Q: An area in my State/Region thinks that they now have a population over 50,000 which would meet Urbanized Area (UA) criteria for MPO designation. When will the Census Bureau define new Urbanized Areas?
A: The Census Bureau will re-define Urbanized Areas AFTER the 2010 Census. The first counts by block geography from the 2010 Census will be issued by April 1, 2011, called the PL-94-171 Summary File. The Census Bureau currently is reviewing the criteria used to define Urbanized Areas after the 2000 Census and will publish draft criteria for comment later this decade.
Q: What if this area does not want to wait for the results of the 2010 Census?
A: If an area believes their area's population has grown, and they would now meet the 50,000 population criteria for an urbanized area (population AND density measures), they MUST contract with the Census Bureau for a Special Census. The area to be counted cannot be restricted to only new development, but must include the entire area under consideration for potential inclusion in the urbanized area, including low density territory that might be used to link between areas of qualifying population density. Territory that is not included in the special census cannot be taken into consideration when delineating a potential urbanized area.
To get started, you must ask for a Cost Estimate for a Special Census. There is a $200 fee to request a cost estimate. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/specialcensus.html
The Census Bureau says a ballpark estimate for a special census for an area with about 50,000 population would be between $650,000 and $750,000. A major factor is the local wage rate for field staff conducting the census.