[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 163 (Tuesday, August 22, 2000)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51060-51077]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-20951]



[[Page 51059]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Part II





Office of Management and Budget





-----------------------------------------------------------------------



Final Report and Recommendations From the Metropolitan Area Standards 
Review Committee to the Office of Management and Budget Concerning 
Changes to the Standards for Defining Metropolitan Areas; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 65, No. 163 / Tuesday, August 22, 2000 / 
Notices

[[Page 51060]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET


Final Report and Recommendations From the Metropolitan Area 
Standards Review Committee to the Office of Management and Budget 
Concerning Changes to the Standards for Defining Metropolitan Areas

AGENCY: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

ACTION: Notice and request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: OMB requests comment on the final recommendations it has 
received from the Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee for 
changes to OMB's metropolitan area standards. The committee's 
recommendations, which are published in their entirety in the appendix 
to this Notice, reflect the comprehensive review of the metropolitan 
area concept and the current standards that began in the early 1990s. 
These recommendations also reflect consideration of comments received 
in response to the committee's initial recommendations as published in 
the October 20, 1999 Federal Register (64 FR 56628-56644). The 
committee's final recommendations include both modifications and 
additions to the initial recommendations.
    Decisions on changes to the metropolitan area standards will not 
affect the collection, tabulation, and publication of data from Census 
2000 and other current Federal data collections for geographic areas 
such as states, counties, county subdivisions, and municipalities. In 
addition, the Census Bureau will tabulate and publish data from Census 
2000 for all metropolitan areas in existence at the time of the census.

DATES: To ensure consideration during the final decision making 
process, OMB must receive all written comments no later than October 6, 
2000.

ADDRESSES: Please send comments about the committee's final 
recommendations to: Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 
Room 10201 New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20503; fax: (202) 395-7245.
    Electronic Availability and Addresses: This Federal Register 
Notice, and the two previous Notices related to the review of the 
metropolitan area standards, are available electronically from the OMB 
web site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/fedreg/index.html>>. Federal 
Register Notices also are available electronically from the U.S. 
Government Printing Office web site: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/
aces/aces140.html>>. Maps portraying the extent of areas that would be 
defined if the recommended standards were applied to 1990 census data, 
as well as lists of those areas, their components, and principal 
cities, are available electronically from the Census Bureau's web site: 
http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/masrp.html>>. Paper 
copies of these additional materials may be obtained by calling (301) 
457-2419.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James D. Fitzsimmons, Chair, 
Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee, (301) 457-2419; or E-mail 
pop.frquestion@ccmail.census.gov>>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Outline of Notice

1. Background
2. Review Process
3. Summary of Comments Received in Response to the October 20, 1999 
Federal Register Notice
4. Overview of Final Recommendations From the Metropolitan Area 
Standards Review Committee
5. Specific Issues for Comment
Appendix--Final Report and Recommendations From the Metropolitan 
Area Standards Review Committee to the Office of Management and 
Budget Concerning Changes to the Standards for Defining Metropolitan 
Areas
A. Discussion of Final Recommendations
B. Comparison of 1990 Metropolitan Area Standards With the 
Recommended 2000 Metropolitan and Micropolitan Area Standards
C. Recommended Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan 
Areas
D. Key Terms

1. Background

    The metropolitan area program has provided standard statistical 
area definitions for 50 years. In the 1940s, it became clear that the 
value of metropolitan data produced by Federal agencies would be 
greatly enhanced if agencies used a single set of geographic 
definitions for the Nation's largest centers of population and 
activity. OMB's predecessor, the Bureau of the Budget, led the effort 
to develop what were then called ``standard metropolitan areas'' in 
time for their use in 1950 census reports. Since then, comparable data 
products for metropolitan areas have been available.
    The general concept of a metropolitan area is that of an area 
containing a large population nucleus and adjacent communities that 
have a high degree of integration with that nucleus. The purpose of the 
metropolitan area standards is to provide nationally consistent 
definitions for collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal 
statistics for a set of geographic areas. OMB establishes and maintains 
these areas solely for statistical purposes. In reviewing and revising 
the areas, OMB does not take into account or attempt to anticipate any 
public or private sector nonstatistical uses that may be made of the 
definitions. These areas are not designed to serve as a general purpose 
geographic framework applicable for nonstatistical activities or for 
use in program funding formulas.
    OMB discussed the evolution of the standards for defining 
metropolitan areas in detail in its December 21, 1998 Federal Register 
Notice, ``Alternative Approaches to Defining Metropolitan and 
Nonmetropolitan Areas'' (63 FR 70526-70561). Table 1 of that Notice 
summarized the evolution of metropolitan area standards since 1950. The 
Notice includes the standards that were used to define metropolitan 
areas during the 1990s.
    OMB published the committee's report on its review and initial 
recommendations to OMB as part of the October 20, 1999 Federal Register 
Notice entitled, ``Recommendations From the Metropolitan Area Standards 
Review Committee to the Office of Management and Budget Concerning 
Changes to the Standards for Defining Metropolitan Areas' (64 FR 56628-
56644). In that Notice, the committee recommended the creation of a 
``Core Based Statistical Area'' (CBSA) classification. That Notice also 
included four maps, as well as a table that compared the 1990 
metropolitan area standards with the committee's initial 
recommendations for revised standards.

2. Review Process

    From the beginning, OMB has reviewed the metropolitan area 
standards and, if warranted, revised them in the years preceding their 
application to new decennial census data. Periodic review of the 
standards is necessary to ensure their continued usefulness and 
relevance. The current review of the metropolitan area standards--the 
Metropolitan Area Standards Review Project--is the fifth such review. 
It addresses, as a first priority, users' concerns with the conceptual 
and operational complexity of the standards as they have evolved over 
the decades. Other key concerns of the review have been whether and 
how:
     To modify the standards further to stay abreast of changes 
in population distribution and activity patterns;

[[Page 51061]]

     To use advances in computer applications to consider new 
approaches to defining areas; and
     To capture a more complete range of U.S. settlement and 
activity patterns than the 1990 standards.
    The committee has addressed a number of specific, major issues:
     Whether the Federal Government should define metropolitan 
and nonmetropolitan statistical areas;
     What geographic units--``building blocks''--should be used 
in defining the statistical areas;
     What criteria should be used to group together such 
building blocks in defining the statistical areas;
     Whether the statistical areas should account for all 
territory of the Nation;
     Whether there should be hierarchies or multiple sets of 
statistical areas in the classification;
     What kinds of entities should receive official recognition 
in the classification;
     Whether the classification should reflect statistical 
rules only or allow a role for local opinion; and
     How frequently statistical areas should be updated.
    The review has included several Census Bureau research projects, 
open conferences held in November 1995 and January 1999, a 
congressional hearing in July 1997, presentations at professional and 
academic conferences, and meetings with Federal, state, and local 
officials. The December 1998 and October 1999 Federal Register Notices 
discuss these activities in detail.
    In the fall of 1998, OMB chartered the Metropolitan Area Standards 
Review Committee and charged it with examining the 1990 metropolitan 
area standards in light of work completed earlier in the decade and 
providing recommendations for possible changes to those standards. 
Agencies represented on the committee include the Bureau of the Census 
(Chair), Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 
Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Economic Research Service 
(Agriculture), National Center for Health Statistics, and, ex officio, 
OMB. The Census Bureau provides research support to the committee.
    This is the third Notice that seeks public comment. The December 
1998 Federal Register Notice presented four alternative approaches to 
defining metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The October 1999 
Federal Register Notice presented the committee's initial 
recommendations to OMB. OMB sought and received comments on the issues, 
approaches, and recommendations outlined in these Notices. In 
developing the final recommendations set forth in this Notice, the 
committee has continued its work based on the earlier research and has 
considered all of the comments received in response to previous 
Notices, as well as comments received at numerous meetings where the 
proposals under consideration were discussed.
    Ongoing research projects will improve our understanding of the 
Nation's patterns of settlement and activity and the ways in which the 
patterns can be portrayed. Research will continue into aspects of all 
of the alternative approaches presented in the December 1998 Notice. 
For example, Census Bureau staff are investigating the feasibility of 
developing a census tract level classification to identify settlement 
and land use categories along an urban-rural continuum. The Census 
Bureau has a project to conduct additional research on the comparative 
density approach outlined in the December 1998 Notice. It also is 
continuing research on potential uses of directional commuting 
statistics and commodity flow data in defining statistical areas. The 
Economic Research Service, in conjunction with the Office of Rural 
Health Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services and the 
University of Washington, has developed a nationwide census tract level 
rural-urban commuting area classification. This classification is 
available from the Economic Research Service web site: http://
www.ers.usda.gov:80/briefing/rural/ruca/rucc.htm. In addition, the 
Census Bureau is investigating the feasibility of defining statistical 
areas that would better describe the functional relationships between 
geographic areas within the large, densely settled urban areas. These 
research efforts may lead to pilot projects of the Census Bureau or 
other agencies.

3. Summary of Comments Received in Response to the October 20, 1999 
Federal Register Notice

    The October 20, 1999 Federal Register Notice requested comment on 
the committee's initial recommendations to OMB concerning revisions to 
the standards for defining metropolitan areas. OMB received a total of 
673 comments, including some that arrived after the December 30, 1999, 
deadline.
    OMB received 167 comment letters and 34 E-mail messages on a 
variety of issues from individuals (72), municipalities (39), 
nongovernmental organizations (38), state governmental agencies (18), 
regional governmental and planning organizations (14), Federal agencies 
(10), and Members of Congress (10). In addition, it received 404 
letters and 68 E-mail messages from individuals and organizations 
regarding the situation of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
    Eight commenters addressed the committee's recommendations about 
the qualification requirements for areas and central counties. Three 
commenters supported the committee's recommendation that areas should 
qualify for CBSA status if a core of sufficient size--a Census Bureau 
defined urban cluster of at least 10,000 population or an urbanized 
area of at least 50,000 population--was present. (In this Notice, the 
term ``urban cluster'' replaces the term ``settlement cluster'' that 
was used in the October 1999 Federal Register Notice.) Two commenters 
expressed concern that some current metropolitan areas that qualify 
based on the presence of a city of at least 50,000 population might not 
qualify as a macropolitan area under the recommended standards if an 
urbanized area is not present. They suggested including criteria in the 
new standards that would either (1) allow an area that contains a city 
of 50,000 or more population, but not an urbanized area, to qualify as 
a macropolitan area or (2) ``grandfather'' current metropolitan 
statistical areas. Three commenters questioned the way in which the 
recommended standards would use urban clusters and urbanized areas as 
cores to qualify central counties, in particular when a core crosses 
county lines, but the portion of the core in one county is not 
sufficient to qualify that county as central.
    Many comments addressed whether core population or total area 
population should be used to determine the level to which each CBSA is 
assigned. Two commenters supported using total population of the CBSA 
to determine the level; one pointed out that by using core population 
to assign levels, it would be possible to have a micropolitan area with 
a greater total CBSA population than the total population of a 
macropolitan area. Two commenters suggested that the level to which a 
CBSA is assigned should be based on the population of the largest core 
in the area rather than on the total population in all cores. More than 
470 commenters suggested that a county with a total population of at 
least 100,000 should qualify as a macropolitan area solely on that 
basis, even though its core population is less than 50,000; all but one 
of these commenters were specifically

