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Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point The Triad Area
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:16 PM
 
Location: charlotte
307 posts, read 161,165 times
Reputation: 251

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My wife and I do day trips occasionally to downtown areas in the Carolinas such as WS, Greensboro, Durham, Columbia, Asheville and Greenville, SC. I think that downtown areas across the Carolinas have made great progress in recent years after being deserted for so long. My wife and I have been to downtown Greensboro and WS on several occasions and, we have enjoyed our visits.

I do not have time to come to the Greensboro forum much, but I did read from it recently for a short time.

I am not trying to make anyone mad, but I noticed there is some confusion as to why the Greensboro/WS area is split into two metros. I have studied population data for a long time as a hobby. Hopefully, I can clear this misunderstanding up.

First this problem is not wide spread. There are only four metros, to my knowledge, that are split and yet close together in driving miles. Greensboro and WS are only 33 miles apart. Greenville and Spartanburg, SC are two split metros and they are 38 miles apart. Baltimore and Washington are two split metros and they are 38 miles apart. Raleigh and Durham are two split metros and they are 29 miles apart. There are several other metros that are split, but the principal cities are generally 50-55 miles apart. Commuting patterns are the sole source of determining counties added to a metro area so distance between principal cites is important in metros of Greensboro/WS's size. However, the data is calculated from county to county not city to city.

Each decade the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the federal government sets the criteria that outlying counties must meet to be included in a metropolitan area. All metros across the US are treated the same. Politics and favoritism are left out of it to insure an accurate accounting. After the OMB sets the criteria, the US Census Bureau then uses the criteria to determine the counties that meet the criteria in each metro area. Then the Census Bureau completes the count for each county. The entire process is usually complete in the spring of the third year after the beginning of the decade (ex. 2013).

In the 1980 Census, the OMB changed the criteria. The new criteria stated that a minimum of 15% of all the non-farm work force in a suburban or outlying county had to commute into the central county or Guilford County in this case. Guilford is the central county since it is the most populous in the metro. During that census, the above metros such as Greensboro, Raleigh, Greenville, SC and Washington, DC were each combined into one metro. A metro at that time was referred to as a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area or SMSA.

In the 1990 Census, the OMB did not change the criteria. The Greensboro, Raleigh, Greenville and Washington areas each remained as one metro. A metro area was now referred to as a Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA.

In the 2000 Census, the OMB did change the criteria again. A metro was still referred to as an MSA. Split MSAs were created in the above four metros. The new criteria stated that a minimum of 25% (up from 15%) of all non-farm work force of an outlying county must commute into the central county. By increasing the minimum percentage, it was a desire to enforce dominance among central counties in their regions.

In the 2010 Census, the OMB changed the criteria again. At this time, the OMB wanted to continue to establish that central counties still dominate but also that there is connectivity and interaction among all the counties in the MSA. The new criteria stated that a minimum of 25% of all the non-farm work force of an outlying county had to commute into a combination of counties, all of which met the criteria to be included in the MSA.

For example, in the Greensboro/WS case, Forsyth is the key county. Forsyth already had a list of counties that met the minimum requirements to be part of the WS MSA. If Forsyth were to have met the new criteria then Forsyth would have joined the Greensboro MSA and brought its MSA counties with it into the Greensboro MSA. So, the key was for a minimum of 25% of the non-farm work force of Forsyth County to commute into a combination of counties that included Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham Couties. Had that taken place then Forsyth would have joined the Greensboro MSa and automaticlly brought with it Stokes, Yadkin and Davie Counties. Unfortunately, that did not happen because Forsyth did not meet the minimum requirements of a minimum of 25% of its non-farm work force commuting into a combination of Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham Counties.

But Forsyth County did meet the minimum requirement of 15% of its non-farm work force commuting into a combination of Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham Counties. By meeting this requirement, the Greensboro and WS metros become one Combined Statistical Area (CSA) metro.

So, while the Greensboro and WS metros remain separate MSA areas for now, the Greesboro Winston-Salem High Point Combined Statistical Area is one unified metro area.

It is just a matter of time until the MSA becomes one metro area.

I hope that this helps to clear up why the Triad is split into two MSAs or metro areas.
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