Metropolitan Statistical Areas now account for 82.6% of the nation’s population, 25.3% of the national land area, and 1,089 counties in the US.
Recently, the federal government updated its guidelines for how the nation’s population centers are defined. This impacts how federal programs are administered across many agencies. For those of us in urban forestry, the new definitions provide solid data regarding how many people live in urban areas, called Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The new OMB standards also identify a new population trend called Micropolitan Statistical Areas. In addition, the standards refresh accepted acronyms, so for those of you writing proposals, “MSA’s” are out, and “MetroSA’s” are in.
Brookings provides a thorough analysis and explanation of what the new OMB standards mean.
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