[[Page 51062]]

concerned with Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
    OMB received 29 comments about terminology and the number of levels 
in the proposed CBSA standards. Six commenters argued that the core 
population size range recommended for the macropolitan area level was 
too broad and suggested that the standards should include five levels 
of areas instead of the recommended four. Six commenters favored use of 
the terms ``metropolitan'' and ``nonmetropolitan.'' One commenter 
favored using ``metropolitan'' and ``nonmetropolitan,'' but also 
supported recognizing micropolitan areas as a subset of nonmetropolitan 
areas. Two additional commenters supported using the term 
``metropolitan,'' but one of them suggested not using the term 
``nonmetropolitan.'' Another commenter supported a metropolitan/
nonmetropolitan breakdown, but suggested classifying metropolitan areas 
into small, midsize, and large categories with core population 
thresholds of 50,000, 250,000, and 1,000,000, respectively. Two 
commenters argued that if the CBSA standards were to include several 
levels, these levels should be denoted with a numbering or lettering 
system instead of using specific terms. Some of these commenters and 
others opposed the use of the terms ``megapolitan,'' ``macropolitan,'' 
and ``micropolitan'' because they found them confusing. Other 
commenters suggested ``community statistical area'' to replace ``core 
based statistical area,'' and ``nanopolitan'' to replace ``outside core 
based statistical area.'' Three commenters suggested that all territory 
in the United States should be classified in the new system, and no 
area should be classified as a ``non-'' or ``outside'' area.
    Forty-two commenters remarked on the committee's recommendation to 
use counties as the building block for CBSAs. Seventeen commenters 
supported the use of counties, and 25 favored census tracts or some 
other subcounty unit. One commenter suggested that if counties are used 
as building blocks, subcounty commuting data should be provided to data 
users. Nineteen commenters favored the use of minor civil divisions as 
building blocks; 18 of these commenters specifically favored the use of 
minor civil divisions as the building block for a primary set of areas 
in New England.
    Eighteen commenters responded about the use of commuting data in 
the standards for qualifying outlying counties as well as mergers and 
combinations of adjacent CBSAs. Six commenters supported a 25 percent 
commuting threshold for outlying county qualification as the committee 
recommended; two suggested a 20 percent threshold. One commenter 
questioned the rationale behind raising the commuting threshold to 25 
percent from the 15 percent threshold that has been in the standards 
since they were developed, arguing that raising the threshold to 25 
percent will omit many counties that realistically are within the 
core's labor market. Two commenters expressed general support for the 
committee's recommendations. Seven commenters, however, expressed 
concerns that commuting data alone cannot measure all kinds of social 
and economic interactions between areas. One of these commenters 
suggested using population density data as an additional measure. One 
commenter noted that journey-to-work data alone are not sufficient to 
determine whether sufficient ties exist to warrant merging or combining 
two adjacent CBSAs.
    Two commenters supported the committee's recommendations on mergers 
and three supported its recommendations on combinations. Two commenters 
suggested that local opinion should play a larger role in determining 
whether two adjacent areas should merge or combine.
    Seventy-one commenters responded about the recommended criteria for 
titling CBSAs. Sixty-four of these 71 commenters remarked specifically 
on the impact that these criteria would have on the titles of current 
metropolitan areas in North Carolina. Seven commenters responded 
regarding the potential title of the current Norfolk-Virginia Beach-
Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.
    Forty-two commenters responded about the lack of recommended 
criteria for subdividing the largest CBSAs to form smaller component 
groupings of counties. All but one of these commenters favored 
development of criteria for subdividing areas. Twenty-six of these 
commenters were concerned with New Jersey or Long Island; their remarks 
pertained specifically to the perceived need for smaller groupings of 
counties within the New York and Philadelphia megapolitan areas to 
provide greater detail for data users. One commenter did not favor 
subdividing the New York megapolitan area. Sixteen commenters who 
favored subdividing CBSAs focused on Massachusetts; their remarks 
pertained primarily to the need for subdivisions of the Boston area.
    Twenty-three commenters raised questions about the potential impact 
of the recommended standards on various nonstatistical programs, 
particularly those involving funding. Some commenters suggested that 
there should be a study to provide information about the current 
nonstatistical programmatic uses of metropolitan areas and the 
potential effect of new standards on existing programs.
    Five commenters expressed concerns about the comparability of data 
provided under the 1990 standards and the proposed standards. They 
suggested that statistical areas should be defined for a period after 
the 2000 census using both the old and the new standards. Two 
commenters remarked on the confusion between the urban/rural and 
metropolitan/nonmetropolitan classifications. Both of these commenters 
suggested that a single classification that unambiguously identifies 
metropolitan, nonmetropolitan, urban, and rural without any overlapping 
of these concepts should be developed by OMB. Similarly, one commenter 
stated that the classification should include specific criteria for 
identifying rural areas.
    The committee took all of these comments into account, giving them 
careful consideration. As outlined below, it adopted some of these 
suggested changes and modified its recommendations to OMB as a result 
of the comments. In a number of other cases, however, the committee 
concluded that it could not adopt the suggestions made by commenters 
without undermining efforts to achieve a consistent, national approach 
designed to enhance the value of metropolitan data produced by Federal 
agencies.

4. Overview of Final Recommendations From the Metropolitan Area 
Standards Review Committee

    This Federal Register Notice makes available for comment the 
committee's final recommendations to OMB on how the current 
metropolitan area standards should be revised. These recommendations 
are presented in their entirety in the ``Final Report and 
Recommendations From the Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee 
to the Office of Management and Budget Concerning Changes to the 
Standards for Defining Metropolitan Areas,'' provided in the appendix 
to this Notice. Section C of the appendix presents for public comment 
the specific standards recommended by the committee for adoption by 
OMB.
    The committee recommends a classification based on densely settled 
concentrations of population called ``cores.'' The cores for this 
classification would be Census Bureau defined

[[Page 51063]]

urbanized areas of 50,000 or more population and smaller urban clusters 
of 10,000 to 49,999 population that will be identified using Census 
2000 data. Defining a CBSA would require the presence of at least one 
core of 10,000 or more population. The recommended CBSA classification 
has two categories of areas: (1) Metropolitan areas defined around at 
least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population; and (2) 
micropolitan areas defined around at least one urban cluster of 10,000 
to 49,999 population. The recommendation to identify micropolitan areas 
extends the classification to smaller population centers that in 
earlier decades would have been in a ``nonmetropolitan residual.'' The 
title for the new classification would be ``Standards for Defining 
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas.''
    These recommendations include a change from the committee's initial 
recommendation to identify ``megapolitan areas,'' based on one or more 
cores with a total core population of at least one million, and 
``macropolitan areas,'' based on one or more cores with a total core 
population of 50,000 to 999,999. The committee recommends that 
additional research be undertaken to study the analytical utility of 
various categories based on population size, and more specifically, to 
determine meaningful size thresholds for such categories. In addition, 
these recommendations include a change from the committee's initial 
recommendation to base categories of areas on the total population in 
all cores within a CBSA.
    The committee recommends the use of counties and equivalent 
entities as the building block for CBSAs throughout the United States, 
Puerto Rico, and Island Areas, including the use of counties as 
building blocks for CBSAs in New England. The committee also recommends 
that minor civil divisions be used as building blocks for a set of 
statistical areas conceptually similar to CBSAs for the New England 
states only.
    The committee recommends identifying principal cities within CBSAs. 
It also recommends that component entities comprising one or more 
counties be identified within CBSAs that contain a single core with 2.5 
million or more population. These component entities would be termed 
``metropolitan divisions.'' (The committee's recommendations would 
extend this practice to the minor civil division based areas in New 
England.) This recommendation is an addition to the initial 
recommendations. The committee recommends titling each metropolitan 
division using the names of up to three principal cities within the 
metropolitan division, in order of descending city population size. If 
there are no principal cities located within a metropolitan division, 
the committee recommends including in the title the names of up to 
three counties in order of descending population size.
    The committee recommends combining adjacent CBSAs when their 
employment interchange rate is at least 15. The areas that combine also 
would retain their identities as separate metropolitan and micropolitan 
areas.

5. Specific Issues for Comment

    With this Notice, OMB requests comment on all of the final 
recommendations of the Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee 
concerning revisions to the current standards for defining metropolitan 
areas. The standards recommended to OMB for adoption appear in Section 
C of the appendix to this Notice. Section A of the appendix provides a 
discussion of the recommendations on the various issues considered by 
the committee. Section B of the appendix presents a comparison of the 
1990 metropolitan area standards with the recommended Metropolitan and 
Micropolitan Area Standards.
    OMB notes that there were several issues on which comment was 
received, but on which the committee has not changed its initial 
recommendations, including the use of population in cores (in contrast 
to total area population) as a means of determining a CBSA's category 
(metropolitan or micropolitan), and the use only of the name of the 
largest principal city in each of up to three CBSAs that combine to 
title Combined Areas.
    OMB particularly seeks comment on those final recommendations that 
differ from the committee's initial recommendations published in the 
October 20, 1999 Federal Register. These are the recommendations about 
the:
     Number of categories of CBSAs and the terms by which they 
would be identified (see Section A.1);
     Categorization of CBSAs on the basis of population in 
cores (Section A.1);
     Identification of New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs) 
to indicate that NECTAs are conceptually similar to CBSAs (Section 
A.2);
     Criteria for qualifying a central county (Section A.3);
     Identification of metropolitan divisions within CBSAs with 
a core of 2.5 Million or more population and NECTA divisions within 
NECTAs that have a core of that size (Section A.7); and
     Criteria for titling Combined Areas, which would now 
require that the second- and third-largest CBSAs in a Combined Area 
each have at least one-third the population of the largest area for 
their single largest principal cities to appear in the title (Section 
A.9).
    OMB would appreciate receiving views and comments on any aspects of 
the recommended standards.

John T. Spotila,
Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Appendix--Final Report and Recommendations From the Metropolitan Area 
Standards Review Committee to the Office of Management and Budget 
Concerning Changes to the Standards for Defining Metropolitan Areas

Transmittal Memorandum

July 6, 2000.
Memorandum for Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of 
Management and Budget
    From: Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee
    Subject: Transmittal of Final Report and Recommendations Concerning 
Changes to the Standards for Defining Metropolitan Areas

    We are pleased to transmit to you the attached report presenting 
this committee's final recommendations for modifying the Office of 
Management and Budget's (OMB's) standards for defining metropolitan 
areas. They represent our best technical and professional advice for 
how the standards could better account for and describe changes in 
settlement and activity patterns throughout the United States, Puerto 
Rico, and the Island Areas, yet still meet the data reporting needs and 
requirements of Federal agencies and the public. In developing these 
final recommendations, we have continued our review of work completed 
over the past several years, and we have considered and discussed 
comments that were received in response to our initial recommendations 
published in the October 20, 1999 Federal Register. In addition to a 
discussion of our final recommendations, we are providing a comparison 
of the standards we propose with the 1990 metropolitan area standards. 
We also are providing the specific standards recommended by the 
committee and definitions of key terms used in this report.

