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Old 07-09-2009, 12:52 PM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,053,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atticman View Post
Um... a place can have less than 100,000 people in it's "metro" and still be a city. My place of residence has an urban core of a little over 50,000 and a metro of about 70,000 and it's very much a "city" as opposed to a big town. It gained city status in 1925.
Interesting! How does a place gain city status? Not sure I've heard of this before.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
There is the term "micropolitan area" and I believe the census uses it. It covers areas where the core area has between 10,000 and 50,000 people. It might cover those with a metro-area under 100,000.

Then again "metropolitan area" itself seems to do that going by smallest metropolitan areas I see in the census list.

Carson City, Nevada - 54,867
Lewiston, ID/WA - 60,395
Hinesville/Fort Stewart, Georgia - 69,943
Casper, Wyoming - 73,129
Columbus, Indiana - 75,360
Sandusky, Ohio 77,062
Danville, Illinois - 80,680
Corvalis, Oregon 81,859
Great Falls, Montana - 82,026
Cheyenne, Wyoming - 86,353
Ames, Iowa - 86,754
Elmira, New York - 87,813
Pocatello, Idaho - 88,495
Palm Coast, Florida - 91,247
Dubuque, Iowa - 92,724
Rome, Georgia - 95,980
Grand Forks, ND/MN - 97,279
Hot Springs, Arkansas - 97,465
Fairbanks, Alaska - 97,970

http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/files/2008/CBSA-EST2008-alldata.csv


Interestingly this means there are metropolitan areas that are smaller than micropolitan ones. The Hilo, Hawaii micropolitan area is larger than any of those as are several others. There are about 370 micropolitan areas smaller than Carson City though. The smallest being Pecos, Texas at about 11,200.
Interesting. So there are a number of metro areas with populations under 100k. This is a fairly new development. In addition to the urban core of at least 50k, up until a few years ago the Census Bureau also used to require that the county containing the urban core have a population of at least 100k for the area to qualify as metropolitan. Anyway, I agree with Atticman that some places of 50k or so can seem very much like small cities rather than large towns. I think a lot of it has to do with the total collection of bussinesses, facilities, and infrastructure the place has.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:41 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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The surrounding area makes a difference too. If there's no larger city within say a 150 miles it can be a "city." This is because it's "gravity", so to speak, is not being overwhelmed by another "mass." (Economic geography idea)
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
Interesting! How does a place gain city status? Not sure I've heard of this before.
That status would be designated by the particular state. There is no national standard which designates an urban area as a "city." Some states have villages, towns, and cities as well as townships. Others do not have townships or villages, while others only have cities. My home state of Georgia has added a designation for a town, but most incoporated communities are called cities, even those with a population of 100 or so.

The census is the closest thing we have to standardize the list, but it is not an exact measure as land area of some cities are huge and take in large amounts of undeveloped land in their populations, while other cities cover a small footprint and much of their growth is outside the city limits in the metro area.

My home city of Atlanta is a good example, only about 10% of the metro area lives in the city limits. Other southern cities have larger city populations: Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Jacksonville, i.e., but Atlanta's metro area dwarfs them all.

Traditionally a core city had to have 50,000 to have an MSA, but those rules have changed in the last couple of decades, primarily because of the varied size and land area of the core cities. Augusta, GA is the second largest metro area in the state after Atlanta with a metro area around a half million, but would have lost metro status under its old rules as the city had dipped below the 50,000 mark prior to its merging with Richmond County about a decade ago. Now Augusta/Richmond has a population just under 200,000.

