DEFINITION of 'Metropolitan Statistical Area  MSA'
A formal definition of metropolitan areas established by the Office of Management and Budget, a division of the U.S. Government. Metropolitan statistical areas serve to group counties and cities into specific geographic areas for the purposes of a population census and the compilation of related statistical data.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Metropolitan Statistical Area  MSA'
An earlier version of metropolitan statistical areas were known as standard metropolitan statistical areas (SMSAs). Modern MSAs are configured to represent contiguous geographic areas with a relatively high density of human population.
RELATED TERMS

Current Population Survey
A statistical survey that is performed by the U.S. Census Bureau ... 
Lagging Indicator
1. A measurable economic factor that changes after the economy ... 
Bureau Of Labor Statistics  BLS
A government agency that produces economic data that reflects ... 
Department Of Labor  DOL
A U.S government cabinet body responsible for standards in occupational ... 
Bureau of Census
A division of the federal government of the United States Bureau ... 
Altman ZScore
The output of a creditstrength test that gauges a publicly traded ...
RELATED FAQS

What assumptions are made when conducting a ttest?
The common assumptions made when doing a ttest include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >> 
What are some of the more common types of regressions investors can use?
The most common types of regression an investor can use are linear regressions and multiple linear regressions. Regressions ... Read Full Answer >> 
What types of assets produce negative portfolio variance?
Assets that have a negative correlation with each other produce negative portfolio variance. Variance is one measure of the ... Read Full Answer >> 
When is it better to use systematic over simple random sampling?
Under simple random sampling, a sample of items is chosen randomly from a population, and each item has an equal probability ... Read Full Answer >> 
What are some common financial sampling methods?
There are two areas in finance where sampling is very important: hypothesis testing and auditing. The type of sampling methods ... Read Full Answer >> 
How can I measure portfolio variance?
Portfolio variance measures the dispersion of returns of a portfolio. It is calculated using the standard deviation of each ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles

Economics
3 Main Reasons Las Vegas Sports Teams Keep Folding
Learn why a unique labor force, competition for entertainment dollars and the stigma of gambling have kept professional sports out of Las Vegas. 
Retirement
Consumer Confidence: A Killer Statistic
The consumer confidence is key to any market economy, so investors need to learn the measures and how to analyze them. 
Economics
Why The Consumer Price Index Is Controversial
Find out why economists are torn about how to calculate inflation. 
Markets
A Guide To Conference Board Indicators
Learn to put the CB data sets to trading use. Each chapter takes you through one of the board's benchmark indicators or surveys, their significance and their applications. 
Economics
Explaining the Liquidity Coverage Ratio
The liquidity coverage ratio requires banks and other financial institutions to hold enough cash and liquid assets on hand to weather market stress. 
Fundamental Analysis
Calculating Valuation
Valuation is the process of determining what an asset is worth. 
Economics
Will the Selloff in China Hurt the Global Economy?
Though China is the world’s second largest economy, its volatility in the stock market is unlikely to have an impact on the global or Chinese economy. 
Fundamental Analysis
Understanding Qualitative Analysis
Qualitative analysis is a general term describing the nonmathematical scrutiny used by investors and managers to make investment and business decisions. 
Economics
Signs The U.S. Recovery Is Solid
Many market observers lately have been making some pretty pessimistic evaluations of the U.S. economy, declaring that it’s stagnating and soft. 
Fundamental Analysis
Explaining the Monte Carlo Simulation
Monte Carlo simulation is an analysis done by running a number of different variables through a model in order to determine the different outcomes.