2012 Metropolitan Area Census Estimates Released

March 19, 2013 20 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The latest U.S. Census metropolitan area population estimates for the U.S. and Puerto Rico as of July 2012 have been released. Find out where Jacksonville ranks.

What is a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)?

In the United States a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like counties or sovereign entities like states. As such the precise definition of any given metropolitan area can vary with the source. A typical metropolitan area is centered around a single large city that wields substantial influence over the region (e.g., Chicago). However, some metropolitan areas contain more than one large city with no single municipality holding a substantially dominant position (e.g., Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Riverside–San Bernardino or Minneapolis–Saint Paul).

MSAs are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and used by the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal government agencies for statistical purposes.

2012 MSA Estimates (Top 100 only)

Top 10 by Growth Percentage (ranking of top 100 MSAs only)

 1. +6.88%  Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX MSA

 2. +5.14%  Raleigh, NC MSA

 3. +4.94%  Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC MSA

 4. +4.56%  Provo-Orem, UT MSA

 5. +4.33%  Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX MSA

 6. +4.29%  Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL MSA

 7. +4.28%  Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA

 8. +4.27%  San Antonio-New Braufels, TX MSA

 9. +4.18%  Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA

10. +4.10%  McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX MSA

 1 2 3 NEXT