The Biden administration this week, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), reversed the decision to accept a recommendation from a federal committee to double the population threshold to establish what constitutes a metropolitan statistical area (MSA).
A change in the formula could have had a significant impact on federal funding for several metropolitan areas in Alabama.
Based on current measurements, a population of at least 50,000 in the downtown area of an area designates it as an MSA.
Earlier this year, representatives of federal statistical agencies presented a proposal to increase the MSA population standard to 100,000. At the close of the public comment period, the OMB declined the proposal to change the current demographic standards. .
The move would have downgraded twelve Alabama metro designations to “micropolitan” areas.