Every few years, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget revises the definitions of MSAs (metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas). This is important for data geeks because they analyze all sorts of information. In late February, the OMB published the new delineations. The Ninth District MSAs added nine counties and lost two (see map).
The nine counties that were added include three to the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington region, which now encompasses 16 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin (see map; the Twin Cities metro is outlined). Two were also added to the fast-growing Bismarck, N.D., region. Other MSAs that added one county are Billings, Mont.; Rapid City, S.D.; and Rochester, Minn. Pierre, S.D., is the only micropolitan statistical area that added a county.
The two counties dropped are also from micropolitan designations—Billings, N.D. (estimated population 905) and Hamlin, S.D. (estimated population of 5,918), presumably because of small, rural populations.