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Jan 19 -- The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requests public comment by March 15, 2021 on the recommendations it has received from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee for changes to OMB's 2010 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area standards.  
The draft standards and the committee report are available as supplemental documents to this Notice at https://beta.regulations.gov/docket/OMB-2021-0001/document The committee made the following recommendations in their report to OMB:

(1) The minimum urban area population to qualify a metropolitan statistical area should be increased from 50,000 to 100,000.

(2) The delineation of New England city and town areas (NECTAs), NECTA Start Printed Page 5266divisions, and combined NECTAs should be discontinued.

(3) Research should be undertaken on an additional, territorially exhaustive classification that covers all of the United States and Puerto Rico.

(4) The first annual delineation update of the coming decade should be combined with the decennial-based delineations.

(5) OMB should make publicly available a schedule for updates to the core based statistical areas.

(6) OMB should continue use of American Community Survey commuting data in measurement of intercounty connectivity, though changing societal and economic trends may warrant considering changes in the 2030 standards.
OMB is seeking comments on the specific recommendations of the committee for revising the 2010 standards and their potential effects on the statistical area delineations. Comments are also sought on any other aspect of the current 2010 Standards that are of interest to reviewers, including topics such as commuting thresholds, alternative sources of data, stakeholder engagement, and procedures for OMB dissemination of updates to the delineations, as well as editorial suggestions to help improve the clarity of the standards.
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/19/2021-00988/recommendations-from-the-metropolitan-and-micropolitan-statistical-area-standards-review-committee   
Point of contact: James D. Fitzsimmons, Chair, Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee (301) 763-1465 statistical_directives@omb.eop.gov.

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