Introduction of New and Redefined Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Wisconsin’s Current Employment Statistics (CES) Program

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines metropolitan statistical areas. The defined metropolitan statistical areas are based on application of the year 2000 standards (which appeared in the Federal Register on December 27, 2000) to Census 2000 data and were announced by OMB effective June 6, 2003. For more information on the definition process use:

Beginning with the release of January 2005 data, Wisconsin and all other state’s Current Employment Statistics (CES) programs will begin using the newly defined Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Metropolitan Statistical Areas consist of one or more counties.

Wisconsin will have 11 Metropolitan Statistical Areas within its borders:

MSA Title (Wisconsin counties included)

  1. Appleton (Outagamie and Calumet) **
  2. Eau Claire (Eau Claire and Chippewa)
  3. Fond du Lac (Fond du Lac) **
  4. Green Bay (Brown, Oconto and Kewaunee) *
  5. Janesville (Rock)
  6. Madison (Dane, Columbia and Iowa) *
  7. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
    (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington)
  8. Oshkosh-Neenah (Winnebago) **
  9. Racine (Racine)
  10. Sheboygan (Sheboygan)
  11. Wausau (Marathon)
* New definition
** New MSA

Wisconsin will have 4 Metropolitan Statistical Areas overlapping its borders:

MSA Title (counties/state included)

  1. La Crosse (La Crosse/WI plus Houston/MN)
  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington and Wright/MN plus Pierce and St. Croix/WI)
  3. Duluth (Carlton and St. Louis/MN plus Douglas/WI)
  4. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet (Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will/IL plus Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter/IN plus Kenosha/WI)

Wisconsin’s CES program is responsible for the production of statistics pertaining to the eleven “in state” MSAs and the “cross-state” MSA of LaCrosse. Minnesota or Illinois CES programs (depending on the largest city within the area) are responsible for the statistical development of the other listed cross-state MSAs.

Wisconsin’s CES program will publish information for twelve MSAs, an increase from the eleven MSAs defined under the 1990 Census. Significant changes to the MSA structure will be:

  • The introduction of Fond du Lac County as the Fond du Lac Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  • The inclusion of two additional counties (Columbia and Iowa) to the Madison MSA.
  • The inclusion of two additional counties (Kewaunee and Oconto) to the Green Bay MSA.
  • The split of Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah MSA into two MSAs – Appleton MSA and Oshkosh-Neenah MSA.
  • The “loss” of the Kenosha MSA to the large Chicago-Naperville-Joliet MSA under the state of Illinois’ CES program control.

As mentioned previously, January 2005 CES data will be released using the new MSA definitions listed above. For redefined and new areas, this means all data existing under the old definition is not comparable with the January 2005 data and any future data. Every precaution should be taken to avoid using time series data that may exist with a MSA redefinition point. To help data users avoid problems of this nature, CES data will be reconstructed back to 1990 using the new MSA definitions. Complete replacement of historical data for new and redefined MSAs is strongly encouraged.

A topside review of the new and redefined MSAs reveals the following (based on March 2003 data):

  • The newly introduced Fond du Lac MSA Total Nonfarm employment is 46,600.
  • The redefined Madison MSA, with 322,600 workers, includes 30,600 workers (+10.5%) from the addition of two counties (Columbia and Iowa) when compared to the old single county (Dane) Madison MSA.
  • The Green Bay MSA has added 15,400 workers due to inclusion of Kewaunee and Oconto counties within its redefinition, to reach a Total Nonfarm employment level of 161,700. The additional counties result in a definitional increase of 10.7%.
  • The split of the old Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah MSA into two separate MSAs revealed 111,800 employees in the Appleton MSA (55.5% of the old definition) and 89,600 employees in the Oshkosh-Neenah MSA (44.5% of the “old”).
  • Kenosha’s 54,100 workers are now included in the Chicago area employment statistics.

A map of Wisconsin’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas can be found at:

You will note inclusion of Micropolitan Statistical Areas on the map. OMB defines these areas as having at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population. The Current Employment Statistics program will not be developing data for Micropolitan Statistical Areas.

Below is a summary list of Wisconsin MSAs having Nonfarm employment estimates developed and published by the CES program. Numeric FIPS designations released by OMB are also included.

Wisconsin’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas


11540 – Appleton (Outagamie and Calumet) **
20740 – Eau Claire (Eau Claire and Chippewa)
22540 – Fond du Lac **
24580 – Green Bay (Brown, Oconto and Kewaunee) *
27500 – Janesville (Rock)
29100 – La Crosse (La Crosse and Houston County MN)
31540 – Madison (Dane, Columbia and Iowa) *
33340 – Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
(Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington)
36780 – Oshkosh-Neenah (Winnebago) **
39540 – Racine
43100 – Sheboygan
48140 – Wausau (Marathon)

* New definition
** New MSA E-Government Portal

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