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micropolitan, metropolitan

Micropolitan is a word you probably never heard of until you read this post; that's because the word was coined just a few years ago in 2003. It's used to describe any area of the USA that has a population of between 10,000 to 49,999 people.

Metropolitan, a word everyone is familiar with, is an area of the USA that has a population of 50,000 people or more.

A metropolis is traditionally defined as a city with over 500,000 or more people living in it and a combined population of over a million in the surrounding areas. For all intents and purposes, Tampa is a metropolis. The city itself does not have 500,000 inhabitants in it, but the surrounding areas easily push it over the million mark. The same can be said for Miami and several other areas of the Sunshine State.

That's a whole lot o' people. 🙂

Everyone knows the metro areas but the micro areas are also interesting. These are places that may eventually become metro. The Wikipedia has a nice east-to-read map that shows all the recorded metro and micro areas seen in this post. The metros are red; the micros are blue. (big map image)

Is 10,000 people considered a large number?

The deal with micropolitan areas is if you took 10,000 people (the minimum number required) and put them all into one room, seeing them all at once makes your mind think Whoa! That's huge!

But if you take the same amount of people and spread them over 5 miles, the number of people looks a lot smaller - even though the amount of people hasn't changed.

The reality is 10,000 inhabitants truly isn't a large number of people. It sounds like a biggie, but it really isn't.

Is 50,000 people a large number?

Yes. This is proven because the USA requires any area with that many inhabitants to have an MPO just to make sure things stay running smoothly and don't fall apart.

This was enacted by the government back in the 1970s.

Does 9,999 people in a town technically qualify as a small town?

Going by the numbers, yes.

I used to think a small town was 2,500 inhabitants or less.

By today's standards I'm 7,499 people off.

What's the deal with "greater"?

Chances are you know what greater already means, that being "the immediate surrounding area of a metropolitan area".

Tampa Bay, for example, is a greater area. It literally means "Tampa and the immediate surrounding cities and towns".

At the stomping grounds I would hear news anchors sometimes say things like "..the greater Hartford area".

More info on that is here if you're interested.

What are the largest metros in the USA?

The full list is here.

New York is #1 and LA is #2.

Florida holds several places on the list.

Miami is #13.

Tampa is #19.

Orlando is #26.

West Palm Beach is #41.

Jacksonville is #43.

Sarasota-Bradenton is #69.

Daytona Beach is #79.

Lakeland is #84.

There are more past 100, but those are the ones within the 1-100 list.

What are the largest metros in Florida?

The full list for that is here.

From 1 to 5:

  1. Miami
  2. Tampa
  3. Orlando
  4. West Palm Beach
  5. Jacksonville

And yes that means I live in the second highest populated area in the State of Florida.

Just for kicks..

Here's some Connecticut info because I used to live there. 🙂

It should come as no surprise to anyone (heh) that the stomping grounds is a micropolitan area.

Killingly, oddly enough, is #12 on the population stats. It just edges out Willimantic as having more inhabitants by roughly 700 people.

You can see the full list for the Nutmeg State here.


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