Sorry for the delay in responding. I finally got information from the
FHWA office which does apportionments.
Metropolitan Planning (PL), 402 Highway Safety, Surface Transportation
Program (STP) base values, and STP sub-allocations, including 23 U.S.C.
123(d)(3) suballocations to TMAs (see below) use decennial census counts
in their formula.
If a jurisdiction commissions an intercensal CENSUS (by the Census
Bureau), then the apportionment shares can be changed, because those new
population counts are considered official.
National Highway System (NHS) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality
(CMAQ) use updated annual estimates.
Since urbanized areas use population counts at the BLOCK level in the
definition process, the Census Bureau will not define new urbanized
areas until AFTER the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau is considering
whether or not be make revisions to urbanized area definition. Perhaps
someone from the U.S. Census Bureau can provide an update. The American
Community Survey's smallest geographic unit of reporting is a block
Let me know if you want me to research FTA or NHTSA funding formulas, or
if this is sufficient.
FHWA Office of Planning
Tony Solury, FHWA pulled language from 23 U.S.C. (THANK YOU to Tony):
The populations cited in title 23 USC are a mixed bag. In some places
it says latest decennial census and in others is says latest estimates;
in many it just says population without specifying what population.
What I can tell you is that in cases where 23 USC refers to Urbanized
Area means only those UZAs designated by the Bureau of Census either as
a result of a decennial or special census.
Below are some of the references in 23 USC to the Bureau of Census,
Secretary of Commerce, and/or census data; I did not include many other
"programmatic" references-- population where the specific population is
not specified. As for the populations used by FTA and other DOT modes,
you will need to contact the other modes.
23 USC 101(a)--Definitions:
(36) URBAN AREA.-The term ''urban area'' means an urbanized area
or, in the case of an urbanized area encompassing more than one State,
that part of the urbanized area in each such State, or urban place as
designated by the Bureau of the Census having a population of 5,000 or
more and not within any urbanized area, within boundaries to be fixed by
responsible State and local officials in cooperation with each other,
subject to approval by the Secretary. Such boundaries shall encompass,
at a minimum, the entire urban place designated by the Bureau of the
Census, except in the case of cities in the State of Maine and in the
State of New Hampshire.
(37) URBANIZED AREA.-The term ''urbanized area'' means an area
with a population of 50,000 or more designated by the Bureau of the
Census, within boundaries to be fixed by responsible State and local
officials in cooperation with each other, subject to approval by the
Secretary. Such boundaries shall encompass, at a minimum, the entire
urbanized area within a State as designated by the Bureau of the Census.
23 USC 104(b)(2)--Apportionments; CMAQ Program: (E) DETERMINATIONS OF
POPULATION.-In determining population figures for the purposes of this
paragraph, the Secretary shall use the latest available annual estimates
prepared by the Secretary of Commerce.
23 USC 104(f)--Metropolitan Planning Funds:
(2) APPORTIONMENT TO STATES OF SET-ASIDE FUNDS.-These funds
shall be apportioned to the States in the ratio which the population in
urbanized areas or parts thereof, in each State bears to the total
population in such urbanized areas in all the States as shown by the
latest available census, except that no State shall receive less than
one-half percent of the amount apportioned.
(5) DETERMINATION OF POPULATION FIGURES.-For the purposes of
determining population figures under this subsection, the Secretary
shall use the most recent estimate published by the Secretary of
23 USC 105--Equity bonus program: refers to decennial census.
23 USC 123--Surface Transportation Program:
(d) ALLOCATIONS OF APPORTIONED FUNDS.-
(3) DIVISION BETWEEN URBANIZED AREAS OF OVER 200,000 POPULATION
AND OTHER AREAS.-
(A) GENERAL RULE.-Except as provided in subparagraph
(C), 62.5 percent of the remaining 90 percent of the funds apportioned
to a State under section 104(b)(3) for a fiscal year shall be obligated
under this section-
(i) in urbanized areas of the State with an
urbanized area population of over 200,000, and
(ii) in other areas of the State, in proportion
to their relative share of the State's population. The remaining 37.5
percent may be obligated in any area of the State. Funds attributed to
an urbanized area under clause (i) may be obligated in the metropolitan
area established under section 134 which encompasses the urbanized area.
