A geographic entity defined by the federal Office of Management and Budget for use by federal statistical agencies, based on the concept of a core area with a large population nucleus, plus adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with that core. Qualification of a metropolitan statistical area requires the presence of an Urbanized Area (UA) with a total population of at least 50,000. The concept of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas and related statistical areas changed significantly in 2003.
Related terms: Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA)
Related help topics: Search Using Geography Overview