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Splitting the Official MSA in Two

Fort Worth Dallas Metroplex DFW MSA

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#1 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:33 AM

I've been wondering lately, particularly as the region grows over time, if there will ever come a point in which it would make sense to formally separate the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA into two MSAs consisting of the current Metropolitan Divisions (Dallas-Irving-Plano and Fort Worth-Arlington)? Would the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Will this ever be a practical possibility that could realistically be entertained by leadership in the region? Would there be anything to gain or lose simply by proposing the idea in the first place?

 

It has been done (on a smaller scale) recently in 2000, where the U.S. Census split the Raleigh-Durham MSA into two separate MSAs consisting of the Raleigh MSA and the Durham MSA. There's an interesting article published by Durham's CVB for why it is justified: http://www.dcvb-nc.c...NDIVIDUALLY.pdf

Any thoughts?



#2 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:54 AM

Also, for those interested, splitting the MSA into its two divisions would send the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlingon MSA from being ranked fourth-largest nationally to Dallas-Irving-Plano being ranked around 15 and Fort Worth-Arlington being ranked around 25.

 

For Texas, Dallas-Irving-Plano would become the state's second-largest MSA after Houston and Fort Worth-Arlington would be ranked fourth, bumping Austin down to fifth.



#3 JBB

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:55 AM

FYI - Your link goes to the article about the urban Wal Mart.

Someone would have to show me some pretty compelling financial benefit to this. On the surface, it sounds like little more than another futile chess move in a civic-pride fueled peeing contest. I am interested in the reading the article that you referenced above.

#4 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:08 AM

FYI - Your link goes to the article about the urban Wal Mart.

 

Someone would have to show me some pretty compelling financial benefit to this. On the surface, it sounds like little more than another futile chess move in a civic-pride fueled peeing contest. I am interested in the reading the article that you referenced above.

 

Thanks, fixed.

 

Beyond, the superficial civic pride issues, it does have a pretty big impact on statistical analysis, especially for anyone engaged in any serious demographic, economic or market analysis and, perhaps also superficial, it would delineate the two on most national rankings (some, such as Forbes, have already begun ranking the two metro divisions separately in their rankings of national metros) and, perhaps, result in more exposure and recognition for Fort Worth on its own terms, which has the potential for benefit economically (i.e. investment, real estate, corporate relocations, etc.). The MSAs (originally designated in the 1940s) are set by the OMB and are reviewed every ten years ahead of each decennial census, so even if there were any real interest in doing this, it could only take effect around 2020 at the earliest. Also worth noting that it wouldn't affect the designation or boundaries of the Council of Governments or the CSA (which takes in a wider geography). Apart from that, I could think of some other advantages and many disadvantages... but I am curious to get people's reactions.



#5 johnfwd

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 12:16 PM

Having done statistical analysis years ago using census data subdivided by SMSAs, I understand the efficiencies of having such subdivisions. In fact, a variety of metro area delineations have been created (e.g., primary, combined, core-based, etc.) My guess is that the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA is sufficient for statistical purposes for now (believe it or not, the core-based MSA ranks our area with an estimated population of over 6 million as the fourth largest in the country, a rank above Houston's).

 

 Maybe in the distant future when the north, west, and south areas of Fort Worth grow in population to the extent of "merging" with Fort Worth, the feds will want to separate us from Dallas.



#6 cjyoung

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 12:47 PM

We were previously a separate MSA, but because more than 20% drive into Dallas County for work, the OMB combined us. I do believe we had much discussions in the forum regarding this back in the late 90's.



#7 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 12:48 PM

You're absolutely right that the current alternatives for delineation provide some research flexibility, including the ability to drill down to the Metro Division for the handful of MSAs nationwide that have them (the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA is the only one in the state of Texas that has metro divisions), and it is not uncommon to see them used. However, most researchers and the press use the MSA (aka CBSA by the more recent terminology) by default. Plus, since there are only a few metros that have metro divisions nationwide, it is generally not worth the extra time and effort to break things down further, and many agencies (including the Bureau of Economic Analysis, for instance, which estimates Gross Metropolitan Product) do not provide data for Metro Divisions - only for MSAs.



