On Monday, I wrote that the Office of Management and Budget’s proposed redefinition of “metropolitan area” to include cities no smaller than 100,000 rather than the current minimum of 50,000, while somewhat teapotfully tempestuous, would run counter to shared global statistical standards. On Tuesday, the OMB backed off that proposal, saying we’ll keep the lower bound for metro population at 50K.
Coincidence? Or a sign of the vast reach and influence of Dakota Free Press?
Lean toward the former: public sentiment coincides with this blog’s statistical perspective:
Of the 734 public comments the Office of Budget and Management received about the proposed change, 97% opposed it, the agency said Tuesday in a notice of its decision.
“Of the commenters who did cite a rationale for their opposition, almost all cited a non-statistical rationale, such as concerns about loss of federal or other funding; concerns about other programmatic consequences; and concerns about economic development for individual areas that would be reclassified from metropolitan to micropolitan,” the notice said [Mike Schneider, “Feds Will Keep Definition of Metro at 50,000-Person Minimum,” AP News, 2021.07.13].
It’s not the OMB’s fault that lawmakers have adopted the OMB’s statistical definitions for non-statistical uses. But thank you, OMB, for avoiding a glitch in global and historical statistical reporting!