metropolitan area

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metropolitan area

(1) Generally, any area in or around a city. (2) A concept developed by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in order to standardize the descriptions of geographical areas so that comparisons of data among various federal agencies could be on an apples-to-apples basis; all data regarding a particular metropolitan area would apply to the same geographical area and the same population density and profile.Today,the concept is called core-based statistical areas,which include metropolitan statistical areas and micropolitan statistical areas. One may find statistical information about each at the Web site of the U.S. Census, www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/aboutmetro.html.

• Metropolitan statistical areas contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 people or more.

• Micropolitan statistical areas contain at least one urbanized area and a population of 10,000 to 50,000 people.