April 2008, Vol. 131, No. 4
Micropolitan Statistical Areas: a few highlights
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Excerpt from the report:
Micropolitan Statistical Areas were first introduced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in June 2003 as part of the OMB redefinition of Federal Statistical Areas that occurs after each decennial census. The new micropolitan areas differ from their Metropolitan Statistical Area counterparts only in urban core size. A metropolitan area is defined around an urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, whereas a micropolitan area contains one or more urban clusters with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000. Each area of either type then takes in adjacent territories that have a high degree of social and economic integration with the urban core, as measured by commuting ties. Because both of these types of area are based on urban cores, they are collectively referred to as Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs).
The Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program within the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics first published estimates for the new Census 2000-based CBSAs and related areas in March 2005. LAUS data series for these areas were carried back to 1990 to maintain intertemporal geographic comparability. This report presents a review of micropolitan areas, as represented in LAUS data and U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Note that OMB defined an alternative set of CBSAs using cities and towns for the six New England States. These CBSAs are known as New England City and Town Areas. New England data generated by the LAUS program and aggregated in this report are based on these New England City and Town Areas. For the portion of the Nation not included in CBSAs, the LAUS program creates estimates for what it designates as small labor market areas, which are city and town based in the New England States and county based in the remaining States.1
1 For information regarding designation procedures for small labor market areas, see Labor Market Areas, 2007 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2007), “Appendix II: Criteria for Designating Small Labor Market Areas,” p. 168, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/lau/lmadir.pdf (visited Mar. 11, 2008). Since the drafting of this report, one new micropolitan area has been designated by the Office of Management and Budget—Show Low, Arizona, Micropolitan Statistical Area. The analysis in this report does not reflect this change.
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