A headline in a Triangle newspaperl is misleading:

“Austin, Charlotte better for entrepreneurs than Raleigh, Durham, study finds”

Actually, the study doesn’t report that at all – because there is NO data from Raleigh-Durham in the report.

And in another study (published by Triangle rival Austin, Texas), Raleigh and Durham rank well in a new “tech talent survey.” But the two metro areas are split.

Combine the numbers and the Triangle could rank even better.

Yes, once again studies that rely on metropolitan statistical area data shortchanges the Triangle because Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill-Cary and surrounding suburbs AREN’T CLASSIFIED as one.

The result is that economic developers, job seekers and people looking for a better place to live just might miss out on what Dateline RTP area has to offer.

WTW has discussed this costly problem in the past. The Triangle is a top 30 market by media standards. But not at the federal government. Two recent reports from Forbes (smart cities as well as “battle for information jobs””) also divided the Triangle in half.

The Skinny has talked to leaders about correcting the change, which dates back several years.

As long as Durham and Raleigh leaders want to be considered “unique,” this region is NOT going to get the attention it deserves.

ExitEvent’s report

Here’s a tip of The Skinny’s cap to ExitEvent Editor Laura Baverman who first found the latest Triangle oversight in a new entrepreneurship study from the widely respected Kauffman Foundation.

“I was shocked when I saw Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte…then Virginia Beach. No Raleigh-Durham? The region with (much less credible) rankings like America’s #13 Most Innovative Tech Hub from NerdWallet, a Top 20 City for Young Entrepreneurs from Forbes, and Top City Leading Job Creation in the U.S. from Gallup? This could have been our chance to really test our strength as a startup hub,” Baverman wrote earlier this week.

How did this happen?

“Turns out that the researchers at Kauffman use the Office of Management and Budget definitions for MSA, which is also used by the Census Business Dynamics Statistics dataset, one of the sources Kauffman uses to measure entrepreneurial activity. The downside is that some areas that seem like a single region are split into two or more,” she noted.

Kauffman spokesperson Lacey Graverson told Baverman: “Raleigh-Durham is an example—a very interesting region that, using OMB 2009 definition, does not come up in the top 40 metros with largest population.”

It’s time for the Triangle’s leadership to team up and change how this region is defined.