June 30, 1995
OMB BULLETIN NO. 95-04
TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS
SUBJECT: Revised Statistical Definitions of Metropolitan
Areas (MAs) and Guidance on Uses of MA Definitions
- Purpose: This Bulletin establishes two new Metropolitan
Statistical Areas (MSAs) and a new central city in an existing MSA.
It also provides guidance on the use of the statistical definitions of
Metropolitan Areas (MAs).
- Background: Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3504(d)(3) and 31 U.S.C.
1104(d) and E.O. No. 10253 (June 11, 1951), the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) defines MAs for use in Federal statistical activities. OMB updates
these definitions each June, adding new areas that qualify as MAs and
cities that qualify as central cities for MAs.
- New MSAs: Flagstaff, Arizona-Utah, is defined as a Level CMSA
(FIPS Code 2620) effective June 30, 1995. The Flagstaff, Arizona-Utah
MSA comprises Coconino County, Arizona, and Kane County, Utah. Its
central city is Flagstaff, Arizona.
Grand Junction, Colorado, is defined as a Level D MSA (FIPS Code 2995)
effective June 30, 1995. The Grand Junction, Colorado MSA comprises
Mesa County, Colorado. Its central city is Grand Junction, Colorado.
- New central city: Lenoir, North Carolina qualifies as a new
central city of the Hickory-Morganton, NC MSA (FIPS Code 3290). With this central
city addition, the title for the MSA becomes Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir,
- Metropolitan Areas: This Bulletin gives the definitions of
all MAs in the United States and Puerto Rico, based on the standards published on
March 30, 1990, in the Federal Register (55 FR 12154-12160), the 1990
Decennial Census data, and 1992 and 1994 Census Bureau population
estimates. A total of 256 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are
recognized. There are 19 Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas
(CMSAs), consisting of 76 Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSAs).
List I provides titles and definitions of all MSAs; List II presents similar
information for CMSAs and PMSAs. List III identifies the MSAs, CMSAs, and
PMSAs of each State. List IV provides titles and definitions for the New
England County Metropolitan Areas (NECMAs). MSAs, PMSAs, and NECMAs are
categorized by their 1990 population size, as follows:
Level A -- Areas of 1 million or more
Level B -- Areas of 250,000 to 999,999
Level C -- Areas of 100,000 to 249,999
Level D -- Areas of less than 100,000
- Uses of Metropolitan Area Definitions: All agencies that
conduct statistical activities to collect and publish data for MAs should use the
most recent definitions of MAs established by OMB.
OMB establishes and maintains the definitions of the MAs solely for
statistical purposes. In periodically reviewing and revising the MA
definitions, OMB does not take into account or attempt to anticipate any
nonstatistical uses that may be made of the definitions, nor will OMB modify
the definitions to meet the requirements of any nonstatistical program.
We recognize that some legislation specifies the use of metropolitan areas
for programmatic purposes, including allocating Federal funds. For example,
as called for by the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 1882(d)(2), the
Health Care Financing Administration uses MAs to define labor market areas
and gather hospital wage data that are used in developing a hospital wage
index for the labor related portion of a hospital's standardized Medicare
payment. We will continue to work with the Congress to clarify the
foundations of the metropolitan area definitions and the resultant, often
unintended consequences of their use for nonstatistical purposes.
In cases where there is no statutory requirement and an agency elects to use
the MA definitions in a nonstatistical program, it is the sponsoring
agency's responsibility to ensure that the definitions are appropriate for
such use. When an agency is publishing for comment a proposed regulation
that would use the MA definitions for a nonstatistical purpose, the agency
should seek public comment on the proposed use of the MA definitions.
Please refer to M-94-22 on Use of Metropolitan Area Definitions issued by
OMB on May 5, 1994, for further information.
- List of Metropolitan Area Definitions: Copies of the list of
Metropolitan Areas as of June 30, 1995, are available from the National
Technical Information Service (NTIS), Document Sales, 5205 Port Royal
Road, Springfield, VA 22161 (703-487-4650) (Accession Number PB95-208880).
This list is also available through NTIS in electronic form (Wordperfect
5.1) (Accession Number PB95-503371).
- Inquiries: Inquiries concerning MA standards and the
statistical uses of MA definitions should be directed to Maria E.
Alice M. Rivlin
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