Metropolitan Area

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Metropolitan Area


an urban area made up of several cities or of one city and the surrounding communities. Metropolitan areas are a typical form of urbanization in contemporary bourgeois countries, where their rise and development are the result of the chaotic and uncontrolled growth of urban territories under conditions engendered by private landownership and private capitalist enterprise. Greater New York, Tokyo, and London are metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan areas are most common in the USA, where they are officially called standard metropolitan statistical areas. According to official statistics, there are about 240 metropolitan areas in the USA, and 64.3 percent of the country’s population lives in them. For instance, Greater New York has more than 11.4 million inhabitants, and Chicago and Los Angeles, 6 million each. In Great Britain metropolitan areas are usually called conurbations.

In bourgeois metropolitan areas problems connected with the crisis of capitalist cities, including the growth of slums, the increase in crime, unsatisfactory community services and transportation facilities, and pollution have become extremely serious. The difficulty of solving these problems is increased by the fact that, as a rule, bourgeois metropolitan areas lack unified administrative systems. For instance, Greater Chicago has more than 1,100 local agencies operating independently of each other.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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