH 4,482,857
  BostonQuincy MA 1,858,216
  CambridgeNewtonFramingham 1,473,416
  Peabody 733,101
  Rockingham CountyStrafford County NH 418,124
11 Detroit–Warren–Livonia   MI 4,467,592
  DetroitLivoniaDearborn 1,985,101
  WarrenTroyFarmington Hills 2,482,491
12 San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont   CA 4,203,898
  OaklandFremontHayward 2,483,842
  San FranciscoSan MateoRedwood City 1,720,056
13 Phoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale   AZ 4,179,427
14 Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue   WA 4,109,347
  SeattleBellevueEverett 2,536,182
  Tacoma 773,165
15 Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario   CA 4,081,371
16 Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington   MN–WI 3,208,212
17 San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos[3]   CA 2,974,859
18 St. Louis   MOIL 2,803,707
19 Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater   FL 2,723,949
20 Baltimore–Towson   MD 2,668,056
21 Charlotte[4]   NC 2,566,399
22 Denver–Aurora   CO 2,464,866
23 Pittsburgh   PA–WV 2,355,712
24 Portland–Vancouver–Beaverton   OR–WA 2,175,113
25 Cincinnati–Middletown   OH-KY-IN 2,133,678
26 Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor   OH 2,096,471
For all U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas, see the Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
For a list including combined metropolitan areas, see the Table of United States primary census statistical areas.


Notes[change | change source]

  1. Census Geographic Glossary, U.S. Census Bureau
  2. http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metro_general/2007/CBSA-EST2007-01.csv
  3. This population is only for the United States side. The area is also included together with the city of Tijuana in Mexico in the bi-national conurbation known as the San Diego-Tijuana Metropolitan Area which together have 4,945,410 people.
  4. http://www.charlottechamber.com/index.php?src=gendocs&refno=1292&category=Demo_ecoProfile&search=population