[[Page 51064]]

    We hope that OMB will find these final recommendations informative 
and helpful in making its decision on what changes, if any, to adopt in 
the standards for defining geographic areas for collecting, tabulating, 
and publishing Federal statistics.

Attachment--Final Report and Recommendations from the Metropolitan 
Area Standards Review Committee to the Office of Management and 
Budget Concerning Changes to the Standards for Defining 
Metropolitan Areas

A. Discussion of Final Recommendations

1. Recommendations Concerning Categories and Terminology for a Core 
Based Statistical Area (CBSA) Classification to Be Titled ``Standards 
for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas''
    The Metropolitan Area Standards Review Committee recommends 
adoption of a CBSA classification that uses densely settled 
concentrations of population (cores) for the qualification of areas. 
The classification would be titled ``Standards for Defining 
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas.'' The committee recommends a 
minimum population size of 10,000 for a core that would qualify a CBSA. 
Those CBSAs that are associated with at least one core of 50,000 or 
more population (an urbanized area) should be categorized as 
metropolitan areas. Those CBSAs that are associated with at least one 
core of 10,000 to 49,999 population (an urban cluster), but no single 
core of 50,000 or more population, should be categorized as 
micropolitan areas. Under these recommended standards, nearly 90 
percent of the U.S. population would reside in micropolitan and 
metropolitan areas.
    Territory not included in CBSAs should be referred to as being 
``outside core based statistical areas.'' The committee suggests that 
additional research be done to identify methods for defining and 
categorizing territory outside CBSAs to attain an area classification 
that applies to the entire Nation.
    The committee considered the following sometimes incompatible 
concerns as it developed size categories and terminology:
     Eliminating the current metropolitan/nonmetropolitan 
dichotomy and replacing it with a range of categories that more 
meaningfully represent the settlement and activity patterns of the 
Nation;
     Introducing specific terms for areas containing cores of 
1,000,000 or more persons and cores of 250,000 to 999,999 persons, 
respectively;
     Evaluating advantages and disadvantages of retaining the 
1990 metropolitan area standards' core population threshold of 50,000;
     Assessing advantages and disadvantages of retaining the 
metropolitan/nonmetropolitan terminology of the 1990 standards; and
     Maintaining simplicity.
    Broad agreement existed in favor of establishing a micropolitan 
area category as a means of distinguishing between (1) areas integrated 
with smaller centers of population and activity and (2) territory not 
integrated with any particular population center. Defining micropolitan 
areas represents a response to comments that a revised classification 
should cover a broader range of population and economic activity 
patterns than the 1990 standards. The committee also considered various 
combinations of population distribution and economic activity pattern 
measures to classify counties not included in a CBSA, but none offered 
a satisfactory method of meaningfully accounting for these counties in 
the recommended classification.
    The categories and terminology recommended here constitute a change 
from the committee's initial recommendations as reported in the October 
20, 1999 Federal Register Notice. The changes in terminology are a 
response to public comment that urged retention of the term 
``metropolitan'' in the revised standards because of its familiarity 
and broad usage among data users and the general public.
    The committee considered two issues when discussing the basis for 
categorizing CBSAs as either metropolitan or micropolitan. The first of 
these issues was whether to base categorization on the total CBSA 
population or on core population. The committee agreed that since cores 
are the organizing entities of CBSAs, categorization should be on the 
basis of the population in cores, reasoning that the range of services 
and functions provided within an area largely derive from the size of 
the core.
    The second issue was whether to categorize areas based on the 
population of the most populous (or ``dominant'') core or on the total 
population of all (or ``multiple'') cores within a CBSA. The 
committee's initial recommendation suggested categorizing areas on the 
basis of the total population in all cores within a CBSA. In reaching 
this decision, the committee reasoned that because all cores play a 
role in determining the extent of a CBSA, all should be taken into 
account when categorizing that CBSA. Although commuting is measured 
from county to county, most workers commute to specific cores. When 
there are multiple cores within a CBSA, each core plays a role in the 
qualification of outlying counties. Some committee members argued, 
however, that a single core of 50,000 or more population provides a 
wider variety of functions and services than does a group of smaller 
cores, even when such a group may have a collective population greater 
than 50,000. These committee members were concerned that CBSAs 
categorized as metropolitan on the basis of the population in all cores 
would not bear the same kinds of characteristics as CBSAs categorized 
as metropolitan areas on the basis of a single core of 50,000 or more 
population.
    In reaching the decision to categorize CBSAs on the basis of the 
population in the largest core, the committee agreed that this is a 
complex issue that, in part, is reflected in the ongoing debate 
regarding the current nature of urbanization and urban systems. In the 
past, metropolitan areas tended to be dominated by a single core, 
consisting largely of a populous city and its adjacent densely settled 
suburbs. The dispersal of residential locations and economic activities 
that has occurred in some areas over the past 50 years, however, has 
resulted in multiple cores, each of which may provide specialized 
functions that contribute to the social and economic well-being of the 
entire area. The extent of the spheres of influence of the various 
cores may vary and overlap depending on the kinds of functions or 
services provided. One core may play a greater, or more dominant, role 
in organizing and influencing the social and economic activity of a 
particular CBSA. At the same time, its influence could be supplemented 
or possibly matched by additional cores within the same CBSA. The 
committee recommends further research on the functional integration of 
multiple, noncontiguous cores.
    While recognizing the usefulness of standard size categories for 
CBSAs for tabulating data, the committee was less certain regarding the 
significance of specific population thresholds as a means of 
identifying functional differences between different sizes of areas. 
The committee therefore does not recommend delineations of categories 
of CBSAs with core populations greater than 50,000 and has dropped the 
``megapolitan'' and ``macropolitan'' area categories set forth in its 
initial recommendations. The committee

[[Page 51065]]

recommends retaining the population threshold of 50,000 to distinguish 
between micropolitan and metropolitan areas, primarily to maintain 
comparability with previous definitions of metropolitan areas. The 
committee concluded that additional research is needed to identify 
optimal population thresholds for categories of CBSAs. In the meantime, 
users can group the areas that would be defined as ``metropolitan'' by 
size to meet their particular research needs.
2. Recommendations Concerning the Geographic Unit to Be Used as the 
Building Block for Defining CBSAs
    Counties and equivalent entities should be used as building blocks 
for CBSAs throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island 
Areas. Minor civil divisions should be used as the building block for a 
set of areas, similar in concept to CBSAs, in New England only. Using 
counties and equivalent entities throughout the United States and 
Puerto Rico continues current practice, except in New England, where 
historically metropolitan areas have been defined using minor civil 
divisions.
    The choice of a geographic unit to serve as the building block can 
affect the geographic extent of a statistical area and its relevance or 
usefulness in describing economic and demographic patterns. The choice 
also has implications for the ability of Federal agencies to provide 
data for statistical areas and their components. The December 1998 
Federal Register Notice, ``Alternative Approaches to Defining 
Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas,'' presented advantages and 
disadvantages of five potential building blocks. Each of these units 
was evaluated in terms of its consistency in delineation across the 
Nation, data availability, boundary stability, and familiarity.
    The advantages of using counties and their equivalents are that 
they are available for the entire country, have stable boundaries, and 
represent familiar geographic entities. In addition, more Federal 
statistical programs produce data at the county level than at any 
subcounty level. The committee decided that the well-known 
disadvantages of counties as the building block for statistical areas--
the large geographic size of some counties and the lack of geographic 
precision that follows from their use--were outweighed by the 
advantages offered by counties.
    In reaching its recommendation to use counties as the building 
block for CBSAs in New England, the committee attached priority to the 
use of a consistent geographic unit nationwide. Use of a consistent 
geographic building block offers improved usability to producers and 
users of data; data for CBSAs in all parts of the country would be 
directly comparable. In addition, some statistical programs, such as 
those providing nationwide economic data and population estimates, 
regard the metropolitan area program's use of minor civil divisions in 
New England as a hindrance. They have sometimes used the currently 
available alternative county based areas for New England, known as the 
New England County Metropolitan Areas (NECMAs), or have minimized the 
number of data releases for metropolitan areas. Under the current 
metropolitan area program, then, data producers and users typically 
choose between (1) adhering to the preferred Metropolitan Statistical 
Areas, Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and Primary 
Metropolitan Statistical Areas throughout the country and having data 
that limit comparisons between some areas, and (2) using alternative 
areas in New England and having more comparable data. The committee's 
recommendation eliminates the need for this choice.
    Demographic and economic data for minor civil divisions in New 
England are more plentiful, however, than are such data for subcounty 
entities in the rest of the Nation. In recognition of the importance of 
minor civil divisions in New England, the wide availability of data for 
them, and their long-term use in the metropolitan area program, the 
committee recommends also using minor civil divisions as building 
blocks for a set of areas for the six New England states. These New 
England City and Town Areas (NECTAs) would be intended for use in the 
collection, tabulation, publication, and analysis of statistical data, 
whenever feasible and appropriate, for New England. Data providers and 
users desiring areas defined using a nationally consistent geographic 
building block should consider using the county based CBSAs in New 
England; however, counties are less well-known in New England than 
cities and towns.
3. Recommendations Concerning Cores of CBSAs and Central Counties
    Census Bureau defined urbanized areas of 50,000 or more population 
and Census Bureau defined urban clusters of at least 10,000 population 
should be used as the cores of CBSAs. Identification of ``central 
counties'' should be based on the locations of the cores.
    The recommended use of urbanized areas as cores is consistent with 
current practice. To extend the classification to areas based on cores 
of 10,000 to 49,999 population, the committee recommends the use of 
urban clusters, which the Census Bureau will identify following Census 
2000. This change would permit a fuller accounting of the distribution 
of population and economic activity across the territory of the Nation 
than is provided by the current metropolitan area standards. Following 
from this recommendation, an urban area of at least 10,000 population 
would be required for qualifying a CBSA.
    The locations of urbanized areas and urban clusters (referred to 
collectively as ``urban areas'') should provide the basis for 
identifying central counties of CBSAs, which are the counties to and 
from which ties are measured in determining the extent of areas. The 
committee recommends identifying central counties as those counties 
that:
    (a) Have at least 50 percent of their population in urban areas 
(urbanized area or urban cluster) of at least 10,000 population; or
    (b) Have within their boundaries a population of at least 5,000 
located in a single urban area (urbanized area or urban cluster) of at 
least 10,000 population.
    The committee has revised its recommendation concerning criteria 
for identifying central counties since its initial recommendations were 
published in the October 20, 1999, Federal Register Notice. If a single 
urban area of at least 10,000 population has at least 5,000 population 
in a county, the committee recommends that the county qualify as a 
central county. This recommendation recognizes that a county may 
contain a portion of an urbanized area or urban cluster of sufficient 
size to act as an employment center for surrounding populations, but of 
insufficient size to have accounted for at least 50 percent of the 
population of a single urbanized area or urban cluster as required 
under the committee's initial recommendation. The choice of 5,000 as 
the threshold for central county qualification is consistent with the 
initial recommendation's minimum requirement for qualification as a 
central county of the smallest permissible core (i.e., 5,000 is 50 
percent of the 10,000 population minimum core size).
4. Recommendations Concerning Criteria for Inclusion of Outlying 
Counties
    Commuting data should be used as the basis for grouping counties 
together to form CBSAs (i.e., to qualify ``outlying

