There are currently 384 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States. But that number could soon drop if the federal Office of Management and Budget follows through on a recommendation to raise the threshold.
An MSA is defined as a city with a population of 50,000. The OMB is considering doubling that number to 100,000. If it does, 140 small US cities will lose their metropolitan status. They include Chico, Hanford / Corcoran, Napa, Madera, and San Luis Obispo / Paso Robles.
The change was proposed by the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee and has already received enormous pushback from affected cities. Leaders worry they would lose out on important federal funding and grant opportunities that are often tied to MSA status. Everything from health care and transportation to community development could be affected, they fear. The loss in prestige is another concern.
The Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee has said the change would be used purey for statistical purposes.
Read more at the Mercury News.