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Statement About the Designation of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York, as a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area

October 23, 1972

ONE of the basic strengths of America is our people's concern with the identity and quality of their local communities. While we are truly one Nation, we have forged our unity from local diversity. The unique characteristics of our States and local communities rightfully remain sources of local pride and fame.

This Administration believes deeply in the strengths and wisdoms which are found on the local levels of America. Many of our programs--such as the historic revenue sharing law which I signed last week are aimed at promoting a greater reliance on the judgment and energy of people at the State and local levels to help solve their own problems and capitalize on their own strengths.

One way in which the Federal Government helps local communities is through the official designation of statistical reporting units called Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas. These make up nearly 300 population groupings which are given a high priority in the preparation of consolidated Federal reports on their economic trends, population, and other statistics.

Nassau and Suffolk Counties are now part of the New York City SMSA. But, when you examine their statistics, you find that together these two great counties have a combined population of more than 2 1/2 million people. If they were a city, they would be the fourth largest in the Nation. About 750,000 persons are employed in nonagricultural pursuits in the two counties. And they have an obvious community spirit.

While these two counties have close economic and social ties to the city of New York, they also have an independent economic and social base which is larger than that of all but a handful of the Nation's largest metropolitan areas. Moreover, there is no county even close to either Nassau or Suffolk in size which is not a central county of an SMSA.

In view of these circumstances, I am pleased to announce that my Office of Management and Budget will declare Nassau and Suffolk Counties an SMSA of their own--separate and independent for statistical purposes from the New York City SMSA.

Beginning next year, Federal statistics on the Nassau-Suffolk metropolitan area will begin to be published, and the Federal recognition of this dynamic two-county area as a unique population and economic center will become official.

Note: The statement was released at Uniondale, N.Y.

Richard Nixon, Statement About the Designation of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York, as a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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