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Metropolitan/central city status

Codes and Frequencies

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METRO reports whether a household was located in a metropolitan area.

For households within metropolitan areas, METRO further specifies whether the housing unit was inside or outside the central city of the metropolitan area. Some smaller metropolitan areas do not have a central city/outlying area distinction, so households in those areas will be included in the "metropolitan, not identified" category.

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.

See MSASIZE for the population of the metropolitan area and METAREA for the specific metropolitan aread..

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


Metropolitan area definitions changed during 2004.


  • CPS households.


  • 2003-2022


This variable has no flags.