[[Page 51066]]

counties''). Measures of settlement structure, such as population 
density, should not be used to qualify outlying counties for inclusion 
in CBSAs. Three priorities guided the committee in reaching these 
recommendations. The data used to measure connections among counties 
should (1) describe those connections in a straightforward and 
intuitive manner, (2) be collected using consistent procedures 
nationwide, and (3) be readily available to the public. These 
priorities pointed to the use of data gathered by Federal agencies and, 
more particularly, to commuting data from the Census Bureau. Commuting 
to work is an easily understood measure that reflects the social and 
economic integration of geographic areas.
    The recommendation not to use measures of settlement structure 
represents a change from the 1990 standards. In those standards, 
varying levels of population density, percentage of total population 
that is urban, presence of an urbanized area population, and population 
growth rate are used in combination with varying levels of commuting to 
determine qualification of outlying counties for inclusion in a 
metropolitan area. Settlement and commuting patterns, however, have 
changed over time as a result of improvements to public transportation; 
more and better-maintained roads; and increasing flexibility of some 
employers who permit irregular work weeks, flextime, and opportunities 
to work at home. The Internet, satellite hookups, and other technology 
also have played a role. The committee concluded that, as changes in 
settlement, commuting patterns, and communications technologies have 
occurred, settlement structure no longer is as reliable an indicator of 
metropolitan character as was previously the case.
    An outlying county should qualify on the basis of the percentage of 
employed residents of the county who work in the CBSA's central county 
or counties, or on the basis of the percentage of employment in the 
potential outlying county accounted for by workers who reside in the 
CBSA's central county or counties. A 25 percent minimum threshold for 
each of these measures should be used.
    The committee observed that the percentage of a county's employed 
residents who commute to the central county or counties is an 
unambiguous, clear measure of whether a potential outlying county 
should qualify for inclusion. The percentage of employment in the 
potential outlying county accounted for by workers who reside in the 
central county or counties is similarly a straightforward measure of 
ties. Including both criteria addresses the conventional and the less 
common reverse commuting flows.
    The committee also noted changes in daily mobility patterns and 
increased interaction between communities as indicated by increases in 
inter-county commuting over the past 40 years. The percentage of 
workers in the United States who commute to places of work outside 
their counties of residence has increased from a national average of 
approximately 15 percent in 1960 (when nationwide commuting data first 
became available from the decennial census) to a national average of 
nearly 25 percent in 1990. The committee concluded that raising the 
commuting percentage required for qualification of outlying counties 
from the 15 percent minimum of the 1990 standards to 25 percent was 
appropriate against this background of increased overall inter-county 
commuting coupled with the removal of all settlement structure measures 
from the outlying county criteria. The 25 percent threshold also stood 
out as a noticeable divide when reviewing 1990 census data on the 
percentage of workers who commute outside their counties of residence.
    Counties should qualify for inclusion in a CBSA as outlying 
counties on the basis of commuting ties with the central county (or 
counties) of that one area only. The committee concluded that outlying 
counties should not qualify based on total commuting to central 
counties of multiple CBSAs, because that would result in inconsistent 
grounds for qualification in an individual area. Throughout its 
history, the purpose of the metropolitan area program has been to 
identify individual statistical areas, each containing a core plus any 
surrounding territory integrated with that core as measured by 
commuting ties. The committee saw no reason to depart from that 
approach in defining CBSAs.
5. Recommendation Concerning Merging Adjacent CBSAs
    Adjacent CBSAs should be merged to form a single CBSA when the 
central county or counties of one area qualify as outlying to the 
central county or counties of another. The committee determined that 
when the central county or counties (as a group) of one CBSA qualify as 
outlying to the central county or counties (as a group) of another 
area, the two CBSAs should be merged. Because a merger recognizes ties 
similar to the ties between an outlying county and the central counties 
of a CBSA, the committee recommends that the minimum commuting 
threshold similarly be set at 25 percent, measured with respect to all 
central counties of one CBSA relative to all central counties of the 
other.
6. Recommendations Concerning Identification of Principal Cities
    Principal cities in CBSAs should be identified and used to title 
the areas. Because the procedures recommended by the committee use 
urbanized areas and urban clusters as the organizing entities for 
CBSAs, the identification of central cities as required by the 1990 
standards for qualifying and defining areas is no longer necessary for 
that purpose. Also, while still important, central cities have become 
less dominant in the local context over time. Nevertheless, the 
committee recognizes that specific cities within individual CBSAs are 
important for analytical purposes as centers of employment, trade, 
entertainment, and other social and economic activities. The committee 
therefore recommends criteria for identifying principal cities and 
using the principal cities for titling areas.
    The committee recommends that the principal city (or cities) of a 
CBSA include:
    (a) The largest incorporated place or census designated place in 
the CBSA;
    (b) Any additional incorporated place or census designated place 
with a population of at least 250,000 or in which 100,000 or more 
persons work; and
    (c) Any additional incorporated place or census designated place 
with a population that is at least 10,000 and one-third the size of the 
largest place, and in which employment meets or exceeds the number of 
employed residents.
    The committee recommends using the term ``principal city'' rather 
than ``central city.'' The term ``central city'' has come to connote 
``inner city'' and thus sometimes causes confusion.
7. Recommendation Concerning Identification of Components within 
Metropolitan Areas and NECTAs that Contain at Least One Core of 2.5 
Million or More Population
    Within metropolitan areas that have at least one core with 2.5 
million or more population, metropolitan divisions, consisting of one 
or more counties, should be identified. Urbanized areas with very large 
populations can extend across multiple counties and even across state 
boundaries, and can contain several distinct employment and settlement 
centers. Although these centers are part of a single agglomeration of 
population and

[[Page 51067]]

activity, the degrees of functional integration between them can vary. 
The provision of data for only the entire metropolitan area based on 
such large urbanized areas may mask demographic and economic variations 
that are important for data users and analysts. To represent the social 
and economic variations found within the largest metropolitan areas, 
the committee recommends adopting criteria that would identify 
components called ``metropolitan divisions,'' which would comprise 
counties or groups of counties that function as distinct areas within 
the metropolitan area. (Designation of metropolitan divisions would 
have no effect on the previously defined central counties of the 
metropolitan area; these counties would remain central to the 
metropolitan area, regardless of any additional designation they might 
be given within metropolitan divisions.)
    The committee recommends identifying a county as a ``main county'' 
of a metropolitan division if:
    (a) More than 50 percent of its employed residents work within the 
county;
    (b) The ratio of the number of jobs located in the county to the 
number of employed residents of the county is at least .75; and
    (c) The highest rate of out-commuting from the county to any other 
county is less than 15 percent.
    After all main counties have been identified, each additional 
county that already has qualified for inclusion in the metropolitan 
area should be included in the metropolitan division associated with 
the main county to which the county at issue sends the highest 
percentage of its out-commuters. Counties within a metropolitan 
division should be contiguous.
    Differences in geographic scale between minor civil divisions and 
counties necessitate the use of a different set of criteria when 
identifying meaningful divisions within NECTAs that contain at least 
one core of 2.5 million or more population.
    The committee recommends the following criteria for NECTA 
divisions:
    (a) A city or town is identified as a ``main city or town'' of a 
NECTA division if the city or town at issue has a population of 50,000 
or more and its highest rate of out-commuting to any other city or town 
is less than 20 percent.
    (b) After all main cities and towns have been identified, each 
additional city and town that already has qualified for inclusion in 
the NECTA should be included in the NECTA division associated with the 
city or town to which the one at issue sends the highest percentage of 
its out-commuters.
    The committee also recommends that each NECTA division should 
contain a total population of 100,000 or more. Cities and towns at 
first assigned to areas with less than 100,000 population subsequently 
should be assigned to the qualifying NECTA division associated with the 
city or town to which the one at issue sends the highest percentage of 
its out-commuters. Cities and towns within a NECTA division should be 
contiguous.
    In recommending these criteria, the committee recognizes that 
cities and towns of 50,000 or more population represent significant 
centers around which to organize NECTA divisions; the 50,000 population 
threshold is consistent with population thresholds used in current and 
past classifications to identify population centers around which 
metropolitan area level entities are defined.
    These recommendations for identifying metropolitan divisions and 
NECTA divisions are additions to the committee's initial 
recommendations.
8. Recommendations Concerning Combining Adjacent CBSAs
    CBSAs should be combined when entire adjacent areas are linked 
through commuting ties. The committee recommends that ties between 
adjacent CBSAs that are less intense than those captured by mergers 
(see Section A.5), but still significant, be recognized by combining 
those CBSAs. Because a combination thus defined represents a 
relationship of moderate strength between two CBSAs, the areas that 
combine should retain separate identities within the combined area. 
Potential combinations should be evaluated by measuring commuting 
between entire adjacent CBSAs--commuting of all counties, as a group, 
within one CBSA relative to all counties, as a group, in the adjacent 
area.
    The committee recommends basing combinations on the employment 
interchange rate between two CBSAs, defined as the sum of the 
percentage of commuting from the CBSA with the smaller total population 
to the CBSA with the larger total population and the percentage of 
employment in the CBSA with the smaller total population accounted for 
by workers residing in the CBSA with the larger total population. The 
committee recommends a minimum threshold of 15 for the employment 
interchange rate but recognizes that this threshold may result in 
combinations where the measured ties are perceived as minimal by 
residents of the two areas. The committee therefore recommends 
combinations of CBSAs, based on an employment interchange rate of at 
least 15 but less than 25, only if local opinion (as discussed in 
recommendation 10) in both areas favors the combination. If the 
employment interchange rate equals or exceeds 25, combinations should 
occur automatically.
9. Recommendations Concerning Titles of CBSAs, Metropolitan Divisions, 
NECTA Divisions, and Combined Areas
    Each CBSA should be titled using the name of its principal city 
with the largest population, as well as the names of the second-and 
third-largest principal cities, if multiple principal cities are 
present.
    Each metropolitan division should be titled using the name of the 
principal city with the largest population, as well as the names of the 
second- and third-largest principal cities, if multiple principal 
cities are present. If there are no principal cities located in the 
metropolitan division, the title of the metropolitan division should 
include the names of up to three counties in order of descending 
population size.
    Each NECTA division should be titled using the name of the 
principal city with the largest population, as well as the names of the 
second- and third-largest principal cities, if multiple principal 
cities are present. If there are no principal cities located in the 
NECTA division, the title of the NECTA division should include the name 
of the city or town with the largest population.
    Combined areas should be titled using the name of the largest 
principal city in the CBSA with the largest total population that 
combines, followed by the name of the largest principal city in each of 
up to two additional CBSAs that combine, provided that the second and 
third CBSAs in the combined area each have at least one-third of the 
total population of the largest CBSA.
    Titles provide a means of uniquely identifying individual CBSAs, 
metropolitan divisions, NECTA divisions, and combined areas so that 
each is recognizable to a variety of data users. As such, the title of 
a CBSA, metropolitan division, NECTA division, or combined area should 
contain the names of geographic entities located in the area that are 
prominent and provide data users with a means of easily identifying the 
general location of the CBSA, metropolitan division, or NECTA division 
or extent of the combined area.
    Finally, any state in which the CBSA, metropolitan division, NECTA 
division, or combined area is located also should be included in the 
title.