That's why there is a lot of subjectivity in rankings and numbers like these. Augusta went from a city in the 40,000s to a city close to 200,000 because the lines got moved, not because of any phenomenal growth.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:31 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I couldn't find a definition through google, but in Colorado "city" refers to the type of government (mayor and council) and some cities are quite small, e.g. 5000 people.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:29 PM
 
56,642 posts, read 80,952,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garmin239 View Post
Tuscon and Rochester have those things with the exception of professional sports franchises.
Technically, both cities have "professional" teams, but not in the sense of Major League Baseball, MLS or the National Hockey League, in the case of Rochester, for example.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
Interesting. So there are a number of metro areas with populations under 100k. This is a fairly new development. In addition to the urban core of at least 50k, up until a few years ago the Census Bureau also used to require that the county containing the urban core have a population of at least 100k for the area to qualify as metropolitan. Anyway, I agree with Atticman that some places of 50k or so can seem very much like small cities rather than large towns. I think a lot of it has to do with the total collection of bussinesses, facilities, and infrastructure the place has.
Exactly.....I was going to bring up the example of Elmira, NY. It is a city that has lost quite a few people since it's peak of around 50,000 people in it's city limits in 1950.
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:40 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 18,275,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
That status would be designated by the particular state. There is no national standard which designates an urban area as a "city." Some states have villages, towns, and cities as well as townships. Others do not have townships or villages, while others only have cities. My home state of Georgia has added a designation for a town, but most incoporated communities are called cities, even those with a population of 100 or so.

The census is the closest thing we have to standardize the list, but it is not an exact measure as land area of some cities are huge and take in large amounts of undeveloped land in their populations, while other cities cover a small footprint and much of their growth is outside the city limits in the metro area.

My home city of Atlanta is a good example, only about 10% of the metro area lives in the city limits. Other southern cities have larger city populations: Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Jacksonville, i.e., but Atlanta's metro area dwarfs them all.

Traditionally a core city had to have 50,000 to have an MSA, but those rules have changed in the last couple of decades, primarily because of the varied size and land area of the core cities. Augusta, GA is the second largest metro area in the state after Atlanta with a metro area around a half million, but would have lost metro status under its old rules as the city had dipped below the 50,000 mark prior to its merging with Richmond County about a decade ago. Now Augusta/Richmond has a population just under 200,000.

That's why there is a lot of subjectivity in rankings and numbers like these. Augusta went from a city in the 40,000s to a city close to 200,000 because the lines got moved, not because of any phenomenal growth.
People like to make up their own definitions of words like "city" and "sprawl" so they can use them to discuss the superiority of their place of residence. It's kinda funny...

You're right, lot of the city population statistics are skewed by massive annexation and larger-than-life city boundaries. Many cities, like Atlanta, are hemmed in by smaller incorporated municipalities and have little or no option to annex. Other cities are located in states that have strict annexation laws. I guess that's one reason (among others) to consider MSA rather than city limits.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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When do you decide to use just the cities population (e.g. LA pop 3.8 mill), county (LA - 9.8mill), or other population (e.g. "Greater Los Angeles Area" - 12 mill). Los Angeles is surrounded by cities that are larger than most US cities, many with population greater than 100,000. Also places like Long Beach with populations around 500,000 which is bigger than many cities that are considered major in the rest of the country. Yet, these are dwarfed by the core city of LA.

The urban sprawl of LA defies the traditional definition of a city. There are no boundaries just miles and miles of city in all directions. How do you decide what to count?
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:19 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
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A "city" is just a name, there is no widely agreed upon, detailed definition. Most agree that a city is often bigger than the surrounding towns/villages and that it is more urban than the surrounding areas. So, there is a deal of relativity and subjectivity. In the US, if the state has criteria for a town to meet to become a city, then the state defines a "city". But in states that don't define it, any town could call itself a "city" if it so chose. NJ is full of "cities" like Hackensack, Westwood, etc. which are not necessarily bigger than neighboring "boroughs" or "towns". But, for the most part, when we think of a "city" we're talking about the most influential big city in a region.

And that region is the "metropolitan area". So a big city will always have an area surrounding it, which it influences, called the "metro" of that city, but that area doesn't become part of the city itself.

So a "metro area" never becomes a "city" - the metro area always results FROM a city's existence. Metro areas can grow until they butt into and even overlap with other cities' metro areas.

In NJ, the NYC metro area overlaps with the Philly metro area. From Boston to Washington, DC, we have what is known as a "megalopolis" - a continuation of one metro area into another with little or no break. The "BosWash" megalopolis extends from Maine to Virginia! Huge! It's unique in our nation.
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