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RegalTDP

Ottawa County Considering Rejoining Grand Rapids Metro Area

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From the Holland Sentinal:

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/x34239...pids-metro-area

I can understand the Lakeshore's desire to stand out as its own individual community, but I think separating the metro areas masks the size of the region's population and market to outsiders. The more we present ourselves as a unified region, a community of distinct communities, it will help us stand out, while also showcasing the diversity of what we have to offer.

And then, in the distant future generations from now, maybe people will stop confusing us with Detroit. <_<

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the reporter misunderstood the situation. The County doesn't decide; the US census follows national definitions based on census sampling of commuting. the issue was that the data was only a few hundred short of the standard; so local govt could make a case to the census that by margin of error they could be combined, as they were for decades. Combined they pass the million mark and have larger work force stats; which puts us on the statistical map for all sorts of things, which we are missing out on now.

Ottawa Co Econ Dev offices can get their detailed data some other ways just fine.

GR and especially east Ottawa Co are one "city", whether some people want to acknowledge it or not.

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The reporter did say the county was "petitioning" the US census. I suppose the article's title was misleading. Hopefully the petition goes through.

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the reporter misunderstood the situation. The County doesn't decide; the US census follows national definitions based on census sampling of commuting.

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Yeah, none of us get to choose how we are divided for MSA's and CMSA's. Holland is it's own little metro center, but it's inextricably tied to metro GR, and it's also true that the largest Municipality in Ottawa County is part of Grand Rapids urban population. I wonder how that works out? (I know, I know commuting patterns.) I could make a strong case that if they weren't going to reinclude those numbers into one region, that they should at least combine Ottawa and Muskegon counties into a larger metro area. Continuous development from Holland right up to Muskegon kinda makes it one city. I didn't agree with it at first, but as I learned more growing up in GR, it made total sense when it was the four county region. Adding the eastern counties made sense too based on commuting patterns. From a media market stand point, there are right around 2million people. Say that The MSA included Kzoo county, it'd still cover less land area than some of the other MSA's in the country that have right around the same amount of people.

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Commuting patterns and county lines have nothing to do with each other, so why does the census arbitrarily use county lines to determine the boundaries of an MSA? Because now we have Jenison and Hudsonville as part of the Holland area, while the Allegan County portion of the city of Holland is not.

Just about every other metro area in MI can point out similar discrepancies. Why do we formulate MSAs if they're not accurate?

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Commuting patterns and county lines have nothing to do with each other, so why does the census arbitrarily use county lines to determine the boundaries of an MSA? Because now we have Jenison and Hudsonville as part of the Holland area, while the Allegan County portion of the city of Holland is not.

Just about every other metro area in MI can point out similar discrepancies. Why do we formulate MSAs if they're not accurate?

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Commuting patterns and county lines have nothing to do with each other, so why does the census arbitrarily use county lines to determine the boundaries of an MSA? Because now we have Jenison and Hudsonville as part of the Holland area, while the Allegan County portion of the city of Holland is not.

Just about every other metro area in MI can point out similar discrepancies. Why do we formulate MSAs if they're not accurate?

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That is completely and utterly illogical.

Hudsonville... that's a toss-up unless Holland comes back into the fold.

But Jenison is clearly part of Greater Grand Rapids.

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Why can't they work off of commuting patterns between townships, instead? Seems like it would be much more precise.

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Yeah it's illogical, but there has to be some method of the madness used. It does seem silly that, Portland a full 15 minutes from Greater Lansing is part of the GR MSA. I think because the bulk Ionia county commuters live in cities like Belding, Saranac, Lake O', and even Ionia itself drive into Kent County to work/shop/be entertained. I gotta think it must be to insignificant, and intricate to truly do a study to make more accurate measures. I dont think the census bureau, needs to be exact enough to divide the western 2/3rds of Ionia County to Grand Rapids- Wyoming MSA, and then the eastern portion to Lansing East Lansing. Imagine trying to explain that to the ignorant masses who are under impressions like the city of Walker is a county, and that there are 8 billion people living in the country. :)

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Here's a great illustration of how ludicrous the current MSA boundaries are, and using county lines to separate MSAs.

http://pic.srv5.wapedia.mobi/thumb/3c77143....svg?format=jpg

You can even see the population dots go right off the edge of the MSA boundary (Ottawa County suburbs like Jenison and Hudsonville), and yet the dots are part of Grand Rapids. It's like the comments from Lakeshore Advantage about employers that are in Southern Holland, just over the Allegan County line, not being included in Holland's MSA (like Haworth).

Forget commuting patterns and algorithms. It's just common sense.

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Jenison should definitely be apart of GR. Growing up there I along with everyone else I knew considered ourselves a part of Grand Rapids. Honestly, I think Hudsonville should be part of it as well. Its culture is similar to that of the roots of Holland but I think more people from H'ville go to the GR area to meet their everyday needs as opposed to Holland. I know that was true for me in Jenison. I really couldn't tell you one thing that I needed that I had to drive to Holland to get. There are some good restaurants out there but once the outlets went bust and the mall has started to die...there is just no reason. Plus Hudsonville's growth is definitely more attributed to the sprawl of Grand Rapids rather than the 'sprawl' of Holland. There is a whole lotta nothing between Zeeland and Hudsonville along Chicago Drive.

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Clearly the areas (Holland, Hudsonville) think they're all part of the same "region."

Sitting at the West Michigan Strategic Alliance annual State of the Region meeting today that was very clear.