[[Page 51068]]

10. Recommendation Concerning Use of Statistical Rules and the Role of 
Local Opinion
    Limited use should be made of local opinion in the definition 
process. Applying only statistical rules when defining areas minimizes 
ambiguity and maximizes the replicability and integrity of the process. 
The committee recommends consideration of local opinion only in cases 
of CBSA combinations where adjacent CBSAs have an employment 
interchange rate of at least 15 but less than 25.
    Local opinion should be obtained through the appropriate 
congressional delegation. Members of the congressional delegation 
should be urged to contact a wide range of groups in their communities, 
including business or other leaders, chambers of commerce, planning 
commissions, and local officials, to solicit comments on the specific 
combination at issue. The committee also recommends the use of the 
Internet to make available information pertaining to the potential 
combination on which local opinion is sought. After a decision has been 
made, OMB should not request local opinion again on the same issue 
until the next redefinition of CBSAs.
11. Recommendation Concerning Settlement Structure within the Core 
Based Statistical Area Classification
    The terms ``urban,'' ``suburban,'' ``rural,'' ``exurban,'' and so 
forth, should not be defined within the CBSA classification. The 
committee recognizes that formal definitions of settlement types such 
as inner city, inner suburb, outer suburb, exurb, and rural would be of 
use to the Federal statistical system as well as to researchers, 
analysts, and other users of Federal data. Such types, however, are not 
necessary for the delineation of statistical areas in this 
classification that describes the functional ties between geographic 
entities. These types would more appropriately be included in a 
separate classification that focuses exclusively on describing 
settlement patterns and land uses.
    The committee recommends continuing research by the Census Bureau 
and other interested Federal agencies on settlement patterns below the 
county level to describe further the distribution of population and 
economic activity throughout the Nation.
12. Recommendations Concerning ``Grandfathering'' of Current 
Metropolitan Areas
    The definitions of current metropolitan areas should not be 
automatically retained (``grandfathered'') in the implementation of the 
recommended ``Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan 
Areas.'' The current status of individual counties as metropolitan or 
nonmetropolitan should not be considered when re-examining all counties 
using the recommended standards.
    In this context, ``grandfathering'' refers to the continued 
designation of an area even though it does not meet the standards 
currently in effect. The 1990 standards permit changes in the 
definitions, or extent, of individual metropolitan areas through the 
addition or deletion of counties on the basis of each decennial census, 
but those standards do not permit the disqualification of metropolitan 
areas that previously qualified on the basis of a Census Bureau 
population count. To maintain the integrity of the classification, the 
committee favors the objective application of the recommended standards 
rather than continuing to recognize areas that do not meet the 
standards that currently are in effect. The committee recommends that 
the current status of a county as either metropolitan or 
nonmetropolitan play no role in the application of the recommended 
standards.
13. Recommendations Concerning the Schedule for Updating CBSAs
    New CBSAs should be designated between decennial censuses on the 
basis of Census Bureau population estimates or special censuses for 
places. CBSAs should be updated on the basis of commuting data from the 
Census Bureau's American Community Survey, scheduled to be available 
for all counties beginning in 2008. CBSAs should not be reclassified 
among categories between decennial censuses.
    The frequency with which new statistical areas are designated and 
existing areas updated has been of considerable interest to data 
producers and users. If revised standards are adopted by OMB, the first 
areas to be designated using the revised standards and Census 2000 data 
could be announced in 2003. The sources and future availability of data 
for updating these areas figured prominently in the committee's 
discussions. The availability of population totals and commuting data 
affects the ability to identify new CBSAs, reclassify existing areas 
among categories (that is, from micropolitan area to metropolitan area, 
metropolitan area to micropolitan area, or micropolitan area to outside 
CBSA), and update the extent of existing areas.
    The 1990 standards provided for the designation of a new 
metropolitan area on the basis of a population estimate or a special 
census count for a city. The use of city special census counts or 
population estimates for designating new areas between decennial 
censuses, on an annual basis, would continue to provide the most 
consistent and equitable means of qualifying new CBSAs in the future 
because annual population estimates for existing and potential 
urbanized areas and urban clusters are not currently produced. The 
committee therefore recommends that a new CBSA should be designated if 
a city that is outside any existing CBSA has a Census Bureau population 
estimate of 10,000 or more for two consecutive years, or a Census 
Bureau special census count of 10,000 or more population. A new CBSA 
also should be designated if a special census results in delineation of 
an intercensal urban area of 10,000 or more population that is outside 
an existing CBSA.
    The use of annual population estimates for cities, however, offers 
an unsatisfactory approach for reclassifying existing CBSAs from one 
category to another because it does not account for population growth 
in the unincorporated portions of an urbanized area or urban cluster or 
in unincorporated territory outside the boundary of an urbanized area 
or urban cluster. Growth in these settings is likely to be more 
important around existing, larger areas than around areas of 
approximately 10,000 population that are on the verge of qualifying as 
CBSAs; in some instances such growth could account for a large portion 
of an existing individual urbanized area's or urban cluster's growth. 
Because patterns of annexation and incorporation vary by state, the 
amount of incorporated territory within or adjacent to an urbanized 
area or urban cluster can vary from one state to another. Any approach 
that would move CBSAs from one category to another based on population 
estimates for incorporated places, rather than the population of cores 
in their entirety, would be biased in favor of CBSAs in states in which 
it is easier for municipalities to incorporate and to annex additional 
territory.
    Adoption of a nationally equitable approach for reclassifying CBSAs 
from one category to another would require the preparation of 
population estimates at more detailed levels of geographic resolution 
(such as census blocks) than are currently produced. Further work is 
needed to develop methodologies for collecting information necessary 
for such estimates, and for preparing the estimates.

[[Page 51069]]

    The composition of all existing CBSAs should be updated in 2008 
using commuting data for each county from the Census Bureau's American 
Community Survey, averaged over five years and centered on 2005.

 B. Comparison of 1990 Metropolitan Area Standards With the Recommended
            2000 Metropolitan and Micropolitan Area Standards
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Recommended 2000
                                1990 Metropolitan     metropolitan and
                                 area standards       micropolitan area
                                                          standards
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Levels/Categories and         Identification of     Identification of
 Terminology.                  metropolitan areas    Core Based
                               comprising            Statistical Areas
                               metropolitan          (CBSAs) comprising
                               statistical areas,    two categories:
                               consolidated          metropolitan areas,
                               metropolitan          based around at
                               statistical areas,    least one Census
                               and primary           Bureau defined
                               metropolitan          urbanized area of
                               statistical areas.    50,000 or more
                               Metropolitan          population, and
                               statistical areas     micropolitan areas,
                               and primary           based around at
                               metropolitan          least one urban
                               statistical areas     cluster of 10,000
                               are identified as     to 49,999
                               level A, B, C, or D   population. A
                               areas based on        metropolitan area
                               total populations     with a single core
                               of at least           of at least
                               1,000,000, 250,000    2,500,000
                               to 999,999, 100,000   population can be
                               to 249,999, and       subdivided into
                               less than 100,000,    component
                               respectively.         metropolitan
                               Metropolitan          divisions. Counties
                               statistical areas     that are not
                               of 1,000,000 or       included in a CBSA
                               more population can   are referred to as
                               be designated as      ``Outside CBSAs.''
                               consolidated         New England City and
                               metropolitan          Town Areas (NECTAs)
                               statistical areas     also defined for
                               if local opinion is   the New England
                               in favor and          states
                               component primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas
                               can be identified.
                              New England County
                               Metropolitan Areas
                               (NECMAs) also
                               defined for the New
                               England states.
Building Blocks.............  Counties and          Counties and
                               equivalent entities   equivalent entities
                               throughout the U.S.   throughout the
                               and Puerto Rico,      U.S., Puerto Rico,
                               except in New         and the Island
                               England, where        Areas. City and
                               cities and towns      town based areas,
                               are used to define    conceptually
                               metropolitan areas.   similar to the
                               County based          county based areas,
                               alternative           provided for the
                               provided for the      New England states.
                               New England states.
Qualification of Areas......  City of at least      Census Bureau
                               50,000 population,    defined urban area
                               or Census Bureau      of at least 10,000
                               defined urbanized     population
                               area of at least
                               50,000 population
                               in a metropolitan
                               area of at least
                               100,000 population.
Qualification of Central      Any county that       Any county in which
 Counties.                     includes a central    at least 50% of the
                               city or at least      population is
                               50% of the            located in urban
                               population of a       areas of at least
                               central city that     10,000 population,
                               is located in a       or that has within
                               qualifier urbanized   its boundaries a
                               area. Also any        population of at
                               county in which at    least 5,000 located
                               least 50% of the      in a single urban
                               population is         area of at least
                               located in a          10,000 population
                               qualifier urbanized
                               area.
Qualification of Outlying     Combination of        At least 25% of the
 Counties.                     commuting and         employed residents
                               measures of           of the county work
                               settlement            in the central
                               structure.            county/counties of
                               50% or more   a CBSA; or at least
                               of employed workers   25% of the
                               commute to the        employment in the
                               central county/       county is accounted
                               counties of a         for by workers
                               metropolitan          residing in the
                               statistical area      central county/
                               and: 25 or more       counties of the
                               persons per square    CBSA.
                               mile (ppsm), or at
                               least 10% or 5,000
                               of the population
                               lives in a
                               qualifier urbanized
                               area; OR.
                               40% to 50%
                               of employed workers
                               commute to the
                               central county/
                               counties of a
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               and: 35 or more
                               ppsm, or at least
                               10% or 5,000 of the
                               population lives in
                               a qualifier
                               urbanized area; OR.
                               25% to 40%
                               of employed workers
                               commute to the
                               central county/
                               counties of a
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               and: 35 ppsm and
                               one of the
                               following: (1) 50
                               or more ppsm, (2)
                               at least 35% urban
                               population, (3) at
                               least 10% or 5,000
                               of population lives
                               in a qualifier
                               urbanized area; OR.
                               15% to 25%
                               of employed workers
                               commute to the
                               central county/
                               counties of a
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               and: 50 or more
                               ppsm and two of the
                               following: (1) 60
                               or more ppsm, (2)
                               at least 35% urban
                               population, (3)
                               population growth
                               rate of at least
                               20%, (4) at least
                               10% or 5,000 of
                               population lives in
                               a qualifier
                               urbanized area; OR.

