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Have Population and Commuting Patterns Changed In Your Region?

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (µSAs) are collections of counties where there is so much interconnectivity between the counties that they should be measured as one economy rather than separate counties.  For example, in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas MSA many individuals live in Tarrant County but work in Dallas County.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) periodically updates the definitions of MSAs and µSAs based on Census commuting and population data. MSAs “have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.” Similarly, µSAs “have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.”

Though the OMB provides historical delineations  and current definitions, it is difficult to find a comprehensive list of changes made to the statistical areas. The current definitions were released in February 2013, and the previous definitions were released in December 2009. The dashboard below allows users to view changes to MSAs and µSAs definitions between the 2009 and 2013.

Using Texas as an example, click through the tabs to see the filters that can be applied to your statistical area.

To summarize the changes in Texas:

  • Hudspeth County was added to the El Paso, TX MSA
  • Oldham County was added to the Amarillo, TX MSA
  • Lynn County was added to the Lubbock, TX MSA
  • Martin County was added to the Midland, TX MSA
  • Falls County was added to the Waco, TX MSA
  • Newton County was added to the Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX MSA
  • Little River County, AR was added to the Texarkana, TX-AR MSA
  • Glasscock County was added to the Big Spring, TX µSA
  • Trinity County was added to the Huntsville, TX µSA
  • Zapata County was added to the Zapata, TX µSA
  • Roberts County was removed from the Pampa, TX µSA
  • Fannin County was removed from the Bonham, TX µSA
  • Burnet County was removed from the Marble Falls, TX µSA
  • Delta County was removed from the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA
  • San Jacinto County was removed from the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX MSA
  • Hood County and Somerville County were removed from the Granbury, TX µSA and absorbed into the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA
  • Calhoun County was removed from the Victoria, TX MSA and added to the Port Lavaca, TX µSA
  • The Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX MSA was renamed Killeen-Temple, TX MSA
  • The Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX MSA was renamed Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA
  • The Houston-Sugar Land Baytown, TX MSA was renamed Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX MSA

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