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Old 07-02-2019, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
486 posts, read 483,597 times
Reputation: 684

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I've always wondered why the Erie MSA only includes Erie County, PA when in fact Erie's influence reaches into Ashtabula County, OH, Crawford and Warren counties in PA, and Chautauqua County, NY.

People drive in from these counties to work in the city of Erie/Millcreek. People from these counties use Erie-area hospitals, cultural amenities, and infrastructure. These counties can be reached in less than an hour from downtown Erie.

In short, there's no denying that Erie is the cultural and economic hub of NWPA, as well as parts on OH and NY that border NWPA.

With all those adjacent counties included that totals 629,020 people, which I feel makes a lot more sende and is more representative of how large are metro population actually is.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:31 AM
Status: "Look right->My Blog Entries:1 for my Top 200 USA Cities" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: A place that exists, right now.
779 posts, read 548,429 times
Reputation: 824
A major factor in defining MSA's is commuting patterns. I believe in order to be included in an MSA, 25% or more of that county's workforce must commute into the core county, or core counties (if an MSA shares a name/hyphenated). According to wiki page on Metropolitan Statistical Area, "Outlying counties are included in the CBSA if the employment interchange measure (total of in- and out-commuting) is 25% or more", "All counties in a CBSA must be contiguous, and a county can only be included within one CBSA."

Ashtabula County, OH has 39,744 commuters, of which only 865 commute to Erie County, PA. That is only 2.2%.

Crawford County, PA has 36,933 commuters, of which 4,593 commute to Erie County, PA. That is only 12.4%.

Warren County, PA has 18,175 commuters, of which 1,025 commute to Erie County, PA. That is only 5.6%.

Chautauqua County, NY has 56,234 commuters, of which 1,490 commute to Erie County, PA. That is only 2.6%.

As you can see, none of the above counties are even close. Additionally, most people in Erie County predominately work in Erie County, so you can not make a case for having a hyphenated MSA either. Erie County, PA has 126,418 commuters, of which 121,059 commute to Erie County. That is 95.8%.

You could make a case for cultural amenities and other factors (and so could too other MSAs), but unfortunately, and far more importantly, the above commuting patterns/jobs will not support any additions to the MSA.

All figures are from: Table 1. Residence County to Workplace County Commuting Flows for the United States and Puerto Rico Sorted by Residence Geography: 5-Year ACS, 2011-2015

Last edited by g500; 07-03-2019 at 06:41 AM..
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:19 PM
 
Location: The Flagship City
2,629 posts, read 3,398,582 times
Reputation: 1868
Good post g500 and I didn’t know about the commuting patterns and how they influenced metro area. With that being said, it should be noted that the counties being discussed are pretty large and they overlap with multiple metro areas. For instance, Conneaut Ohio is very close to Erie, but once you get further west in Ashtabula county many of these areas are closer to Cleveland. Many people from the aforementioned areas shop and dine in Erie County, but the economy is still not great in Erie and it can definitely be better for people to drive a little further and work in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, or Buffalo. I know a couple who lives in Meadville and the husband works in Erie and the wife works in downtown Pittsburgh. Northwest PA often forces people to be creative in order to make a living and it is not easy to make a good living in the area without a side job or second job. I have been lucky to have a good job and be able to enjoy the low cost of living and slow pace of life in the Erie area.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:39 PM
Status: "Look right->My Blog Entries:1 for my Top 200 USA Cities" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: A place that exists, right now.
779 posts, read 548,429 times
Reputation: 824
trackstar, yes county lines are arbitrary and often lead to suboptimal definitions of MSA. Personally, I prefer urban area definition as it is not constrained by arbitrary lines (although you can make delineation for urban areas that cross national borders, and separate the labor market despite consistent development, such as Detorit and Windsor or San Diego and Tijuana).

Let's look at an interesting Pennsylvania example:

2018 York-Hanover metro area is 448,273 versus Erie 272,061. 65% larger (totally different classes)

2010 York urban area is 232,045 (probably closer to 240,000 today) versus Erie 196,611 (probably unchanged today). Only 18-22% larger (pretty similar in size)

This is a good example to see how MSA and urban area can vary wildly. York County is very large and also has a ton of farmland that really starts adding up to its total.

Another good example in my MSA is Palmyra PA, which belongs in Lebanon County (Lebanon PA MSA) but is included Harrisburg's urban area (it is the most extreme eastern point). If the county line had been drawn differently, you would likely have slightly different MSA results. I'm sure the same would stand for Erie County and it's surrounding towns and townships.

