Your Projected 2030 CSA Rankings (vs. 2018 CSA Estimates)
2018 CSA Estimates:
1. New YorkNewark, NYNJCTPA Combined Statistical Area 2. Los AngelesLong Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area 3. ChicagoNapervilleElgin, ILINWI Combined Statistical Area 4. WashingtonBaltimoreArlington, DCMDVAWVPA Combined Statistical Area 5. San JoseSan FranciscoOakland, CA Combined Statistical Area 6. BostonWorcesterProvidence, MARINHCT Combined Statistical Area 7. DallasFort Worth, TXOK Combined Statistical Area 8. PhiladelphiaReadingCamden, PANJDEMD Combined Statistical Area 9. HoustonThe Woodlands, TX Combined Statistical Area 10. MiamiPort St. LucieFort Lauderdale, FL Combined Statistical Area 11. Atlanta–AthensClarke County–Sandy Springs, GAAL Combined Statistical Area 12. DetroitWarrenAnn Arbor, MI Combined Statistical Area 13. PhoenixMesa, AZ Combined Statistical Area 14. SeattleTacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area 15. OrlandoLakelandDeltona, FL Combined Statistical Area 16. MinneapolisSt. Paul, MNWI Combined Statistical Area 17. ClevelandAkronCanton, OH Combined Statistical Area 18. DenverAurora, CO Combined Statistical Area 19. PortlandVancouverSalem, ORWA Combined Statistical Area 20. St. LouisSt. CharlesFarmington, MOIL Combined Statistical Area My 2030 Projections: 1. New YorkNewark, NYNJCTPA Combined Statistical Area 2. Los AngelesLong Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area 3. San JoseSan FranciscoOakland, CA Combined Statistical Area 4. WashingtonBaltimoreArlington, DCMDVAWVPA Combined Statistical Area 5. ChicagoNapervilleElgin, ILINWI Combined Statistical Area 6. DallasFort Worth, TXOK Combined Statistical Area 7. BostonWorcesterProvidence, MARINHCT Combined Statistical Area 8. HoustonThe Woodlands, TX Combined Statistical Area 9. MiamiPort St. LucieFort Lauderdale, FL Combined Statistical Area 10. Atlanta–AthensClarke County–Sandy Springs, GAAL Combined Statistical Area 11. PhiladelphiaReadingCamden, PANJDEMD Combined Statistical Area 12. PhoenixMesa, AZ Combined Statistical Area 13. SeattleTacoma, WA Combined Statistical Area 14. DetroitWarrenAnn Arbor, MI Combined Statistical Area 15. OrlandoLakelandDeltona, FL Combined Statistical Area 16. MinneapolisSt. Paul, MNWI Combined Statistical Area 17. DenverAurora, CO Combined Statistical Area 18. PortlandVancouverSalem, ORWA Combined Statistical Area 19. ClevelandAkronCanton, OH Combined Statistical Area 20. CharlotteConcord, NCSC Combined Statistical Area 
I would move Boston below DFW and Houston for 2030. These two cities are projected to add a lot more in that time frame.

I can imagine San Antonio giving Charlotte a run for that number 20 slot by 2030.

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Although Houston is on fire, I don't think Houston will surpass Boston by 2030. Unlike NYC & Philly, Boston's CSA is still growing at a decent clip, and is already 1 million+ ahead of Houston's. 2018 CSA Estimates & % Change From 2010: 6. BostonWorcesterProvidence, MARINHCT Combined Statistical Area 8,285,407 +4.97% 9. HoustonThe Woodlands, TX Combined Statistical Area 7,197,883 +17.72% 
Arbitrary silliness.

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How does one separate Canada from the United States “based on factual data and documented growth trends that actually exist” in a manner that is not arbitrary? How does one separate the Pacific Ocean from the Southern Ocean “based on factual data and documented growth trends that actually exist” in a manner that is not arbitrary? Your point? :rolleyes: 
You just proved it

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Again, how does one separate NYC CSA from Philadelphia CSA?
It's a legitimate question. If there is factual data and documented trends, as you state, to prove that it can be done without being arbitrary, then I'm seriously interested in understanding how. For example, why is Trenton officially part of NYC when geographically and functionally it is much more closely associated with Philly? And considering that Bucks County displays major commuting patterns into the NYC metro area, why is it solely part of Philly? Is the Delaware River the dividing line? If so, why is Allentown part of NYC? :shrug: It's all BS. The answer is, you cannot separate the two via nonarbitrary means. Where do you split Jersey? 
Phoenix doesn't have a CSA. It's MSA will likely pass Boston by 2020.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_statistical_area 
Being the giant nerd that I am, I pretty much have the CSA/MSA rankings memorized. :redface: Something seemed off when I saw that 2018 list. Orlando jumped up a bunch of spots and is now in between Minneapolis/St Paul and Seattle/Tacoma somehow? I looked it up to make sure I'm not crazy. Perhaps someone made some wacky edits to some wikipedia articles? The Census Bureau's data doesn't match the wikipedia articles for CSA's or Primary Statistical Areas.

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And if that includes Payson, Arizona  LOL. Payson has nothing to do with Phoenix. It's at the base of the Mogollon Rim in an Alpine region, with heavy snow in the winter months. I used to sleep in cabin at Kohl's Ranch. 
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I also thought it was strange that Austin wasn't listed. Is it not a part of a CSA? 
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Houston's CSA gained approximately 1,083,321 residents between 2010 and 2018. Boston's CSA gained approximately 392,031 residents between 2010 and 2018. So even if Boston's CSA only gained half as many residents (196,015) between 2018 and 2030  a 12 year period  as it did during that 8 year period, Houston's CSA (which is slowing down as you already noted) would have to gain 1,283,539 residents between 2018 and 2030 just to tie Boston's CSA, and both of those scenarios appear unlikely. 
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