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Old 05-26-2015, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
Yep, thats why county level is the best measure.
Is it? It works okay with Winston-Salem and Durham, but what about when a city sits on a county line? Or encompasses multiple counties? The use of county as a measure depends a lot on the size of the county and the placement of a population core within that county. I can think of many examples of population measures that would be terribly skewed by that measure alone. That's why MSA and CSA measures exist.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
This says Durham MSA is 512,979 and Wi-S MSA is 482,025:

North Carolina statistical areas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If its wrong its wrong.

MSA's are not a good way to measure a city because they often bring in adjacent counties with little actual interaction, plus there is no standardization...different MSA's have different numbers of counties. Plus, we've now split natural areas like G'boro and W-S, and Durham and Raleigh.
MSAs are the generally accepted comparisons between cities because they are all set the same way by the Census Bureau, so there is definitely a standardization for MSAs. Different MSAs have different numbers of counties because cities have a wide variety of reach. Durham's reach isn't as large as W-S or GSO, that's why there are more counties in those MSAs.

City and county boundaries are decided locally and vary a great deal in size, so there is no standardization. One county may be 800 sq.mi. while another is 150 sq.mi. with no real reason for the difference other than an arbitrary boundary. MSAs vary in size due to commuting patterns and other interactions with surrounding counties, so they don't include counties with actual little interaction at all.This is precisely the reason that MSAs are the best way to measure a city...with urban area being another good measure. Comparing counties is a terrible way to compare actual cities. If that were the case then a suburban county like Gwinnett (Atlanta MSA) would be considered larger than Durham or W-S when there is no actual large city even located there.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaBredChicagoan View Post
Is it? It works okay with Winston-Salem and Durham, but what about when a city sits on a county line? Or encompasses multiple counties? The use of county as a measure depends a lot on the size of the county and the placement of a population core within that county. I can think of many examples of population measures that would be terribly skewed by that measure alone. That's why MSA and CSA measures exist.
Counties aren't usually considered when talking about comparing cities. I'm not sure where this argument is coming from, but it doesn't make any sense. Even with W-S and Durham, Forsyth County is larger in area than Durham County, which probably accounts for the larger population. I have never heard anyone argue that counties are the best way to compare cities. MSAs are set by a standard set of rules, not an arbitrary one like cities or counties.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Southport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTarheel View Post
Counties aren't usually considered when talking about comparing cities. I'm not sure where this argument is coming from, but it doesn't make any sense. Even with W-S and Durham, Forsyth County is larger in area than Durham County, which probably accounts for the larger population. I have never heard anyone argue that counties are the best way to compare cities. MSAs are set by a standard set of rules, not an arbitrary one like cities or counties.
Except that as has been stated and shown, city boundaries and MSA component counties change, making comparisons over time meaningless. County boundaries in NC have remained virtually unchanged for over a century, if not longer.
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
Except that as has been stated and shown, city boundaries and MSA component counties change, making comparisons over time meaningless. County boundaries in NC have remained virtually unchanged for over a century, if not longer.
The boundaries of an MSA don't change arbitrarily. There is a methodology used to determine them based on where people live, work, shop, eat, visit, etc. It gives you a sense of how heavily populated a contiguous urban/suburban area is based on behavior, not based on boundaries alone.

I think of a city like Columbia, SC: Its downtown sits on a river that divides counties. You can stand in front of a busy cafe, look up at skyline, see lots of urban activity, etc., and be in a different county. Or a city like New York that covers four or five counties with its city limits and where the people working in the offices come from entirely different states. I also think of the fact that the smallest county in the U.S. is 12 sq mi and the largest is 20,000 sq mi.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
Except that as has been stated and shown, city boundaries and MSA component counties change, making comparisons over time meaningless. County boundaries in NC have remained virtually unchanged for over a century, if not longer.
MSAs only change when commuting patterns and interactions change...it's not just when city leaders decide to add to the MSA, but when a county meets the requirements to be part of the MSA and the Census Bureau adds to it. County boundaries don't normally change, but that doesn't make them a good way to compare cities. If it were, then you would be saying Gastonia is a similarly-sized city to Durham since both counties are in the 200,000 to 300,000 range. Does that make any sense at all? Those two cities are nothing alike.

If you want to compare counties then compare counties, but that doesn't have much to do with the size of a city. If it did, then W-S is MUCH larger than Durham based on the county populations.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
Except that as has been stated and shown, city boundaries and MSA component counties change, making comparisons over time meaningless. County boundaries in NC have remained virtually unchanged for over a century, if not longer.
No one uses counties for comparing city sizes, that's almost as senseless as using city populations, maybe even worse. MSAs are defined by commuting patterns and integration with the principle city and ignore boundaries like city limits. They're not flawless but they are the best way we have of determining the true size of cities for making accurate comparisons. The reason some MSAs have more counties included than others are that the Census bureau's standards for determining integration with the principle city are met or not met by that adjacent county. MSAs change as commuting patterns change and rightfully so.
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Old 05-26-2015, 01:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeusAV View Post
No one uses counties for comparing city sizes, that's almost as senseless as using city populations, maybe even worse. MSAs are defined by commuting patterns and integration with the principle city and ignore boundaries like city limits. They're not flawless but they are the best way we have of determining the true size of cities for making accurate comparisons. The reason some MSAs have more counties included than others are that the Census bureau's standards for determining integration with the principle city are met or not met by that adjacent county. MSAs change as commuting patterns change and rightfully so.
Well said.
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:19 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Municipal or metro areas aside, what about using urbanized areas?
Here's a link with updated urbanized populations for 2015. Unfortunately, not all of the areas under 500,000 are updated. Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed
The following are the urbanized areas for the three debated cities with the latest estimated year following each.
  • Winston-Salem: 391,000 (2010)
  • Durham: 348,000 (2010)
  • Greensboro: 334,000 (2015: +22,000 since 2010)
W-S's urbanized area was larger than Durham's in 2010 and both were larger 5 years ago than Greensboro's today. However, I suspect that Durham's UA has been expanding faster, especially if Raleigh's urbanized area growth is any indicator.
For comparison, here are Charlotte's and Raleigh's UAs for 2015 and their respective UA absolute growth numbers since 2010:
  • Charlotte: 1,535,000 (+286,000)
  • Raleigh: 1,085,000 (+200,000)

Last edited by Yac; 05-27-2015 at 06:14 AM..
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Old 05-26-2015, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,805,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaBredChicagoan View Post
The boundaries of an MSA don't change arbitrarily. There is a methodology used to determine them based on where people live, work, shop, eat, visit, etc. It gives you a sense of how heavily populated a contiguous urban/suburban area is based on behavior, not based on boundaries alone.

I think of a city like Columbia, SC: Its downtown sits on a river that divides counties. You can stand in front of a busy cafe, look up at skyline, see lots of urban activity, etc., and be in a different county. Or a city like New York that covers four or five counties with its city limits and where the people working in the offices come from entirely different states. I also think of the fact that the smallest county in the U.S. is 12 sq mi and the largest is 20,000 sq mi.
Umm, did I say they change arbitrarily? And really, the reasons for the change is pointless, because the fact that changes occur render comparisons over time meaningless.
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