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krazeeboi

Should the Upstate be recombined into a single MSA?

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They were having this discussion over on the NC Triad (Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point) forum, so I just thought I'd pose the question here to get some perspectives from the 2nd largest city in the region. Some of the Winston-Salem people said they liked having their own MSA because it gave them a bit of recognition that they didn't seem to receive with the old designation. Of course most Greenvillians would like to see the old designation because it puts the name of their city first for a metro area of 1.2 million people, and you can't fault them for that. But do you guys think the region as a whole would benefit more from the old designation, or does Spartanburg having its own MSA somehow give it an individual identity that it wouldn't otherwise have?

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It's more than Greenville name being in the front of a larger metro.

We all agree that urbanized figures best represent the size of South Carolina's cities, do we not? However, in the upstate, significant portions of the Greenville urbanized area are NOT even included in the MSA. You can see the map from 2000 here: PDF Greenville UA Included in this area are people who live in Spartanburg County and are zoned to Greenville County Schools (not that it's important, but further illustrates the point). Greenville loses UA numbers to both Anderson and Spartanburg MSA.

I would say that Spartanburg area residents like being separated for the same reasons that they will become highly agitated if BMW, the airport, etc are referred to as being in Greenville. Despite it all being within the Greenville UA, the entirety of Spartanburg County is source of pride and bearing the same name as the City makes that pride and association even stronger...

Just my take, but I don't live in Spartanburg, so I don't count. :whistling:

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It's more than Greenville name being in the front of a larger metro.

We all agree that urbanized figures best represent the size of South Carolina's cities, do we not? .....

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They were having this discussion over on the NC Triad (Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point) forum, so I just thought I'd pose the question here to get some perspectives from the 2nd largest city in the region. Some of the Winston-Salem people said they liked having their own MSA because it gave them a bit of recognition that they didn't seem to receive with the old designation. Of course most Greenvillians would like to see the old designation because it puts the name of their city first for a metro area of 1.2 million people, and you can't fault them for that. But do you guys think the region as a whole would benefit more from the old designation, or does Spartanburg having its own MSA somehow give it an individual identity that it wouldn't otherwise have?

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The biggest advantages of having a combined MSA are the population perception and marketing.

Obviously the population boost benefits us all because it puts us on more radars from a business perspective to be able to say we are the largest MSA in South Carolina.

From a marketing perspective- Greenville is a fairly generic name for a city, but as we all know our Greenville is NOT a generic place. Spartanburg is a unique name, and even though people might not get it right (eg: Spartensburg), they still remember it. "Greenville-Spartanburg" and "GSP" abbreviation as a metro area is more widely recognizable as a brand. It is in part because there is no other Spartanburg of any significance among other reasons.

Besides the name, Spartanburg on its own is less than 500,000 in population, which seems to be the low bar for being included in major MSA-type studies, real estate reports, other national rankings etc. When you look through lists and rankings of MSAs, it's cool to see Spartanburg on its own IF it's there. However, I'm starting to wonder from a categorization point of view if it's really to our advantage to be separate from Greenville.

Another advantage that most people probably don't know about is that the federal government distributes certain funding based on the MSA. I'm not sure what they specifically cover, (probably housing/welfare-related) but Spartanburg being on its own gives it more autonomy in that respect.

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It is my understand that an MSA is simply the boundary of an urbanized area, nothing more. Spartan can probably clarify.

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What would the current GSA MSA's unemployment rate be? There's more to consider than the number of people when trying to make an MSA look good. Consider the number of people in the Detroit MSA, for instance.

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What would the current GSA MSA's unemployment rate be? There's more to consider than the number of people when trying to make an MSA look good. Consider the number of people in the Detroit MSA, for instance.

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There would be a much larger combined GMP

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Well they would if they were kept up to date. But a release once every 10 years means they are pretty useless for most purposes.

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Going back to the old GSA MSA configuration-

Anderson --------- 12.5

Greenville -------- 10.2

Laurens ----------- 11.4

Pickens ----------- 10.2

Spartanburg ------ 12.3

Simply averaging them gives you: 11.3

For Spartanburg and Anderson, joining Greenville's MSA would lower their total MSA unemployment figures.

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I don't think it would really matter.

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If the unemployment figure were an anomaly rather than part of a national trend, then it might.

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Just a bit of a nit though it won't make a huge difference. To get the true unemployment rate for the 5 counties listed above you have to apply a weighted score. The easiest way to do that is to work with the real numbers and not the percentages. That is, you have to add up the total employment for the 5 counties and the total unemployed (by that def) and divide it out. This is the accurate way to do it, because the actual number in unemployed in Greenville is far higher than any of the other counties, because the population is higher. As stated above, it's probably closer to Greenville's score which my guess would be, without doing the math, is somewhere just under 11%.

The change in the unemployment rate reported won't make any difference. People are heading to real jobs not statistics. Right now the only place left in the country that is doing relatively well is along the petro energy corridor that runs from Houston, TX to Tulsa, OK. I do expect to see a temporary uptick in auto manufacturing industries related to the cash for clunkers program.

In any case I think urbanphiles focus too much on MSA numbers. Most in the country don't even know what MSA means. Also, as stated above, in the USA these MSA designations are set by the OMB (not the census) for the purpose of administering federal funding for certain programs. They are not defined in a consistent manner, subject to politics, and also subject to local desires, so they are fairly useless in determining how urban an area might be.

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