(B) SPECIAL RULE FOR AREAS OF LESS THAN 5,000
POPULATION.-Of the amounts required to be obligated under subparagraph
(A)(ii), the State shall obligate in areas of the State (other than
urban areas with a population greater than 5,000) an amount which is not
less than 110 percent of the amount of funds apportioned to the State
for the Federal-aid secondary system for fiscal year 1991.
(C) NONCONTIGUOUS STATES EXEMPTION.-Subparagraph (A)
shall not apply to Hawaii and Alaska.
(D) DISTRIBUTION BETWEEN URBANIZED AREAS OF OVER 200,000
POPULATION.-The amount of funds which a State is required to obligate
under subparagraph (A)(i) shall be obligated in urbanized areas
described in subparagraph (A)(i) based on the relative population of
such areas; except that the State may obligate such funds based on other
factors if the State and the relevant metropolitan planning
organizations jointly apply to the Secretary for the permission to do so
and the Secretary grants the request.
(4) POPULATION DETERMINATIONS.-The Secretary shall use estimates
prepared by the Secretary of Commerce when determining population
figures for purposes of this section.
23 USC 134--Metropolitan Planning:
The term ''urbanized area'' means a geographic area with a
population of 50,000 or more, as designated by the Bureau of the Census.
(including the largest incorporated city (based on population as
named by the Bureau of the Census)
The designation by the Bureau of the Census of new urbanized
areas within an existing metropolitan planning area shall not require
the redesignation of the existing metropolitan planning organization.
The Secretary shall identify as a transportation management area
each urbanized area (as defined by the Bureau of the Census) with a
population of over 200,000 individuals.
23 USC 402 Highway Safety Programs:
(c) Funds authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section shall
be used to aid the States to conduct the highway safety programs
approved in accordance with subsection (a), including development and
implementation of manpower training programs, and of demonstration
programs that the Secretary determines will contribute directly to the
reduction of accidents, and deaths and injuries resulting therefrom.
Such funds shall be apportioned 75 per centum in the ratio which the
population of each State bears to the total population of all the
States, as shown by the latest available Federal census, ......
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Chuck Purvis
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 9:21 AM
Subject: [CTPP] Intercensal Pop Estimates; USDOT population-based
This week the Census Bureau released their intercensal population
estimates: county- and state-level estimates for 7/1/2006.
pop estimates page:
Our press picked this up, and focused somewhat on the discrepancies
between our California State Government's population estimates, and the
Census Bureau's estimates. The story is here:
I was quoted in the paper, and made bold comments that the intercensal
population estimates were NOT used in transportation funding formula.
I needed to do some background research, because I was uncertain if
intercensal population estimates are used in allocating USDOT funds.
(From my discussions with staff, it's based on UZA population,
lane-miles, bridge repair needs, VMT, etc.) My conclusions (hopefully
correct), were that most (?) USDOT population formula programs are based
on total population values at the urbanized area (UZA) level, not at
county-level. And given that the Census Bureau's intercensal estimates
are published only at the county and state level, and never (yet) at the
UZA level, the USDOT funding allocations would necessarily be based on
decennial (year 2000) population counts.
So, my question to our Feds and other knowledgeable policy wonks is,
are USDOT funds allocated based on intercensal population estimates, or
not? (If some funds ARE allocated based on "current" population counts,
from the Census pop estimates program, then I owe a call of apology to
my city desk reporter....)
Thanks in advance!
Charles L. Purvis, AICP
Principal Transportation Planner/Analyst
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 Eighth Street
Oakland, CA 94607-4700
(510) 817-5755 (office)
(510) 817-7848 (fax)
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