Feds will keep definition of metro at 50,000-person minimum

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Facing criticism from small cities that feared losing status and funding, the federal government says that it won’t raise the population threshold for what qualifies as a metro area.

The Office of Budget and Management said Tuesday that it will keep the minimum population needed in a community’s core city at 50,000 residents in order to be designated a “metropolitan statistical area.”

The federal government had been considering doubling that threshold to 100,000 people.

Leaders of metro areas like Bismarck, North Dakota; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Auburn, Alabama, had worried the change would prevent urban areas from getting designated federal funding.

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