As reported by the Census Bureau in the spreadsheet here:
1. The Census Bureau went all in on the weighted density metric. I say that because it obviously invested a lot of resources in the weighted density calculations. For example, in order to allow meaningful comparisons between 2000 and 2010 weighted densities, it retabulated the 2000 census tract data using the 2010 census tract boundaries. In order to calculate the weighted densities at various distances from downtowns, it identified the location of the city hall in the principal city of each metropolitan area and the population centroids of tens of thousands of census tracts. This was not an idle undertaking.
2. I've been pushing weighted density for a few years now, so I'm glad to see the Census Bureau buying into it. I'm also hopeful that since this data is now out there, in readily accessible form, and from an authoritative source, it will actually be used. When researchers investigate relationships between a particular characteristic of an MSA and density, perhaps they'll now use weighted density rather than the useless standard density. (For an example of researchers using standard density, see this paper on urban scaling, as discussed by Wendell Cox.)
3. Most MSAs saw a decline in weighted density. This does not mean most MSAs lost population. On the contrary, all but a handful gained population. Nor does it mean that population fled the central cities for the suburbs. The Bureau reports that, on average, the largest metro areas experienced double-digit percentage growth within 2 miles of their largest city's city hall, and those in the second largest metro area size category also experienced growth, although at a slower rate. Chicago, which saw a sharp drop in weighted density, gained over 48,000 downtown residents. In fact, a metropolitan area can gain population everywhere and still see a drop in weighted density.
4. I previously calculated the weighted densities of the four large Texas MSAs. My 2000 calculations don't match the Bureau's 2000 calculations because, as noted above, it retabulated the 2000 census data using 2010 census tract boundaries. I can't do that. I note that apparently I got the Houston MSA 2010 weighted density wrong; it is now denser than the Dallas MSA rather than significantly less dense. I apologize to all 6,086,895 +/- 2,485 residents of the Houston MSA. Note that El Paso is Texas's densest MSA.
5. Austin barely made the list at number 48. Atlanta did not -- its 2010 MSA weighted density was only 2,173 ppsm.