What are Combined Statistical Areas?

A Combined Statistical Area (CSA) is a large geographic region comprised of localities (townships, towns, cities) that are substantially sustained by, and dependent on, a common urban center. The concept of Combined Statistical Areas denotes our sense of major cities’ “greater metropolitan areas”.

For example, New York’s CSA stretches out to about Princeton in the Southwest, the end of I-80 at the NJ/PA border, up through Kingston going North, out to New Haven to the East along the US mainland, and Long Island. Within that area, communities are substantially populated by people who commute to New York City, or a larger city like Newark, New Haven, White Plains, or New Brunswick, whose own population is substantially connected to the City.

Map of U.S. CSAs

The map below depicts the United States’ CSAs, as defined in 2013. Click here to download a high-quality version.

This map depicts the U.S.'s designated Combined Statistical Areas for 2013.
US Combined Statistical Areas, 2013.
Source: Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, Public Domain

Largest CSAs

These are the United States’ ten largest Combined Statistical Areas. It uses data from the Census Bureau (see citation below). R code here.

New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA22,589,036
Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA18,711,436
Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI9,825,325
Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA9,814,928
San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA9,665,887
Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT8,287,710
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK8,057,796
Houston-The Woodlands, TX7,253,193
Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD7,209,620
Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale, FL6,889,936


A comma-separated values file with demographic information about these areas can be downloaded here. This set’s codebook is here. Cite it as:

Census Bureau (2020) "Annual Resident Population Estimates and Estimated Components of Resident Population Change for Combined Statistical Areas and Their Geographic Components: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019" Downloaded 12/9/2020 from <https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/datasets/2010-2019/metro/totals/cbsa-est2019-alldata.csv>

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