1950: The Harrisburg standard metropolitan area (SMA), consisting of Cumberland and Dauphin counties, was first defined.
1959: Following a term change by the Bureau of the Budget (present-day Office of Management and Budget), the Harrisburg SMA became the Harrisburg standard metropolitan statistical area (SMSA).
1963: Perry County added to the Harrisburg SMSA.
1983: Harrisburg SMSA renamed the Harrisburg–Lebanon–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area (MSA); Lebanon County added to the MSA.
2003: MSA split into two separate metropolitan areas – Harrisburg–Carlisle metropolitan statistical area (Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry counties) and the Lebanon metropolitan statistical area (Lebanon County); Both MSAs together form the Harrisburg–Carlisle–Lebanon combined statistical area.
2010: The Harrisburg–York–Lebanon urban agglomeration area is defined for the first time, linking York County to the CSA.
The median income for a household in the MSA was $43,374, and the median income for a family was $51,792. Males had a median income of $36,368 versus $26,793 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $21,432.
In 2009 the urban population of the MSA increased to 383,008 from 362,782 in 2000, a change of 20,226 people.
The median income for a household in the CSA was $42,740, and the median income for a family was $51,071. Males had a median income of $35,660 versus $26,116 for females. The per capita income for the CSA was $21,017.
In 2010, the Harrisburg area was combined with York and Lebanon as an urban agglomeration, or a contiguous area of continuously developed urban land, signifying a future merger with the York–Hanover MSA, which would create a combined statistical area of over 1 million people.