[[Page 51070]]

 
                               15% to 25%
                               of employed workers
                               commute to the
                               central county/
                               counties of a
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               and less than 50
                               ppsm and two of the
                               following: (1) at
                               least 35% urban
                               population, (2)
                               population growth
                               rate of at least
                               20%, (3) at least
                               10% or 5,000 of
                               population lives in
                               a qualifier
                               urbanized area; OR.
                               At least
                               2,500 of the
                               population lives in
                               a central city
                               located in a
                               qualifier urbanized
                               area of a
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area.
                              If a county           A county that
                               qualifies as          qualifies as
                               outlying to two or    outlying to two or
                               more metropolitan     more CBSAs is
                               areas, it is          included in the
                               assigned to the       area with which it
                               area to which         has the strongest
                               commuting is          commuting tie.
                               greatest; if the
                               relevant commuting
                               percentages are
                               within 5 points of
                               each other, local
                               opinion is
                               considered.
Merging Statistical Areas...  If a county            Two adjacent CBSAs
                               qualifies as a        are merged to form
                               central county of     one CBSA if the
                               one metropolitan      central county/
                               statistical area      counties (as a
                               and as an outlying    group) of one CBSA
                               county on the basis   qualify as outlying
                               of commuting to a     to the central
                               central county of     county/counties (as
                               another               a group) of the
                               metropolitan          other
                               statistical area,
                               both counties
                               become central
                               counties of a
                               single metropolitan
                               statistical area.
Central Cities/Principal      Central cities        Principal cities
 Cities.                       include the largest   include the largest
                               city in a             incorporated place
                               metropolitan          or census
                               statistical area/     designated place in
                               consolidated          a CBSA AND each
                               metropolitan          place of at least
                               statistical area      250,000 population
                               AND each city of at   or in which at
                               least 250,000         least 100,000
                               population or at      persons work AND
                               least 100,000         each place with a
                               workers AND each      population that is
                               city of at least      at least 10,000 and
                               25,000 population     1/3 the size of the
                               and at least 75       largest place, and
                               jobs per 100          in which employment
                               workers and less      meets or exceeds
                               than 60% out          the number of
                               commuting AND each    employed residents.
                               city of at least
                               15,000 population
                               that is at least 1/
                               3 the size of
                               largest central
                               city and meets
                               employment ratio
                               and commuting
                               percentage above
                               AND the largest
                               city of 15,000
                               population or more
                               that meets
                               employment ratio
                               and commuting
                               percentage above
                               and is in a
                               secondary
                               noncontiguous
                               urbanized area AND
                               each city in a
                               secondary
                               noncontiguous
                               urbanized area that
                               is at least 1/3 the
                               size of largest
                               central city in
                               that urbanized area
                               and has at least
                               15,000 population
                               and meets
                               employment ratio
                               and commuting
                               percentage above.
Primary Metropolitan          Primary metropolitan  Metropolitan
 Statistical Areas/            statistical areas     divisions consist
 Metropolitan Divisions and    outside New England   of one or more
 NECTA Divisions.              consist of one or     counties within
                               more counties         metropolitan areas
                               within metropolitan   that have a single
                               areas that have a     core of 2.5 million
                               total population of   or more population.
                               1 million or more.   A county is
                               Specifically, these   identified as a
                               primary               main county of a
                               metropolitan          metropolitan
                               statistical areas     division if: (a)
                               consist of: (A) One   greater than 50
                               or more counties      percent of its
                               designated as a       employed residents
                               standard              work within the
                               metropolitan          county; (b) the
                               statistical area on   ratio of its
                               January 1, 1980,      employment to its
                               unless local          number of employed
                               opinion does not      residents is at
                               support continued     least 0.75; and (c)
                               separate              the highest rate of
                               designation. (B)      out-commuting from
                               One or more           the county to any
                               counties for which    other county is
                               local opinion         less than 15
                               strongly supports     percent.
                               separate             After all main
                               designation,          counties have been
                               provided one county   identified, each
                               has: (1) at least     additional county
                               100,000 population;   that already has
                               (2) at least 60       qualified for the
                               percent of its        metropolitan area
                               population urban;     is included in the
                               (3) less than 35      metropolitan
                               percent of its        division associated
                               resident workers      with the main
                               working outside the   county to which the
                               county; and (4)       county at issue
                               less than 2,500       sends the highest
                               population of the     percentage of its
                               largest central       out-commuters.
                               city in the           Counties within a
                               metropolitan          metropolitan
                               statistical area.     division must be
                               (C) A set of two or   contiguous.
                               more contiguous
                               counties for which
                               local opinion
                               strongly supports
                               separate
                               designation,
                               provided at least
                               one county also
                               could qualify as a
                               primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area in
                               section (B), and
                               (1) each county
                               meets requirements
                               (B)(1), (B)(2), and
                               (B)(4) and less
                               than 50 percent of
                               its resident
                               workers work
                               outside the county;
                               (2) each county has
                               a commuting
                               interchange of at
                               least 20 percent
                               with the other
                               counties in the
                               set; and (3) less
                               than 35 percent of
                               the resident
                               workers of the set
                               of counties work
                               outside the area.

[[Page 51071]]

 
                              Each county in the
                               metropolitan area
                               not included within
                               a central core
                               under sections (A)
                               through (C), is
                               assigned to the
                               contiguous primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area to
                               whose central core
                               commuting is
                               greatest, provided
                               this commuting is:
                               (1) at least 15
                               percent of the
                               county's resident
                               workers; (2) at
                               least 5 percentage
                               points higher than
                               the commuting flow
                               to any other
                               primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               central core that
                               exceeds 15 percent;
                               and.
                              (3) larger than the
                               flow to the county
                               containing the
                               metropolitan area's
                               largest central
                               city.
                              If a county has
                               qualifying
                               commuting ties to
                               two or more primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               central cores and
                               the relevant values
                               are within 5
                               percentage points
                               of each other,
                               local opinion is
                               considered.
                              Primary metropolitan  New England City and
                               statistical areas     Town Area (NECTA)
                               in New England        Divisions consist
                               consist of groups     of one or more
                               of cities and towns   cities and towns
                               within metropolitan   within NECTAs that
                               areas that have a     have at least one
                               total population of   core of 2.5 million
                               1 million or more.    or more population.
                               Specifically, these  A city or town is
                               primary               identified as a
                               metropolitan          main city or town
                               statistical areas     of a NECTA Division
                               consist of:.          if the city or town
                              (D) Any group of       at issue has a
                               cities and towns      population of
                               designated as a       50,000 or more and
                               standard              its highest rate of
                               metropolitan          out-commuting to
                               statistical area on   any other city or
                               January 1, 1980,      town is less than
                               unless local          20 percent.
                               opinion does not     After all main
                               support its           cities and towns
                               continued             have been
                               designation.          identified, each
                              (E) Any additional     additional city and
                               group of cities and/  town that already
                               or towns for which    has qualified for
                               local opinion         inclusion in the
                               strongly supports     NECTA should be
                               separate              included in the
                               designation,          NECTA Division
                               provided: (1) the     associated with the
                               total population of   city or town to
                               the group is at       which the one at
                               least 75,000;.        issue sends the
                              (2) the group          highest percentage
                               includes at least     of its out-
                               one city with a       commuters. Each
                               population of         NECTA Division must
                               15,000 or more, an    contain a total
                               employment/           population of
                               residence ratio of    100,000 or more.
                               at least 0.75, and    Cities and towns at
                               at least 40 percent   first assigned to
                               of its employed       areas with less
                               residents working     than 100,000
                               in the city;.         population
                              (3) the group          subsequently will
                               contains a core of    be assigned to the
                               communities, each     qualifying NECTA
                               of which has at       Division associated
                               least 50 percent of   with the city or
                               its population        town to which the
                               living in the         one at issue sends
                               urbanized area, and   the highest
                               which together have   percentage of its
                               less than 40          out-commuters.
                               percent of their      Cities and towns
                               resident workers      within a NECTA
                               commuting to jobs     Division must be
                               outside the core;     contiguous.
                               and (4) each
                               community in the
                               core also has: (a)
                               at least 5 percent
                               of its resident
                               workers working in
                               the component core
                               city identified in
                               section (E)(2), or
                               at least 10 percent
                               working in the
                               component core city
                               or in places
                               already qualified
                               for this core; this
                               percentage also
                               must be greater
                               than that to any
                               other core or to
                               the largest city of
                               the metropolitan
                               area, and (b) at
                               least 20 percent
                               commuting
                               interchange with
                               the component core
                               city together with
                               other cities and
                               towns already
                               qualified for the
                               core; this
                               interchange also
                               must be greater
                               than with any other
                               core or with the
                               largest city of the
                               metropolitan area.
                              (F) Any group of
                               cities and towns
                               resulting from
                               merging contiguous
                               component central
                               cores. Such a
                               merging of cores
                               may take place if:
                               (1) section E would
                               qualify the
                               component core city
                               of one core for
                               inclusion in the
                               other core, and (2)
                               there is
                               substantial local
                               support for
                               treating the two as
                               a single core.

