Urban Area (Census definition) - A Census-designated area consisting of a central core and adjacent densely settled territory that together contain at least 2,500 residents.
Note: Until 2000, urban areas were limited to areas with populations of 50,000 residents or more. However, since Census 2000, urban areas have included both Urbanized Areas (UZA) with populations of 50,000 residents or more, and Urban Clusters (UC) with populations of 2,500 to 49,999 residents. The Census Bureau uses the term "urban area" to refer to both UZAs and UCs collectively.
Urban Area (FHWA definition) - An Urban Area as designated by the Census having a population of 5,000 or more. Urban Area (with population of 5,000 or over) boundaries may be adjusted outwardly, and must encompass the entire Census-designated Urban Area. For more guidance on Adjusted Urban Area Boundaries, see Section 6 of FHWA's Highway Functional Classification Concepts, Criteria and Procedures.
Rural Area (Census definition) - All portions of the state that are not included in the Urban Areas (with population of 2,500 or over).
Rural Area (FHWA definition) - All area in the state that are not included in the Urban Areas (with population of 5,000 or over).
A Census-designated urban area with 50,000 residents or more.
Note: USDOT typically uses the acronym "UZA" to refer to Urbanized Areas. The Census Bureau uses the acronym "UA." They are synonymous.
A Census-designated urban area with at least 2,500 residents and no more than 49,999 residents.
A Census-defined UZA boundary that has been adjusted by a State DOT to include additional territory. Typically created to smooth irregular UZA boundaries, the Adjusted UZA must be submitted to FHWA for approval. For more guidance on Adjusted UZA Boundaries, see Section 6 of FHWA's Highway Functional Classification Concepts, Criteria and Procedures.
Note: Federal transportation legislation allows for State and local officials to cooperatively expand the Census-defined UZA boundaries. The adjusted UZA must encompasses the entire Census-designated UZA and is subject to approval by the Secretary of Transportation (23 USC 101(a)(33) -(34) and 49 USC 5302(a)(22) - (23)).
Population derived from the Adjusted UZA is not used in the federal transportation programs where a population count is required for funding allocations. Where a population count is called for it is the Census-designated UZA population that is used.
The Adjusted UZA:
If an Adjusted UZA is not accomplished by June 2014 FHWA will consider the original 2010 Census UZA boundaries as the official boundaries in place for the 2014 HPMS data submission.
No longer exists in Census parlance.
Note: Prior to Census 2000, a place (incorporated city or town) with a population of 2,500 or more was classified as "urban" without regard to population density. The Census continues to define Incorporated Places and Census Designated Places, but these are not used as part of the urban/rural classification.
The boundary in which the metropolitan transportation planning process must be carried out.
Note: The MPA must encompass the UZA(s) and the contiguous geographic area(s) likely to become urbanized within the next 20 years. In some cases, the MPA encompasses the entire metropolitan statistical area (MSA) or combined statistical area (CSA), as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (23 CFR 450.104).
Geographies defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use in tabulating statistical data about metropolitan areas.
Note: MSAs consist of the core counties surrounding a UZA, plus adjacent counties with strong commuting patterns to and from the core counties. A CSA combines an MSA and one or more adjacent additional statistical areas defined by OMB.
The designated local decision-making body that is responsible for carrying out the metropolitan transportation planning process.
Note: Every UZA must be represented by an MPO (23 USC 134(b) and 49 USC 5303(c)).
A UZA with a population over 200,000, designated by the Secretary of Transportation.
Note: In some cases a UZA with less than 200,000 residents has been designated as a TMA, upon special request from the Governor and the MPO designated for the area.
A prioritized listing/program of transportation projects covering a period of four years that is developed by an MPO as part of the metropolitan transportation planning process, consistent with the metropolitan transportation plan (MTP), and required for projects to be eligible for funding under title 23 U.S.C. and title 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53.
The long-range transportation plan for a metropolitan area. The MTP is the statement of the ways the region plans to invest in the transportation system over the next 20-25 years.
A way of systematically considering congestion-related issues using a set of technical tools, and basing evaluations on a discrete set of locally determined performance measures. A CMP is required for all TMAs.
To learn more about Urban Boundaries, their relation to Highway Functional Classification and procedures for adjusting the urban area boundaries for transportation planning purposes please reference the Urban Boundaries section of our Highway Functional Classification Concepts, Criteria and Procedures document.