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Consolidated MSA name

Codes and Frequencies

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METAREA reports the metropolitan area in which a household was located.

Metropolitan areas are counties or groups of counties centering on a substantial urban area. While the Census Bureau's terminology for metropolitan areas and the classification of specific areas changes over time, the general concept is consistent: a metropolitan area consists of a large population center and adjacent communities that have a high degree of economic and social interaction. Metropolitan areas often cross state lines.

Users should be extremely cautious in making estimates for specific metropolitan areas because of the small sample sizes available.

See also METRO, which specifies whether a housing unit was inside or outside the central city of a metropolitan area.

METAREA was added to the data by the Census Bureau, not collected from respondents.


Metropolitan area definitions changed during 2004. Users can use the three-digit version of METAREA to combine information on metropolitan area, or they can use the four-digit version to keep the different definitions distinct.


  • CPS households.


  • 2003-2015


This variable has no flags.