New 2018 Vintage Metropolitan Areas

.. new, September 14, 2018 vintage, Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) delineations have been released by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Among other things, the new delineations specify which counties are included in each CBSA.  CBSAs. an OMB standards term, are metropolitan areas comprised of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (now 384 MSAs in the U.S.) and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (now 542 MISAs in the U.S.).

How Metros Change Geographically
The following graphic, focused on the Charlotte, NC-SC MSA region, illustrates how MSAs are changing. 2017 vintage MSAs are shown with bold green boundary, yellow fill pattern. Cross-hatched areas are 2018 vintage MSA counties. As of the 2018 vintage, note that …
• Anson County, NC (to right of pointer) has been added to the Charlotte, NC-SC MSA.
• Union County, SC has been removed from the Spartanburg, SC MSA.
• Harnett County, NC has been added to the Fayetteville, NC MSA.

— graphic developed using CV XE GIS software and related GIS project.

What About My MSAs of Interest?
See detailed information about the 2018 vintage CBSAs/MSAs and their component counties at

Impact of the 2018 Delineations
The new delineations take place immediately and have numerous impacts.  Going forward, Federal statistical agencies will develop statistics and use the new names and geocodes as set forth in the new delineations (most names and geocodes remain the same).  For CBSAs affected, which are numerous, this will result in challenges for longitudinal analyses where consistently defined geography over time is required.  The total 2017 official population estimates are affected for three of the largest 10 CBSAs using the 2018 delineations compared to the 2017 delineations.  More immediately, it may become confusing whether the 2018, 2017, 2015, or an earlier vintage CBSA geography is being referenced.  On a positive note, the 2018 vintage CBSAs are believed to best reflect the set of counties comprising a CBSA as an entity of highly related demographic-economic conditions.

Keeping Up-to-Date with Metro Demographic-Economic Data
Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs/metros), comprised of one or more contiguous counties, are important for many reasons. Business, demographic and economic data for these 384 areas, each developed around an area of large population concentration, provide a “10,000 foot” view of these characteristics and how they are changing. As they are comprised of county groups, much of the subject matter data are also available for drill-down analysis at the county and sub-county levels. Metro boundaries change some over time … as more peripheral counties are added or removed depending on their demographic-economic affinity with central county(s).

Metros are an important part of the ProximityOne Situation & Outlook program. Metro demographic-economic estimates and projections are updated to reflect 2018 vintage metros. This includes all elements of the Census-sourced age-race/ethnicity-gender annual estimates and American Community Survey demographic-economic subject matter.

Designating Metros and Delineating Metro County Components
More detail … in consultation with Federal statistical agencies, OMB defines metropolitan statistical area boundaries. This section provides a summary of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), and component Metropolitan Division and Counties/County Equivalents, as delineated in OMB Bulletin 18-04 issued September 14, 2018. These delineations take place immediately. This is a significant update affecting approximately 20-percent of previous MSA delineations (one or more county addition or removal).

Under the September 14, 2018 delineation, there are 938 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (MISAs) in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, collectively referred to as Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs). There are 392 MSAs (384 in the U.S. and 8 in Puerto Rico). 11 MSAs contain a total of 31 Metropolitan Divisions. There are 546 MISAs (542 in the United States and 4 in Puerto Rico).

The 384 U.S. MSAs comprise 1,181 counties of total 3,142 U.S. counties. The total 2017 population of these metros was 280,468,904 of total 325,719,178 U.S. population (86.1%).

See related sections:
• Metros Main Section
• Metros Situation & Outlook Reports
.. click link in column 3 in table in above page to view detailed report
• Metro Demographic-Economic Interactive Tables
• County Population/Components of Change Interactive Table

Data Analytics Web Sessions
Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.

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