Regional Local Government Complexity Index (RLGCI)


The Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs provides the Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index (MPDI) for the 942 U.S. metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, based on 2009 core-based statistical area (CBSA) definitions. Using data from the Census of Governments individual government data, the MPDI is a univariate score that measures how many separate governments (local, county, and special district) provide 11 common public services within a CBSA and how much each of those governments spends in providing those services.  The more individual governments there are spending greater amounts of money on the services, the higher the MPDI score. The services measured include fire, central staff services, public buildings, highways, housing and community development, libraries, police, sewerage, solid waste management, and water utilities.

>>>Methodological Framework for the Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index

Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index Values for 2007 by CBSA

Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index Values for 1997 by CBSA

Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index Values for 1987 by CBSA


The MPDI dataset provides the following variables in separate files for 1987, 1997, and 2007:

  • CBSA Code: 5-digit 2009 Core-Based Statistical Area code as  assigned by the Office of Management and Budget
  • CBSA Name: 2009 Core-Based Statistical Area name as defined by the Office of Management and Budget
  • MPDI: Year specific MPDI value.


Hamilton, D. K., Miller, D. Y., & Paytas, J. (2004). Exploring the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the governing of metropolitan regions. Urban Affairs Review, 40, 147-182.

Miller, D. Y. (2008). Exploring the Structure of Regional Governance in the United States. In Hamilton, D., Atkins, P. (Eds.), Urban and Regional Policies for Metropolitan Livability. M.E. Sharpe, Inc.: New York.

Miller, D. Y., Lee J. H. (December 2009). Making Sense of Metropolitan Regions: Dimensional Approach to Regional Governance. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 41(1), 126-145.

Miller, D. Y. (2002).The Regional Governing of Metropolitan America. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Center for Metropolitan Studies
3803 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260