[[Page 51072]]

 
                              Each city or town in
                               the metropolitan
                               area not included
                               in the core under
                               sections D through
                               F is assigned to
                               the contiguous
                               primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area to
                               whose core its
                               commuting is
                               greatest, if: (1)
                               this commuting is
                               at least 15 percent
                               of the place's
                               resident workers;
                               and (2) the
                               commuting
                               interchange with
                               the core is greater
                               than with the
                               metropolitan area's
                               largest city.
                              If a city or town
                               has qualifying
                               commuting ties to
                               two or more cores
                               and the relevant
                               values are within 5
                               percentage points
                               of each other,
                               local opinion is
                               considered before
                               the place is
                               assigned to any
                               primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area.
                              If primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas
                               have been
                               recognized within a
                               metropolitan area
                               under the above
                               provisions, the
                               balance of the
                               metropolitan area,
                               which includes its
                               largest central
                               city, also is
                               recognized as a
                               primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area.
                              Definitions of
                               primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas
                               are based on these
                               standards and a
                               review of local
                               opinion..
Combining Statistical Areas.  Two adjacent          Two adjacent CBSAs
                               metropolitan          are combined if the
                               statistical areas     employment
                               are combined as a     interchange rate
                               single metropolitan   between the two
                               statistical area      areas is at least
                               if: (A) the total     25. The employment
                               population of the     interchange rate is
                               combination is at     the sum of the
                               least one million     percentage of
                               and (1) the           employed residents
                               commuting             of the CBSA with
                               interchange between   the smaller total
                               the two               population who work
                               metropolitan          in the CBSA with
                               statistical areas     the larger total
                               is equal to at        population and the
                               least 15% of the      percentage of
                               employed workers      employment in the
                               residing in the       CBSA with the
                               smaller               smaller total
                               metropolitan          population that is
                               statistical area,     accounted for by
                               or equal to at        workers residing in
                               least 10% of the      the CBSA with the
                               employed workers      larger total
                               residing in the       population.
                               smaller               Adjacent CBSAs that
                               metropolitan          have an employment
                               statistical area      interchange rate of
                               and the urbanized     at least 15 and
                               area of a central     less than 25 may
                               city of one           combine if local
                               metropolitan          opinion in both
                               statistical area is   areas favors
                               contiguous with the   combination. The
                               urbanized area of a   combining CBSAs
                               central city of the   also retain
                               other metropolitan    separate
                               statistical area or   recognition.
                               a central city in
                               one metropolitan
                               statistical area is
                               included in the
                               same urbanized area
                               as a central city
                               in the other
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area;
                               AND (2) at least
                               60% of the
                               population of each
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area is
                               urban. (B) the
                               total population of
                               the combination is
                               less than one
                               million and (1)
                               their largest
                               central cities are
                               within 25 miles of
                               one another, or the
                               urbanized areas are
                               contiguous; AND (2)
                               there is definite
                               evidence that the
                               two areas are
                               closely integrated
                               economically and
                               socially; AND (3)
                               local opinion in
                               both areas supports
                               combination..

[[Page 51073]]

 
Titles......................  Titles of             Titles of CBSAs
                               metropolitan          include the names
                               statistical areas     of up to three
                               include the names     principal cities in
                               of up to three        order of descending
                               central cities in     population size.
                               order of descending  Titles of
                               population size.      metropolitan
                               Local opinion is      divisions include
                               considered under      the names of up to
                               specified             three principal
                               conditions.           cities in the
                              Titles of primary      metropolitan
                               metropolitan          division in order
                               statistical areas     of descending
                               include the names     population size. If
                               of up to three        there are no
                               cities in the         principal cities,
                               primary               the title includes
                               metropolitan          the names of up to
                               statistical area      three counties in
                               that have qualified   the metropolitan
                               as central cities.    division in order
                               If there are no       of descending
                               central cities, the   population size.
                               title will include   Titles of combined
                               the names of up to    areas include the
                               three counties in     name of the largest
                               the primary           principal city in
                               metropolitan          the largest CBSA
                               statistical area in   that combines,
                               order of descending   followed by the
                               population size.      names of the
                              Titles of              largest principal
                               consolidated          city in each of up
                               metropolitan          to two additional
                               statistical areas     CBSAs that combine,
                               include the names     provided that the
                               of up to three        second and third
                               central cities or     CBSAs in the
                               counties in the       combined area each
                               consolidated          have at least one-
                               metropolitan          third the
                               statistical area.     population of the
                               The first name will   first.
                               be the largest
                               central city in the
                               consolidated
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area;
                               the remaining two
                               names will be the
                               first city or
                               county name that
                               appears in the
                               title of the
                               remaining primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               with the largest
                               total population
                               and the first city
                               or county name that
                               appears in the
                               title of the
                               primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               with the next
                               largest total
                               population.
                               Regional
                               designations can be
                               substituted for the
                               second and third
                               names if there is
                               strong local
                               support.
Local Opinion...............  Consulted when:       Consulted when two
                               A county      CBSAs qualify for
                               qualifies as          combination with an
                               outlying to two       employment
                               different             interchange rate of
                               metropolitan          at least 15 but
                               statistical areas     less than 25.
                               and the relevant
                               commuting
                               percentages are
                               within 5 points of
                               each other;.
                               A city or
                               town in New England
                               qualifies as
                               outlying to two
                               different
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas
                               and has relevant
                               commuting
                               percentages within
                               5 points of each
                               other;
                               A city or
                               town in New England
                               qualifies as
                               outlying to a
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               but has greater
                               commuting to a
                               nonmetropolitan
                               city or town and
                               the relevant
                               commuting
                               percentages are
                               within 5 points of
                               each other;
                               Combining
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas
                               whose total
                               population is less
                               than 1,000,000;
                               Assigning
                               titles of
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas,
                               consolidated
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas,
                               and primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas;
                               and
                               Designating primary
                               metropolitan
                               statistical areas.
Grandfathering..............  A metropolitan        Areas that do not
                               statistical area      meet the standards
                               designated on the     for designation do
                               basis of census       not qualify.
                               data according to
                               standards in effect
                               at the time of
                               designation will
                               not be disqualified
                               on the basis of
                               lacking a city of
                               at least 50,000
                               population or an
                               urbanized area of
                               at least 50,000 or
                               a total population
                               of at least
                               100,000.

[[Page 51074]]

 
Intercensal Updating........  A new metropolitan    A new CBSA can be
                               area can be           designated if a
                               designated            city has a Census
                               intercensally if a    Bureau population
                               city has a Census     estimate of 10,000
                               Bureau population     or more for two
                               estimate or special   consecutive years
                               census count of at    or a Census Bureau
                               least 50,000 or if    special census
                               a county containing   count of 10,000 or
                               an urbanized area     more. The
                               has a Census Bureau   geographic extent
                               population estimate   of each CBSA would
                               or special census     be re-examined in
                               count of at least     2008 using
                               100,000. Outlying     commuting data from
                               counties are added    the Census Bureau's
                               to existing           American Community
                               metropolitan          Survey.
                               statistical areas
                               intercensally only
                               when (1) a central
                               city located in a
                               qualifier urbanized
                               area extends into a
                               county not included
                               in the metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               and the population
                               of that portion of
                               the city in the
                               county is at least
                               2,500 according to
                               a Census Bureau
                               population count or
                               (2) an
                               intercensally
                               designated
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area
                               qualifies to
                               combine with an
                               existing
                               metropolitan
                               statistical area.
                               New central cities
                               can be designated
                               intercensally on
                               the basis of a
                               special census
                               count..
------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Recommended Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan 
Areas

    These standards are for use in defining Core Based Statistical 
Areas (CBSAs) of which there are two categories: Metropolitan Areas and 
Micropolitan Areas. A CBSA is a statistical geographic entity 
associated with at least one core of 10,000 or more population, plus 
adjacent territory having a high degree of social and economic 
integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.
    The purpose of the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Area Standards is 
to provide a nationally consistent set of area definitions suitable for 
collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics. CBSAs are 
not designed to serve as a general purpose geographic framework 
applicable to nonstatistical activities, programs, or funding formulas.
    CBSAs consist of counties and equivalent entities throughout the 
United States, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas. Because of the 
importance of cities and towns as the primary units of local government 
in New England, a set of geographic areas similar in concept to the 
county based CBSAs also will be defined for that region using cities 
and towns. These New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs) are intended 
for use with statistical data, whenever feasible and appropriate, for 
New England. Data providers and users desiring areas defined using a 
nationally consistent geographic building block should consider using 
the county based CBSAs in New England.
    The following criteria apply to both the nationwide county based 
CBSAs and to NECTAs, with the exceptions of Sections 7 and 9, in which 
separate criteria are applied when identifying and titling divisions 
within NECTAs that contain at least one core of 2.5 million or more 
population. Wherever the word ``county'' or ``counties'' appears in the 
following criteria (except in Sections 7 and 9), the words ``city and 
town'' or ``cities and towns'' should be substituted, as appropriate, 
when defining NECTAs.
1. Population Size Requirements for Qualification of Core Based 
Statistical Areas
    Each CBSA must have a Census Bureau defined urbanized area of at 
least 50,000 population or a Census Bureau defined urban cluster of at 
least 10,000 population. (Urbanized areas and urban clusters are 
collectively referred to as ``urban areas.'')
2. Central Counties
    The central county or counties of a CBSA are those counties that:
    (a) Have at least 50 percent of their population in urban areas of 
at least 10,000 population; or
    (b) Have within their boundaries a population of at least 5,000 
that is located in a single urban area of at least 10,000 population.
    A central county is associated with the urbanized area or urban 
cluster that accounts for the largest portion of the county's 
population. The central counties associated with a particular urbanized 
area or urban cluster are grouped to form a single cluster of central 
counties for purposes of measuring commuting to and from outlying 
counties.
3. Outlying Counties
    An outlying county is included in a CBSA if it meets the following 
commuting requirements:
    (a) At least 25 percent of the employed residents of the county 
work in the central county or counties of the CBSA; or
    (b) At least 25 percent of the employment in the county is 
accounted for by workers who reside in the central county or counties 
of the CBSA.
    A county may be included in only one CBSA. If a county qualifies as 
a central county of one CBSA and as outlying in another, it will be 
included in the CBSA in which it is a central county. A county that 
qualifies as outlying to multiple CBSAs will be included in the CBSA 
with which it has the strongest commuting tie, as measured by either 
(a) or (b) above. The counties included in a CBSA must be contiguous; 
if a county is not contiguous with other counties in the CBSA, it will 
not be included in the CBSA.
4. Merging of Adjacent Core Based Statistical Areas
    Two adjacent CBSAs will be merged to form one CBSA if the central 
county or counties (as a group) of one CBSA qualify as outlying to the 
central county or counties (as a group) of the other CBSA using the 
measures and thresholds stated in 3(a) and 3(b) above.
5. Identification of Principal Cities
    The principal city (or cities) of a CBSA will include:

[[Page 51075]]

