NLC Applauds OMB’s Decision to Maintain MSA Thresholds, Urges Census Bureau to Follow Suit

July 15, 2021 - (1 min read)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced it will side with communities who requested they maintain the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) threshold of 50,000 residents. Following the announcement, National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence Anthony issued the following statement:

“We are glad that OMB has listened to the concerns of cities and local leaders and changed course on MSA changes. Downgrading any city’s MSA designation arbitrarily would have cut their communities’ economic development legs out from underneath them right as they are trying to recover from the pandemic.”

“We hope the Census Bureau might also reach the same conclusion about its proposed changes to the definition of urban areas during such a tenuous time. Until additional research and the 2020 Census data is confirmed, the depth of the downstream impacts of these changes is a risky unknown, which by itself justifies delaying the proposed changes until the impacts are better understood.”


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.