FACTS & STATISTICS
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In the United States, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has produced a formal definition of metropolitan areas, which are organized around county boundaries. These are referred to as "Metropolitan Statistical Areas" (MSAs).
The following is a list of the 25 most populated metropolitan statistical areas in the United States, according to the 2000 Census:
Rank Metropolitan Area States/Territories Population Other names* 1 New York-- Northern New Jersey-- Long Island NY-- NJ-- CT 18,323,002 Tri-state Area, New York area, Greater New York 2 Los Angeles-- Long Beach-- Santa Ana CA 12,365,627 The Southland, Southern California (The latter also refers to the entire southern portion of the state) 3 Chicago-- Naperville__ Joliet IL-- IN-- WI 9,098,316 Chicagoland, Greater Chicago, Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (the latter refers to the eastern part extended until South Bend, Indiana) 4 Philadelphia-- Camden-- Wilmington PA-- NJ-- DE-- MD 5,687,147 The Delaware Valley, Tri_state Area 5 Dallas-- Fort Worth__ Arlington TX 5,161,634 The Metroplex, DFW 6 Miami-- Fort Lauderdale__ Miami Beach FL 5,007,564 South Florida metropolitan area 7 Washington-- Arlington__ Alexandria DC-- VA__ MD-- WV 4,796,183 Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area (now defunct) 8 Houston-- Baytown__ Sugar Land TX 4,715,407 Houston Metropolitan Area 9 Detroit-- Warren__ Livonia MI 4,452,557 Metro Detroit, Southeast Michigan, Southeastern Lower Michigan** 10 Boston-- Cambridge-- Quincy MA-- NH 4,391,344 Greater Boston 11 Atlanta-- Sandy Springs__ Marietta GA 4,247,981 Atlanta Metropolitan Area 12 San Francisco-- Oakland-- Fremont CA 4,123,740 The Bay Area*** 13 Riverside-- San Bernardino-- Ontario CA 3,254,821 Inland Empire 14 Phoenix-- Mesa__ Scottsdale AZ 3,251,876 The Valley of the Sun 15 Seattle-- Tacoma__ Bellevue WA 3,043,878 Greater Puget Sound 16 Minneapolis-- St. Paul-- Bloomington MN-- WI 2,968,806 The Twin Cities 17 San Diego-- Carlsbad-- San Marcos CA 2,813,833 18 St. Louis MO-- IL 2,698,687 Greater St. Louis 19 San Juan-- Caguas-- Guaynabo PR 2,579,248 20 Baltimore-- Towson MD 2,552,994 21 Pittsburgh PA 2,431,087 22 Tampa-- St. Petersburg__ Clearwater FL 2,395,997 Tampa Bay Area 23 Denver-- Aurora CO 2,196,028 24 Cleveland-- Elyria__ Mentor OH 2,148,143 Greater Cleveland, Northeast Ohio 25 Cincinnati-- Middletown OH-- KY-- IN 2,009,632
* Not necessarily equivalent to the Census definition of the metropolitan area. ** This is the metropolitan area of Detroit within US borders. A larger metropolitan area containing the Windsor, Ontario area is used internationally. *** The Bay Area is a much larger area than the OMB's rather limited MSA, corresponding more closely to the San Jose - San Francisco - Oakland Combined Statistical Area
For a complete list, see List of United States metropolitan statistical areas by population.
External links U.S. Census 2000 Metropolitan Area Rankings ( http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/phc-t3.html) U.S. Census Metropolitan Area Estimates (1990s) ( http://eire.census.gov/popest/archives/1990.php) U.S. Census Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Definitions ( http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metrodef.html)