A proposed federal rules change that would have taken away Berrien County’s metropolitan status has been halted, at least temporarily.

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget proposed in January increasing the population requirement for a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) from 50,000 to 100,000 residents, along with five other changes. If adopted, the Niles-Benton Harbor MSA would have been among six in Michigan and 140 nationwide that would lose their MSA status and be relegated to micropolitans.

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