144 cities could lose status as metro areas

Joplin City Hall

JOPLIN, Mo. – A proposal from the Federal government could mean 144 cities across the nation, including Joplin, would lose their “Metropolitan Statistical Area” designation.

Under the proposal, a metro area would have to have at least 100,000 people compared with the 50,000-person threshold that was implemented more than 70 years ago. Statisticians say the proposal is a long time in coming, given that the U.S. population has more than doubled since 1950. Some officials whose cities are on the list to be downgraded don’t believe it will have a major impact. Others worry it will lead them to lose federal funds.