All of PA's "smaller" cities (or midsize metros) actually have a lot in common. Erie, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Allentown, Reading, Scranton, Williamsport. Small but dense, walkable, and sometimes gritty urban cores, with some nice historical blocks kept in good condition, maybe a couple 2x2 block rundown areas that for a block of two might look like you are in the 'hood of a major city like Philadelphia, then followed by post WW2 suburbs of townhouses, single family homes, and strip malls/big box retail, followed by farmland, forests, and mountains. Erie has the Lake which is unrivaled Harrisburg has the wide Susquehanna River which is scenic. Each does have unique features, but there really are so many similarities.

Last edited by g500; 07-03-2019 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Levittown
853 posts, read 786,191 times
Reputation: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by jFug View Post
I've always wondered why the Erie MSA only includes Erie County, PA when in fact Erie's influence reaches into Ashtabula County, OH, Crawford and Warren counties in PA, and Chautauqua County, NY.

People drive in from these counties to work in the city of Erie/Millcreek. People from these counties use Erie-area hospitals, cultural amenities, and infrastructure. These counties can be reached in less than an hour from downtown Erie.

In short, there's no denying that Erie is the cultural and economic hub of NWPA, as well as parts on OH and NY that border NWPA.

With all those adjacent counties included that totals 629,020 people, which I feel makes a lot more sende and is more representative of how large are metro population actually is.
My in-laws live mostly in Fairview, Millcreek and Girard but some have branched out further to places like Edinboro and Conneaut, OH. Seems like where they're at Ohio has a stronger pull than New York does, but maybe that's because these suburban towns are more west of the city than east.

Either way, places like Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh are no closer than 90 miles away.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Levittown
853 posts, read 786,191 times
Reputation: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by g500 View Post
trackstar, yes county lines are arbitrary and often lead to suboptimal definitions of MSA. Personally, I prefer urban area definition as it is not constrained by arbitrary lines (although you can make delineation for urban areas that cross national borders, and separate the labor market despite consistent development, such as Detorit and Windsor or San Diego and Tijuana).

Let's look at an interesting Pennsylvania example:

2018 York-Hanover metro area is 448,273 versus Erie 272,061. 65% larger (totally different classes)

2010 York urban area is 232,045 (probably closer to 240,000 today) versus Erie 196,611 (probably unchanged today). Only 18-22% larger (pretty similar in size)

This is a good example to see how MSA and urban area can vary wildly. York County is very large and also has a ton of farmland that really starts adding up to its total.

Another good example in my MSA is Palmyra PA, which belongs in Lebanon County (Lebanon PA MSA) but is included Harrisburg's urban area (it is the most extreme eastern point). If the county line had been drawn differently, you would likely have slightly different MSA results. I'm sure the same would stand for Erie County and it's surrounding towns and townships.

All of PA's "smaller" cities (or midsize metros) actually have a lot in common. Erie, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Allentown, Reading, Scranton, Williamsport. Small but dense, walkable, and sometimes gritty urban cores, with some nice historical blocks kept in good condition, maybe a couple 2x2 block rundown areas that for a block of two might look like you are in the 'hood of a major city like Philadelphia, then followed by post WW2 suburbs of townhouses, single family homes, and strip malls/big box retail, followed by farmland, forests, and mountains. Erie has the Lake which is unrivaled Harrisburg has the wide Susquehanna River which is scenic. Each does have unique features, but there really are so many similarities.
All true. York itself is a lot smaller than Erie itself, though there are is a larger amount of small towns nearby that adds to the population in that area, not to mention you are only 50 miles from downtown Baltimore. So then York is almost like a "satellite" city of Baltimore. Traffic gets bad in this area especially along Rt 30 and I never understood why until I realized this. Not exactly Pennsyl-tucky even though it is in the middle of the state.

Erie meanwhile for all its glory with the Presque Isle peninsula and several other equally as stunning waterfront outlets is all by itself. You can live in York and commute to Baltmore but living in Erie and commuting to Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Buffalo would seem impractical. It's still the 4th largest city in the state though, only recently surpassed by Allentown a couple decades ago, though I understand Scranton used to be bigger but has since lost a lot of population. In the summer it feels like a resort town and though it is losing population, still seems to be holding its own and hasn't slid as far at least as its larger neighbors on the lake.
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