The Micropolitan Statistical Areas are shown in blue on this enlargeable map of the Core Based Statistical Areas of the United States.

United States Micropolitan Statistical Areas (µSA, where the initial Greek letter mu represents "micro-"), as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget, are urban areas in the United States based around a core city or town with a population of 10,000 to 49,999.[1] The micropolitan area designation was created in 2003. Like the better-known metropolitan area, a micropolitan area is a geographic entity used for statistical purposes based on counties and county-equivalents [1]. The OMB has identified 577 such areas in the nation.

The term "micropolitan" was created by author G. Scott Thomas for a 1989 article in American Demographics magazine, and was expanded in his 1990 book, The Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities.[2] It gained currency in the 1990s to describe growing population centers in the United States that are removed from larger cities, in some cases by 100 miles (160 km) or more. Lower land and labor costs have led some micropolitan areas to develop many housing subdivisions and suburban cultures similar to those found in larger metropolitan areas.

Micropolitan cities do not have the economic or political importance of large cities, but are nevertheless significant centers of population and production, drawing workers and shoppers from a wide local area. Because the designation is based on the core town's population and not on that of the whole area, some micropolitan areas are actually larger than some metropolitan areas. The largest of the areas, the one whose core city is Torrington, Connecticut, had a population in excess of 180,000 in 2000; Torrington's population in that year's census was only 35,202.

Many such areas have dynamic rates of growth; however, all micropolitan areas combined account for about 10% of the population.

See also

United States Administrative Divisions unnumbered.png

U.S. Census Bureau statistical areas by state, district, or territory



  1. ^ a b Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas, U.S. Census Bureau
  2. ^ G. Scott Thomas, "Micropolitan America," American Demographics 11(May 1989): 20-24.

External links

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