Two recently published Federal Register Notices address how urban areas will be identified after the 2020 Census data are released and how metropolitan areas will be defined. In this post, we detail what the recommendations are, and how that will impact communities in North Carolina.
Federal Register notice: Recommendations from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee to the Office of Management and Budget Concerning Changes to the 2010 Standards for Delineating Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas.
What changes are proposed and what it means: The key recommendation shifts the minimum urban area population for the core of a metropolitan area from 50,000 to 100,000. In North Carolina, there are three current metropolitan areas that would be classified as micropolitan under this shift: Goldsboro, New Bern, and Rocky Mount. The Daily Yonder has an extended overview on the potential implications of this change.
Want to send feedback? Comments are due by Friday, March 19, 2021.
Federal Register Notice: Urban Areas for the 2020 Census – Proposed Criteria
What changes are proposed and what it means: This proposal has two key proposed changes:
1. It proposes using housing unit density (385 housing units per square mile) instead of population density as the primary criteria for including blocks in urban areas.
Why this is necessary: The use of new formal privacy techniques that will be implemented in the 2020 Census to help ensure responses are confidential require the Bureau to use housing units instead of population count at the block level.
What does it mean: This change will increase the likelihood that vacation destinations with high housing unit density but potentially smaller population will be classified as urban and will better reflect the built environment.
2. The urban definition will change from 2,500 people to 4,000 housing units OR 10,000 people.
What does it mean: In North Carolina, there are 55 communities that were classified as urban areas in 2010 that may not be identified as urban under the 2020 definition.
Want to send feedback? Comments are due by May 20, 2021.
|Name||2010 Population||2010 Housing Units|
|Holden Beach, NC||3,136||3,422|
|Siler City, NC||9,076||3,305|
|Lake Norman of Catawba, NC||5,603||2,744|
|Mount Olive, NC||5,196||2,380|
|Sneads Ferry, NC||3,899||2,141|
|Boiling Spring Lakes, NC||4,397||1,975|
|Richlands South, NC||5,278||1,871|
|St. James, NC||2,604||1,853|
|Seven Lakes, NC||3,757||1,819|
|Red Springs, NC||4,185||1,810|
|Buies Creek, NC||5,628||1,801|
|Fairfield Harbour, NC||2,726||1,703|
|Fearrington Village, NC||2,642||1,601|
|Whispering Pines, NC||3,514||1,567|
|Spruce Pine, NC||4,700||1,407|
|Boiling Springs, NC||4,549||1,401|
|La Grange, NC||2,713||1,381|
|St. Pauls, NC||3,288||1,361|
|Tabor City, NC--SC||3,828||1,166|