After a decade-long endeavor, Brunswick County has been successfully returned to the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). This regulatory triumph is not only a significant win for our region but also for the entire state of North Carolina.
The exclusion of Brunswick County from the Wilmington MSA has been a longstanding concern for local officials, who rightly argued that the 2013 realignment resulted in missed opportunities for our area. The reintegration will undoubtedly bring positive implications, including increased federal opportunity in education, transportation, and healthcare funding as well as fostering new economic development and job growth in our region.
Federally defined economic areas, such as the MSA, serve a crucial role in aiding researchers and businesses in comprehending patterns in urban centers. With Brunswick County now part of the Wilmington MSA, our standing has risen from 168th nationally to 122nd, significantly enhancing the scope and size of the true Wilmington MSA.
The collaborative efforts of stakeholders, including our partners in government, education, and economic development, have been pivotal in gathering data that showcases the strong ties between Brunswick County and Wilmington, New Hanover, and Pender. We extend our gratitude to Senators Budd, Burr, and Tillis, and Congressman Rouzer, along with their dedicated staff, for consistently championing this critical issue.
Moving forward, we anticipate a positive trajectory, fueled by increased federal funding allocation, eligibility for various programs and services, and opportunities for market analysis, economic research, and labor market conditions within our region.
Our appreciation also goes to the team that diligently led the charge on this issue over the past decade: Wilmington Chamber Past Chairman Hal Kitchin, former Congressman Mike McIntyre, Mark Lanier (UNCW), Natalie English (Wilmington Chamber), and Chance Lambeth (Rouzer District Director).
For further details, you can read more from the Wilmington Business Journal here.
We are immensely proud of this achievement and thank you for the congratulatory words, calls, texts and emails