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metropolitan statistical area

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  1. [federal government] A geographic entity defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal statistical agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau. A metropolitan statistical area is based on the concept of a core area with a large population nucleus, plus adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with that core area. According to the 1990 standards, to qualify as a metropolitan statistical area, the area must include at least one city or urbanized area with 50,000 or more inhabitants and a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000 (75,000 in New England).

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