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Old 08-06-2010, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY, Northern CA
24 posts, read 33,960 times
Reputation: 25

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I'm somewhat new to these forums, but one common theme I've found in many comparison threads of bigger cities is the "what is the bay area?" question.

**And before I continue, I understand this may not completely fit in the "general US" forum, but this comes up almost every time SF is brought into a comparison thread; so I feel it'd be good to get the opinions of all of these people on the issue...hence this posting here**

It is quite common to use MSA's for comparison, but anytime the SF Bay area is brought into the discussion, it usually divulges into a "pissing match/argument" of what statistics to use (MSA or CSA) by Bay area folk, and non-Bay area folk. It's not uncommon for a legitimate comparison thread to be completely derailed by this silly topic that really on the surface doesn't seem complicated.

I happen to think it is slightly unfair to use the CSA (because, let's face it, there are some pretty far-flung places lumped into their CSA), but using the SF-Oakland MSA simply is not representative of the area. And ultimately using essentially 2/3 of the area puts it at a disadvantage in these comparisons with other major metros (such as GDP).

Sooo, It seems there's a pretty simple solution to this: combine the SF-Oakland MSA and the SJ MSA, and call it a day. Why doesn't the census just do this already? It just boggles my mind why this hasn't been done.

If "commuting patterns" are really the argument, I just don't buy it. There are plenty of people that commute between the SF-Oakland MSA and the SJ MSA daily, either by CalTrain or car (just look at 101 at rush hour!). In other words, even if not that many people are commuting from SF proper to SJ proper (which even I have my doubts about), there are plenty of people commuting for northern peninsula cities to southern peninsula cities (Think: San Mateo to mountain view)

So, really, I just want to understand this illogical breakup of the metros. Does anyone have any cited reasons the census doesn't align these MSA's to reflect the reality of how the area functions? Does anyone really know the reasons?



**EDIT: I guess this isn't totally about the Bay area, but rather how/why the census breaks up metros. There are many great examples other than the Bay area of the census breaking up metros, that appear as one, into multiple MSA's (such as mercer county NJ not being in Philly's MSA), but I think the Bay area is probably the most glaringly illogical of them all. And if we can agree that MSA's many times don't accurately represent an metro, what other metric do we use to compare cities (thinking in C-D comparative terms, here).

Last edited by FunTime; 08-06-2010 at 09:53 AM..
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
10,171 posts, read 12,792,100 times
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Because the two MSA's have yet to reach 25% commute exchange.

I can see it happening though, and if they pick up on faster rail transportation between the two, it will be only a few years into the horizon.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:29 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
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There is a strong argument for the cohesiveness of the area - but there are others as well, example if DC and Baltimore - actually physically closer and potentially more intertwined

But overall regardless of the affiliation or lack there of by Census the access amenities and broader cohesiveness exist there. this is similar in a few areas (including some of the areas that are left out of the Philly MSA etc.)

Many other metros are islands so the interplay and complexity of more developed are less dimished by pure statistics.

Bottom line is it really doesn't matter because in real life there is no differance or barrier - If you live there everything is at your fingertips regardless of what the census says

i hink the media markets are interesting in that they do not take anything but distance and demographic similarities in to play

Some metros are shown to be much larger under this methodology

DMA Rankings - US TV Households by Market (http://www.tvb.org/rcentral/markettrack/us_hh_by_dma.asp - broken link)
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,509 posts, read 28,157,104 times
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Why isn't Chicago and Milwaukee one Metro?

Geez, soon the US will be one big metro
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:37 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
Why isn't Chicago and Milwaukee one Metro?

Geez, soon the US will be one big metro
it may be at some point but those two have a much larger distance nearly twice the distance of SF and SJ
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY, Northern CA
24 posts, read 33,960 times
Reputation: 25
It's true, none of this has legitimate real-world implications. And I don't mean to make it seem like a huge issue (because it really isn't).

However, on this site, anytime people want to compare SF metro vs. other metros, this issue arises. Then Bay area people want to use the CSA (which is unfair, I agree)...and then the the pattern goes from there. This is quite common in many "Bay Area vs. XXXXX" threads. Of course people want to fairly represent the area, but using MSA's just isn't the way (currently).

I'm frankly sick of this debate, and wish that the MSA's would be merged to reflect the reality of the area. Anyone truly familiar with the area will know that these cities do not operate independently. In fact, in many ways, there is no center to the area. Jobs are located all over (which is why there is really no such thing as a "reverse commute" there).

I suppose I could see the "commuting" argument (that is, there not being enough between the areas)...but I still don't fully buy it. But then again, I don't have the official numbers ...

Not to mention the boundary just seems so arbitrary...I just want to know how the census came to determine this separation.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:41 AM
 
224 posts, read 506,171 times
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Residents recognize the area as a whole, frankly thats all the matters. Its not like we drive the 280 and hit a demarcation line. Furthermore, if you look at any photos, you see houses and buildings that ring the bay continuously, no one that lives here consider this area as fragmented in any way.
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:43 AM
 
224 posts, read 506,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
it may be at some point but those two have a much larger distance nearly twice the distance of SF and SJ
Really?
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY, Northern CA
24 posts, read 33,960 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
Why isn't Chicago and Milwaukee one Metro?

Geez, soon the US will be one big metro
Well yeah, I understand your argument...but I think the bay area functions more cohesively than Chicago and Milwaukee at the moment (who knows about the future though).

I guess this thread shouldn't fully be about the Bay area's MSA...but rather how/why the census even decides to break up many areas that are obviously connected. There are many other great examples, such as Mercer county being in NY's metro and not Philly's (which I just find ridiculous).

And then when we want to have legitimate/objective comparisons of cities, there are some areas that are unfairly represented by MSA's (Bay Area being perhaps the most obvious).

Maybe we shouldn't use MSA's when comparing...but then what do we use?
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:44 AM
 
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,143,293 times
Reputation: 7737
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunTime View Post
It's true, none of this has legitimate real-world implications. And I don't mean to make it seem like a huge issue (because it really isn't).

However, on this site, anytime people want to compare SF metro vs. other metros, this issue arises. Then Bay area people want to use the CSA (which is unfair, I agree)...and then the the pattern goes from there. This is quite common in many "Bay Area vs. XXXXX" threads. Of course people want to fairly represent the area, but using MSA's just isn't the way (currently).

I'm frankly sick of this debate, and wish that the MSA's would be merged to reflect the reality of the area. Anyone truly familiar with the area will know that these cities do not operate independently. In fact, in many ways, there is no center to the area. Jobs are located all over (which is why there is really no such thing as a "reverse commute" there).

I suppose I could see the "commuting" argument (that is, there not being enough between the areas)...but I still don't fully buy it. But then again, I don't have the official numbers ...

Not to mention the boundary just seems so arbitrary...I just want to know how the census came to determine this separation.

Agree - the census uses a set of criteria which are imperfect but mostly pretty efficient. I think the arguements really come in the areas where the development is more dense and cohesive. the complexities that that development has makes the mutiple job centers hard to quantify on a metric designed to associated a core to subordinants etc...

End of the day an area like the bay is huge in people, culture, economy, and people. Anyone who has ever been would relaize that quickly


Hell based on stats Jacksonville Fla is vastly larger than SF
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