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

Bureau Of Labor Statistics  BLS
A government agency that produces economic data that reflects ... 
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 ... 
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 ... 
Compound Annual Growth Rate  CAGR
The yearoveryear growth rate of an investment over a specified ...
RELATED FAQS

What is the difference between a simple random sample and a stratified random sample?
Simple random samples and stratified random samples differ in how the sample is drawn from the overall population of data. ... Read Full Answer >> 
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using systematic sampling?
As a statistical sampling method, systematic sampling is simpler and more straightforward than random sampling. It can also ... Read Full Answer >> 
What is the difference between the standard error of means and standard deviation?
The standard deviation, or SD, measures the amount of variability or dispersion for a subject set of data from the mean, ... Read Full Answer >> 
What level of correlation among investments will guarantee market returns but have ...
The efficient frontier set forth by modern portfolio theory (MPT) can provide an estimate of an optimal portfolio that allows ... Read Full Answer >> 
What is a "non linear" exposure in Value at Risk (VaR)?
The value at risk (VaR) is a statistical risk management technique that determines the amount of financial risk associated ... Read Full Answer >> 
What are some examples of positive correlation in economics?
Positive correlation exists when two variables move in the same direction. A basic example of positive correlation is height ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles

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. 
Fundamental Analysis
What is Quantitative Analysis?
Quantitative analysis refers to the use of mathematical computations to analyze markets and investments. 
Fundamental Analysis
Understanding the Simple Random Sample
A simple random sample is a subset of a statistical population in which each member of the subset has an equal probability of being chosen. 
Economics
What is Systematic Sampling?
Systematic sampling is similar to random sampling, but it uses a pattern for the selection of the sample. 
Fundamental Analysis
Explaining Expected Return
The expected return is a tool used to determine whether or not an investment has a positive or negative average net outcome. 
Fundamental Analysis
Explaining the Geometric Mean
The average of a set of products, the calculation of which is commonly used to determine the performance results of an investment or portfolio. 
Investing
The Labor Market Recovery’s Missing Ingredient
Job creation is running at the fastest pace since the 90s, and there is some evidence that wage growth is finally starting to accelerate, albeit modestly. 
Trading Strategies
Best Undergraduate Degrees For Day Traders
We look at some popular undergrad majors for those wanting to begin a career in the exciting world of fastpaced trading.