    (a) The largest incorporated place or census designated place in 
the CBSA;
    (b) Any additional incorporated place or census designated place 
with a population of at least 250,000 or in which 100,000 or more 
persons work; and
    (c) Any additional incorporated place or census designated place 
with a population that is at least 10,000 and one-third the size of the 
largest place, and in which the number of jobs meets or exceeds the 
number of employed residents.
6. Categories and Terminology
    A CBSA will be assigned a category based on the population of the 
largest urban area (urbanized area or urban cluster) within the CBSA. 
Categories of CBSAs are: Metropolitan Areas, based around urbanized 
areas of 50,000 or more population, and Micropolitan Areas, based 
around urban clusters of at least 10,000 population but less than 
50,000 population.
    Counties that are not included in CBSAs will be referred to as 
being ``Outside Core Based Statistical Areas.''
7. Divisions of Metropolitan Areas and New England City and Town Areas
    Metropolitan Areas containing at least one core with a population 
of at least 2.5 million may be subdivided to form smaller groupings of 
counties referred to as Metropolitan Divisions.
    A county will be identified as a main county of a Metropolitan 
Division if:
    (a) Greater than 50 percent of its employed residents work within 
the county;
    (b) The ratio of the number of jobs located within that county to 
its number of employed residents is at least 0.75; and
    (c) The highest rate of out-commuting from the county to any other 
county is less than 15 percent.
    After all main counties have been identified, each remaining county 
in the Metropolitan Area will be included in the Metropolitan Division 
associated with the main county to which the county at issue sends the 
highest percentage of its out-commuters. Counties within a Metropolitan 
Division must be contiguous.
    NECTAs containing at least one core with a population of at least 
2.5 million may be subdivided to form smaller groupings of cities and 
towns referred to as NECTA Divisions.
    A city or town is identified as a ``main city or town'' of a NECTA 
Division if:
    (a) The city or town at issue has a population of 50,000 or more; 
and
    (b) Its highest rate of out-commuting to any other city or town is 
less than 20 percent.
    After all main cities and towns have been identified, each 
remaining city and town in the NECTA will be included in the NECTA 
Division associated with the city or town to which the one at issue 
sends the highest percentage of its out-commuters.
    Each NECTA Division must contain a total population of 100,000 or 
more. Cities and towns first assigned to areas with populations less 
than 100,000 will be assigned to the qualifying NECTA Division 
associated with the city or town to which the one at issue sends the 
highest percentage of its out-commuters. Cities and towns within a 
NECTA Division must be contiguous.
8. Combining Adjacent Core Based Statistical Areas
    Any two adjacent CBSAs will form a Combined Area if the employment 
interchange rate between the two areas is at least 25. The employment 
interchange rate between two CBSAs is defined as the sum of the 
percentage of employed residents of the CBSA with the smaller total 
population who work in the area with the larger total population and 
the percentage of employment in the CBSA with the smaller total 
population that is accounted for by workers residing in the CBSA with 
the larger total population. Adjacent CBSAs that have an employment 
interchange rate of at least 15 and less than 25 will be combined if 
local opinion, as reported by the congressional delegations in both 
areas, favors combination. The CBSAs that combine retain separate 
identities within the larger Combined Areas.
9. Titles of Core Based Statistical Areas, Metropolitan Divisions, New 
England City and Town Area Divisions, and Combined Areas
    The title of a CBSA will include the name of its principal city 
with the largest Census 2000 population. If there are multiple 
principal cities, the names of the second largest and third largest 
principal cities will be included in the title in order of descending 
population size.
    The title of a Metropolitan Division will include the name of the 
principal city with the largest Census 2000 population located within 
the Metropolitan Division. If there are multiple principal cities, the 
names of the second largest and third largest principal cities will be 
included in the title in order of descending population size. If there 
are no principal cities located within the Metropolitan Division, the 
title of the Metropolitan Division will include the names of up to 
three counties in order of descending population size.
    The title of a NECTA Division will include the name of the 
principal city with the largest Census 2000 population located within 
the NECTA Division. If there are multiple principal cities, the names 
of the second largest and third largest principal cities will be 
included in the title in order of descending population size. If there 
are no principal cities located within the NECTA Division, the title of 
the NECTA Division will include the name of the city or town with the 
largest population.
    The title of a Combined Area will include the name of the largest 
principal city in the largest CBSA that combines, followed by the 
largest principal city in each of up to two additional CBSAs that 
combine, provided that the second and third CBSAs in the Combined Area 
each have at least one-third the population of the largest CBSA in the 
combination.
    CBSA, Metropolitan Division, NECTA Division, and Combined Area 
titles also will include the names of any state in which the area is 
located.
10. Update Schedule
    CBSAs based on Census 2000 data are scheduled to be defined in 
2003. Subsequently, new CBSAs will be designated intercensally if:
    (a) A city that is outside any existing CBSA has a Census Bureau 
special census count of 10,000 or more population, or Census Bureau 
population estimates of 10,000 or more population for two consecutive 
years, or
    (b) A Census Bureau special census results in the delineation of a 
new urban area (urbanized area or urban cluster) of 10,000 or more 
population that is outside of any existing CBSA.
    In the years through 2007, outlying counties of intercensally 
designated CBSAs will be qualified, according to the criteria in 
Section 3 above, on the basis of Census 2000 commuting data.
    The definitions of all existing CBSAs will be reviewed in 2008 
using commuting data from the Census Bureau's American Community 
Survey. The central counties of CBSAs identified on the basis of a 
Census 2000 population count, or on the basis of population estimates 
or a special census count in the case of intercensally defined areas, 
will constitute the central counties for purposes of the 2008 CBSA 
definition review. New CBSAs will be designated in 2008 and 2009 on the 
basis of Census Bureau special census counts or population estimates as 
described above; outlying county qualification in these years will be 
based on 2008 commuting data from the American Community Survey.

[[Page 51076]]

11. Local Opinion
    Local opinion, as used in these standards, is the reflection of the 
views of the public and is obtained through the appropriate 
congressional delegations. Under the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Area 
Standards, local opinion is sought only when two adjacent CBSAs qualify 
for combination based on an employment interchange rate of at least 15 
but less than 25 (see Section 8). The two CBSAs will be combined only 
if there is evidence that local opinion in both areas favors the 
combination. After a decision has been made regarding the combination 
of CBSAs, the Office of Management and Budget will not request local 
opinion again on the same question until the next redefinition of 
CBSAs.
D. Key Terms
(An asterisk (*) denotes new terms defined for the purposes of the 
Metropolitan Area Standards Review Project. Two asterisks (**) denote 
terms whose definitions have changed for purposes of the Metropolitan 
Area Standards Review Project.)

    Census designated place--A statistical geographic entity that is 
equivalent to an incorporated place, defined for the decennial census, 
consisting of a locally recognized, unincorporated concentration of 
population that is identified by name.
    Central city--The largest city of a metropolitan statistical area 
or a consolidated metropolitan statistical area, plus additional cities 
that meet specified statistical criteria in the 1990 metropolitan area 
standards.
    ** Central county--The county or counties of a core based 
statistical area containing a substantial portion of an urbanized area 
or urban cluster or both, and to and from which commuting is measured 
to determine qualification of outlying counties.
    * Combined area--A geographic entity consisting of two or more 
adjacent core based statistical areas (CBSAs) with employment 
interchange rates of at least 15. CBSAs with employment interchange 
rates of at least 25 combine automatically. CBSAs with employment 
interchange rates of at least 15 but less than 25 may combine if local 
opinion in both areas favors combination.
    ** Core--A densely settled concentration of population, comprising 
either an urbanized area (of 50,000 or more population) or an urban 
cluster (of 10,000 to 49,999 population) defined by the Census Bureau, 
around which a core based statistical area is defined.
    * Core based statistical area (CBSA)--A statistical geographic 
entity consisting of the county or counties associated with at least 
one core (urbanized area or urban cluster) of at least 10,000 
population, plus adjacent counties having a high degree of social and 
economic integration with the core as measured through commuting ties 
with the counties containing the core. Metropolitan and micropolitan 
areas are two categories of core based statistical areas.
    * Employment interchange rate--A measure of ties between two 
adjacent core based statistical areas (CBSAs) used when determining 
whether they qualify to be combined. The employment interchange rate is 
the sum of the percentage of employed residents of the smaller CBSA who 
work in the larger CBSA and the percentage of employment in the smaller 
CBSA that is accounted for by workers who reside in the larger CBSA.
    Geographic building block--The geographic unit, such as a county, 
that forms the basic geographic component of a statistical area.
    * Main city or town--A city or town that acts as an employment 
center within a New England city and town area that has a core with a 
population of at least 2.5 million. A main city or town serves as the 
basis for defining a New England city and town area division.
    * Main county--A county that acts as an employment center within a 
core based statistical area that has a core with a population of at 
least 2.5 million. A main county serves as the basis for defining a 
metropolitan division.
    ** Metropolitan area--A collective term, established by OMB and 
used for the first time in 1990, to refer to metropolitan statistical 
areas, consolidated metropolitan statistical areas, and primary 
metropolitan statistical areas. Also, as introduced for this Notice, a 
core based statistical area associated with at least one urban area 
that has a population of 50,000 or more; the metropolitan area 
comprises the central county or counties containing the core, plus 
adjacent outlying counties having a high degree of social and economic 
integration with the central county as measured through commuting.
    * Metropolitan division--A county or group of counties within a 
core based statistical area that contains a core with a population of 
at least 2.5 million. A metropolitan division consists of one or more 
main counties that represent an employment center or centers, plus 
adjacent counties associated with the main county or counties through 
commuting ties.
    Metropolitan statistical area--A geographic entity, defined by OMB 
for statistical purposes, containing a large population nucleus and 
adjacent communities having a high degree of social and economic 
integration with that nucleus. Under the 1990 metropolitan area 
standards, qualification of an MSA required a city with 50,000 
population or more, or an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more 
and a total population of at least 100,000 (75,000 in New England). 
MSAs are composed of entire counties, except in New England where the 
components are cities and towns.
    * Micropolitan area--A core based statistical area associated with 
at least one urban area that has a population of at least 10,000 but 
less than 50,000. The micropolitan area comprises the central county or 
counties containing the core, plus adjacent outlying counties having a 
high degree of social and economic integration with the central county 
as measured through commuting.
    Minor civil division--A type of governmental unit that is the 
primary legal subdivision of a county, created to govern or administer 
an area rather than a specific population.
    New England county metropolitan area (NECMA)--Under the 1990 
metropolitan area standards, a county based statistical area defined by 
OMB to provide an alternative to the city and town based metropolitan 
statistical areas and consolidated metropolitan statistical areas in 
New England.
    * New England city and town area (NECTA)--A statistical geographic 
entity that is defined using cities and towns as building blocks and 
that is conceptually similar to the core based statistical areas in New 
England (which are defined using counties as building blocks).
    * New England city and town area (NECTA) division--A city or town 
or group of cities and towns within a NECTA that contains a core with a 
population of at least 2.5 million. A NECTA division consists of a main 
city or town that represents an employment center, plus adjacent cities 
and towns associated with the main city or town, or with other cities 
and towns that are in turn associated with the main city or town, 
through commuting ties.
    ** Outlying county--A county that qualifies for inclusion in a core 
based statistical area on the basis of commuting ties with the core 
based statistical area's central county or counties.

[[Page 51077]]

    * Outside core based statistical areas--Counties that do not 
qualify for inclusion in a core based statistical area.
    * Principal city--The largest city of a core based statistical 
area, plus additional cities that meet specified statistical criteria.
    Urban area--The generic term used by the Census Bureau to refer 
collectively to urbanized areas and urban clusters.
    Urban cluster--A statistical geographic entity to be defined by the 
Census Bureau for Census 2000, consisting of a central place(s) and 
adjacent densely settled territory that together contain at least 2,500 
but less than 50,000 people, generally with an overall population 
density of at least 1,000 people per square mile. For purposes of 
defining core based statistical areas, only those urban clusters of 
10,000 more population are considered. (Previous Notices referred to 
urban clusters as ``settlement clusters.'')
    Urbanized area--A statistical geographic entity defined by the 
Census Bureau, consisting of a central place(s) and adjacent densely 
settled territory that together contain at least 50,000 people, 
generally with an overall population density of at least 1,000 people 
per square mile.

[FR Doc. 00-20951 Filed 8-21-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3110-01-U