#8 renamerusk

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:46 PM

Guys, you, and you know who you are by my "likes", are doing a great job delineating the advantages of Fort Worth-Arlington being a separate MSA.

 

I would ask why it should be viewed as a "civic pride fueled pissing contest" when both the likes of  Scotland and Wales seek to do the same with regards to England.  Instead, I think that Fort Worth's behavior on a localized level is a rational one and may be viewed in similar light as the behavior that is being carried out on a national level in the UK.

 

Fort Worth over everyone.

 

 



#9 Keller Pirate

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 05:19 PM

Since the Census Bureau designates the MSA's wouldn't they be the ones to change them?

 

I'm thinking being part of the fourth largest MSA might be helpful when applying for Federal money for regional projects.  Like money for transit, flood control and stuff like that.  If we dropped down to number 25 in size getting money for that kind of stuff might be harder to come by.



#10 renamerusk

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 09:59 PM

I'm thinking being part of the fourth largest MSA might be helpful when applying for Federal money for regional projects.  Like money for transit, flood control and stuff like that.  If we dropped down to number 25 in size getting money for that kind of stuff might be harder to come by.

 

Not really true.  Fort Worth refused federal funds for a streetcar project and Texas, second only to California in population, refused federal funds for ACA. It seems more likely to me that it is not necessarily size but rather ideology that matters when applying for or accepting federal funds.

 

So who is the 25th largest MSA according to 2012 estimates? - San Antonio.  The next eleven largest in order: Orlando, Sacramento, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Columbus, Indianapolis, San Jose, Austin and Nashville.  How hard might it be do you think it is for any one of these cities to get federal funds?



#11 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:15 PM

Two things quickly. 1) the OMB and not the Census determines what the definition of each MSA is going to be (and while local input no longer has the impact it used to in the process) there are some back channels (again, I think the Raleigh - Durham case is instructive). 2) the delineation of MSAs has (by law) no bearing on the distribution of federal funds. While there are some agencies that do apportion their allocations based on population (e.g. HUD), those funds go to the MPO/Council of Governments whose boundaries are defined separately and, in this case, would likely remain the same (North Texas).

#12 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:50 PM

One thing to think about is TMS and parts of Alliance would not be in the Fort Worth MSA, as Denton county is part of the Dallas metro division.


- Dylan


#13 johnfwd

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 08:17 AM

The subject of this particular thread is a narrowly defined one--the subdivision of metropolitan areas by the feds (based on census data) for statistical analysis purposes.  I suspect that the apportionment of state or federal funds has more to do with politics than population, though increased population in a particular area may result in added representation in Congress or the state legislature (and that may give the area more pull when it comes to funding).

 

Having said all that (now I'm really off-topic), I have always believed that a state or city's "identity" as viewed by others beyond the local is more subjective and based on image.  A variety of factors contribute to image--not just population.  I like to point out, for example, that cities like New Orleans and Boston have a more universal "image" based on history; cities like Green Bay and Indianapolis have an image created by mass media's love of pro football and car racing that goes far beyond the objective worth of those cities.  Then I try to think like someone from, say, New York, when asked which cities they identify most with--New Orleans, Boston, Green Bay, Indianapolis, or Fort Worth.  Do you really think the New Yorker will answer, "Fort Worth" ?

 

For Renamerusk:  I, for one, have always subjectively identified Scotland as being separate from the United Kingdom.  Why?  For historical reasons, mainly.  As to Wales, unfortunately I seldom identify it at all (even though my ancestors on my father's side have Welsh blood).



#14 renamerusk

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 11:19 AM

....I have always believed that a state or city's "identity" as viewed by others beyond the local is more subjective and based on image.  A variety of factors contribute to image--not just population.  I like to point out, for example, that cities like New Orleans and Boston have a more universal "image" based on history; cities like Green Bay and Indianapolis have an image created by mass media's love of pro football and car racing that goes far beyond the objective worth of those cities.  Then I try to think like someone from, say, New York, when asked which cities they identify most with--New Orleans, Boston, Green Bay, Indianapolis, or Fort Worth.  Do you really think the New Yorker will answer, "Fort Worth" ?

