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The Pittsburgh metropolitan area (also called Greater Pittsburgh Southwestern Pennsylvania or the Pittsburgh Tri-State) is the largest population center in both the Ohio River Valley and Appalachia. The metropolitan area consists of the city of Pittsburgh in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and surrounding counties. By many definitions the area extends into the U.S. states of West Virginia and Ohio. The larger "tri-state" region is defined by the U.S. Census as the Combined Statistical Area (CSA) while definitions of the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) are within Pennsylvania.
The area is renowned for its industries including steel, glass and oil; its economy also thrives on healthcare, education, technology, robotics, financial services and the film industry. The region is an emergent area for oil and natural gas companies' Marcellus shale production. The city is headquarters to major global financial institutions including PNC Financial Services (the nation's fifth-largest bank), Federated Investors and the regional headquarters of BNY Mellon.
The U.S. Census Bureau defines the area as both a MSA consisting of seven Western Pennsylvania counties anchored by the city of Pittsburgh and a twelve county Pittsburgh–New Castle-Weirton CSA with 2 West Virginia counties and one in Ohio. The MSA definition includes the city proper and the Pennsylvania counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland. The CSA definition also adds the two Western Pennsylvania counties of Lawrence and Indiana, West Virginia's Brooke and Hancock as well as Ohio's Jefferson.
The MSA had a 2012 population of 2,360,733 and has a land area of 5,343 sq. miles, while the CSA had a 2012 population of 2,661,369. Pittsburgh is part of the Great Lakes Megalopolis containing an estimated 54 million people, while many residents also consider themselves part of the Mid-Atlantic coastal region of Virginia to New York. It is classified as Northeast by the U.S. Census with the West Virginia and Ohio components of the CSA being classified as South and Mid-west respectively. The entire MSA and CSA are within the Congressional Appalachian Regional Commission's definition of Appalachia.
History of definition
Population MSA 1900-1990, CSA 2000–present
Since the U.S. Census officially began "metropolitan" definitions in 1950, the original counties included were: Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington and Beaver.
In 1983 Fayette County was added, in 1993 Butler County was added, in 2003 Armstrong County was added with Lawrence County as a combined area.
2013 saw the combined area grow as both Indiana County, Pennsylvania was added and the counties of Jefferson in Ohio and Brooke and Hancock in West Virginia were added.