Federal office leaves city criteria unchanged

Albany retains Metro status after OMB revises its earlier plans
Albany retains Metro status after OMB revises its earlier plans(WALB)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 6:49 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WALB) - The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced Wednesday the 2020 Standards for Delineating Core Based Statistical Areas, with modest revisions. Many were concerned that the threshold for attaining city status would double from 50,000 population to 100,000.

Every 10 years, as part of a long-running process, OMB considers updates to the standards to ensure their continued usefulness and relevance for statistical agencies.

The Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee recommended leaving the current Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) core population threshold in place, so OMB’s 2020 Standards will maintain the MSA threshold of 50,000.

“I am glad that the OMB heeded the bipartisan warning that I and my colleagues raised over the past few months, in which we outlined the harmful effects of changing the MSA criteria. This week’s decision to maintain the current population threshold will protect Albany and its surrounding counties,” said Congressman Sanford Bishop, who represents the Albany area in the U. S. House.

“The MSA designation helps the federal government better direct its resources, including community development block grants for civic improvements, Medicaid reimbursements that support public health, housing funds, infrastructure projects, and so much more. Albany and its surrounding counties are a vibrant metropolitan area but a change to its designation could have been especially damaging as we continue to recover from the COVID pandemic.”

Recognizing the committee’s concern that MSA thresholds have not kept pace with population growth, OMB will work with the Standards Review Committee to conduct research and stakeholder outreach to inform the 2030 standards update.

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