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Colorado’s Greeley, Florida’s Palm Coast, Fastest-Growing Metro and Micro Areas


WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 -- Greeley, Colo., and Palm Coast, Fla., were the nation’s fastest-growing metro and micro areas, respectively, between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2003, according to Population Change in Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: 1990-2003, a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report uses the December 2003 definitions of core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. CBSAs consist of one or more whole counties or their equivalents and are designated as either metro areas or micro areas. Metro areas contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more people and micro areas -- a new statistical geography -- contain at least one urban cluster of 10,000 to 50,000 people.

Metro Areas:

The Greeley, Colo., metro area -- located to the north of the Denver-Aurora, Colo., metro area -- grew by 16.8 percent between 2000 and 2003. St. George, Utah -- a new metro area -- and Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., were the second and third fastest-growing metro areas, growing by 15.2 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively.

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., was the most populous metro area in 2003, with 18.6 million people, followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif. (12.8 million), and Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. (9.3 million). With the exception of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga., metro area -- which was 11th in 2000 -- each of the 10 most populous metro areas in 2003 also was among the 10 most populous in 2000.

Micro Areas:

The Palm Coast, Fla., micro area -- located between the Jacksonville, Fla., and the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla., metro areas — grew by nearly 25 percent between 2000 and 2003. The second and third fastest-growing micro areas were Heber, Utah, and East Stroudsburg, Pa., with growth rates of 15.1 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

Among micro areas, Torrington, Conn., was the most populous in 2003, with a population of approximately 188,000 people. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz., and Lebanon, N.H.-Vt., were the second and third most-populous micro areas, respectively.

Other highlights:

-- Between 2000 and 2003, the metro population grew fastest in the West (5.5 percent), followed by the South (5.1 percent), the Midwest (2.0 percent) and the Northeast (1.5 percent). Among the four regions, the West also experienced the fastest growth in the micro population (3.2 percent) and in the population living outside CBSAs (1.4 percent).

-- As of December 2003, there were 361 metro areas encompassing 1,090 counties (or equivalent entities) and 573 micro areas encompassing 690 counties or equivalents in the United States. The remaining 1,361 counties or equivalents were outside CBSAs.

-- In 2003, more than one-half of the U.S. population lived in metro areas with populations of one million or more, with almost one-quarter of the U.S. population residing in metro areas with populations of 5 million or more.

For more information about metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, see For more information about the geographic areas for which the Census Bureau produces population estimates, see

The population estimates used in the report are based on Census 2000 population counts — updated using administrative records.


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