 

For Renamerusk:  I, for one, have always subjectively identified Scotland as being separate from the United Kingdom.  Why?  For historical reasons, mainly.  As to Wales, unfortunately I seldom identify it at all (even though my ancestors on my father's side have Welsh blood).

 

A Frenchman was once quoted to have said,  "I love New York because it is not in America".  Whenever I am NYC, I sort of get the feeling from lots of them that America is a place out there somewhere west of Jersey. :laugh:

 

To be fair, Fort Worth is not alone as a city that does not  have something that readily identify it to a national audience like a Mardi Gras, Indy500, Colonial Tea Party or the Packers; but it could arguably be more visible to businesses if it were its own MSA.

 

@Johndfw: I think you grasped the point that I was attempting to make about the devolution of the UK and the desires of its members(Scotland and Wales)  to delineate themselves from England.  To be Welsh or Scottish is not only cool; but it helps their tourism and their regional economies.

 

Desiring locally to delineate Fort Worth from the Dallas-Fort Worth MSA seems more in line with an universally held desire and one that will also have economic benefits for the city. It ought not be viewed as petty rivalry, but a sound goal.

 

Fort Worth over everyone.



#15 cjyoung

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:07 PM

One thing to think about is TMS and parts of Alliance would not be in the Fort Worth MSA, as Denton county is part of the Dallas metro division.

As the Tarrant County part of Alliance grows that could change. The OMB makes the decisions based on job commutes. Yeah, I know the largest cities in Dallas county (Lewisville and Denton) still travel more to Dallas and Collin counties but that could change as Alliance grows with companies like Amazon, THR, Costco, Mercedes Benz, McKesson and others bringing more than generic $10/hr warehouse jobs.



#16 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 10:33 PM

The more I think of this topic, the more I think Dallas & Fort Worth should be classified as separate metros again.

 

Yes, development is continuous between the two cities, people commute between the metro divisions, and we share a media market. Those are good arguments for us being classified as one metro area.

 

However, the perception that a metro area is one city and its suburbs is too strong. Almost every metro anchor has their own metro area. Because Fort Worth isn't the largest city of a metro area, too many people (and the media) see Fort Worth as just a suburb or satellite town. Too many people think of "Dallas" as the nation's fourth largest metro area.

 

If Raleigh/Durham, San Francisco/San Jose, and Los Angeles/"the Inland Empire" can be seperate metro areas, then I don't see why Dallas/Fort Worth can't be seperate metro areas. I'm thinking Fort Worth would get much more credit as a metro anchor if this were the case.


- Dylan


#17 johnfwd

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 08:06 AM

Good points.  The U.S. Census Bureau back in 1950 and 1960 only had Statistical Metropolitan Area (SMA)  delineations.  The Fort Worth SMA was separate from the Dallas MSA.

 

The current delineations are "Metropolitan" and "Micropolitan" statistical areas.   As you can see, the Micropolitan breakdown in our area is  "Dallas Plano Irving" and "Fort Worth Arlington."

 

So you see how the Census Bureau now subdivides its data.  The column headings were not included in this excerpt (below), but the first population figures under each designated area are from the 2010 Census and the last population figures are 2015 estimates.

 

 

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Area
6,426,214 6,426,214 6,452,614 6,574,298 6,709,559 6,822,353 6,958,092 7,102,796

Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metro Division
4,230,520 4,230,031 4,248,610 4,335,904 4,432,872 4,511,504 4,607,586 4,707,151

Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metro Division
2,195,694 2,196,183 2,204,004 2,238,394 2,276,687 2,310,849 2,350,506 2,395,645

Dalton, GA Metro Area
142,227 142,227 142,317 142,531 142,616 142,384 142,971 143,781

 

[Source:  U.S. Census Bureau]







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