Learn more about the Area Institutions.
How are regional areas defined?
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): The general concept of Metropolitan Statistical Area is one of a large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities which have a high degree of economic and social integration with that nucleus. These are defined by the Office of Management and Budget as a standard for Federal agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics relating to metropolitan areas.
Metropolitan Division (MSD): Metropolitan Division is used to refer to a county or group of counties within a Metropolitan Statistical Area that has a population core of at least 2.5 million. A Metropolitan Division is most generally comparable in concept, and equivalent to, the now obsolete Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area. Metropolitan Divisions are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as a standard for Federal agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics relating to metropolitan areas.
New England City and Town Area (MNECTA): The New England City and Town Area is a statistical area similar to that of a Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a core area comprised of a group of New England cities and towns containing a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of social and economic integration with that core.
NECTA Division (NECTA): A city or town or group of cities and towns within a NECTA that contains a core with a population of at least 2.5 million. A NECTA Division consists of a main city or town that represents an employment center, plus adjacent cities and towns associated with the main city or town, or with other cities and towns that are in turn associated with the main city or town, through commuting ties.
Balance of State (BOS): The Balance of State area is an area of a state not included in any of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget-defined Metropolitan Statistical Areas or other U.S. Office of Management and Budget-defined areas. For the purpose of the U.S Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Program, individual states can subdivide residual areas into smaller, state-defined Balance of State areas (e.g. BOS 1, BOS 2, etc.).
For more detailed information about the regional area definitions can be found at the Office of Management and Budget web site.