Yesterday Blandin Foundation joined a growing group of rural advocates in signing a letter strongly urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to delay changing the federal definition of “metropolitan.” Currently, Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are defined as having a minimum population of 50,000 people. OMB has initiated a process to increase that minimum to 100,000 people.
This change would redefine non-metro, rural areas and have significant impacts on federal funding and program targeting for rural places and people.
Together with researchers, practitioners, nonprofit leaders, and advocates for rural economic and community development, we are strongly urging OMB to delay this change until its impact is fully understood. A robust and inclusive process is needed to identify all potential consequences for rural and rural-urban communities.