By the way, for anyone who doesn't (or hasn't) attended their annual presentation, I think it's a nice summary of the regionally-minded initiatives going on right now.

I was enlightened (for the 2nd year in a row).

A few of us (small few) were tweeting with #wmsa and #sotr (which is also "Scotch on the Rocks" apparently) today if you're interested in looking up info.

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Clearly the areas (Holland, Hudsonville) think they're all part of the same "region."

Sitting at the West Michigan Strategic Alliance annual State of the Region meeting today that was very clear.

By the way, for anyone who doesn't (or hasn't) attended their annual presentation, I think it's a nice summary of the regionally-minded initiatives going on right now.

I was enlightened (for the 2nd year in a row).

A few of us (small few) were tweeting with #wmsa and #sotr (which is also "Scotch on the Rocks" apparently) today if you're interested in looking up info.

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From the publication "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Michigan Based on the 2000 Census", put out by the Library of Michigan / LDDS, Department of History, Arts, and Libraries, in 2003:

Grand Rapids, Holland, and Muskegon Metropolitan Areas. Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Allegan counties were combined into a single metropolitan area in 1993, but these four counties are now central counties of separate CBSA

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If that does occur and Oceana County does get included (thats about 25k) we would be around 1,350,000. That number would be right above Jacksonville MSA and right below Milwaukee. That would be #40 on the list. This is of course if the MSA does get changed. Who knows what other cities will have the same thing occur though. Time will tell.

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Three counties qualify as outlying counties of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area because they barely meet the 25 percent commuting standard: Newaygo (26.7 percent), Ionia (26.6 percent), and Barry (25.8 percent).

Ottawa county has close economic ties to Grand Rapids and Muskegon, and its census population for 2000 includes 59,000 residents of the Grand Rapids urbanized area and 36,000 residents of the Muskegon urbanized area. Nevertheless, it now constitutes a separate metropolitan area because its 82,000 residents in the Holland urbanized area exceed its number in either of the other urbanized areas taken by itself. The estimated percentage of its workers who commute to Kent county (24.7 percent) does not quite meet the 25 percent threshold for merging with the Grand Rapids metropolitan area.

Montcalm county does not qualify as part of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area because only an estimated 24.6 percent of its workers commute to Kent county.

Allegan county could have qualified as a central county of the Holland metropolitan area based on its 9,752 residents in the Holland urbanized area, but it is a separate micropolitan area instead because it has a slightly larger number of residents-10,871-in the Plainwell-Otsego urban cluster. Its commuting levels are not very close to the threshold for merger with any of its nearby metropolitan areas. However, with 19.6 percent of its workers commuting to Ottawa county and 16.4 percent commuting to Kent county, it would easily qualify as part of a joint Grand Rapids-Holland metropolitan area if the standards allowed those metropolitan areas to be merged.

Oceana county almost qualifies for inclusion in the Muskegon metropolitan area, since 24.0 percent of its workers commute to Muskegon county. It would easily qualify as an outlying county of a joint Grand Rapids-Muskegon or Holland-Muskegon metropolitan area.

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There's so much fuzzy math that goes into all of this. The government uses MSA's to measure the size of regions, not just urbanized populations. Perhaps someone more educated than I can expound on what the gov't uses the numbers for. I imagine cash and resource allocation and the like. I think the way our minds are programmed, we hear the word Metropolitan and think of just the urbanized population. I think it's fair that metro areas encompass the surrounding rural areas. Since they are influenced by the urban core. There will always be scrutiny as to how it should be defined. Under the metropolitan regional arguement, you can take West Michigan, consolidate it's counties into a metropolitan area, then say it has more residents than say Jacksonville. Hell if you wanted to, one could probabally make a convincing arguement about taking Kzoo, Gr, Muskegon, and Holland, and create a CSMA with 1.7 million people, and compare it to Nashville and Indy and the like. But if you were to put, say, an urban Jacksonville population, next to an urban Grand Rapids population, there's no contest as to which is bigger.

What defy's my logic is how you can take a giant city, like Detroit, and break it's URBAN population up into different Metropolitan areas! That's insane logic to me. I understand the socioeconomic differences between Oakland and Macomb counties, and Wayne county. But how do you scrutinize that they are different metropolitan areas? Can someone explain this to me? They are to inextricably tied.

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BTW on our next census we should have a dramatic increase in the number of people with degrees. The addition of MSU should help us out there plus VIA and the cancer center should provide us with a few more degreed folks. If you add in Ottawa the increase may or may not go up as much but with us sitting at 40th largest census area in the country it will help us out.

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Haha who'd have thought it! We are talking about how wonky the standards are, and so are the congressmen that's awsome. Maybe they'll change it and you'll have a big region again. :D

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BTW on our next census we should have a dramatic increase in the number of people with degrees. The addition of MSU should help us out there plus VIA and the cancer center should provide us with a few more degreed folks. If you add in Ottawa the increase may or may not go up as much but with us sitting at 40th largest census area in the country it will help us out.

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How many people work there? A few hundred at each place? If that?

I don't think that'll yield more than a blip on the radar.

Not to minimize the importance, but to push degree-holding rates in GR-Muskegon-Holland (which an employment base over 500,000) you would need pretty significant sea change.

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this is all assumption. but, lets say there are 3000 students that will go to the med school (I have no idea the actual number) add in the profs. thats 100-200 more plus staff some degreed you must be looking at about a 1% growth. I would say 1% is substantial.

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