I still don't get the DMA thing. I know it's by household, but Lafayette has 120,000 people and they are #124. Bakersfield has 350,000 and we are #126. Do they assume we live 8 per house?
Check out the 'LIL Market List' tab in the TPN Map Excel. According to Nielsen the "TV Households" for 2012 is:
229,320 for Lafayette, LA
223,620 for Monterey, CA
221,920 for Bakersfield, CA
all three DMAs lost position (had a lesser count, or negative growth) from 2011 to 2012.
You can disagree with how Nielsen defines a marketing area or perhaps how they count 'TV Households'. But remember, they apply the same rules from DMA to DMA. A whole lot of decisions are based on the Nielsen benchmarks.
Now - why do you live 8 per house?