Pennsylvania New private housing units authorized by building permits - total, 2010 (20,000-place universe) by County

Data Item State
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New private housing units authorized by building permits - total, 2010 (20,000-place universe) - (Number)
County Value
Adams 306
Allegheny 1,424
Armstrong 60
Beaver 337
Bedford 108
Berks 415
Blair 159
Bradford 175
Bucks 474
Butler 523
Cambria 117
Cameron 0
Carbon 149
Centre 426
Chester 1,112
Clarion 47
Clearfield 124
Clinton 31
Columbia 123
Crawford 108
Cumberland 832
Dauphin 691
Delaware 363
Elk 36
Erie 586
Fayette 240
Forest 10
Franklin 570
Fulton 24
Greene 41
Huntingdon 99
Indiana 88
Jefferson 81
Juniata 41
Lackawanna 265
Lancaster 1,381
Lawrence 105
Lebanon 240
Lehigh 589
Luzerne 359
Lycoming 207
McKean 35
Mercer 152
Mifflin 79
Monroe 263
Montgomery 1,061
Montour 65
Northampton 478
Northumberland 124
Perry 89
Philadelphia 984
Pike 189
Potter 30
Schuylkill 188
Snyder 89
Somerset 112
Sullivan 24
Susquehanna 73
Tioga 99
Union 91
Venango 68
Warren 32
Washington 471
Wayne 196
Westmoreland 560
Wyoming 63
York 1,059

Value for Pennsylvania (Number): 19,740

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Construction--Building Permits. Updated monthly, summarized here annually.


Building permits represent the number of new privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in the United States. A housing unit, as defined for purposes of this report, is a house, an apartment, a group of rooms or a single room intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live separately from any other individuals in the building and which have a direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. In accordance with this definition, each apartment unit in an apartment building is counted as one housing unit. Housing units, as distinguished from “HUD-code” manufactured (mobile) homes, include conventional “site-built” units, prefabricated, panelized, componentized, sectional, and modular units. Housing unit statistics in these tables exclude group quarters (such as dormitories and rooming houses), transient accommodations (such as transient hotels, motels, and tourist courts), "HUD-code" manufactured (mobile) homes, moved or relocated units, and housing units created in an existing residential or nonresidential structure.

These numbers provide a general indication of the amount of new housing stock that may have been added to the housing inventory. Since not all permits become actual housing starts and starts lag the permit stage of construction, these numbers do not represent total new construction, but should provide a general indicator on construction activity and the local real estate market.

The value of new private housing units is the sum of the estimated valuation of construction on each building permit authorized in that year by local permit-issuing jurisdictions.

Scope and Methodology:

Building permits data are based on reports submitted by local building permit officials in response to a Census Bureau mail survey of 20,000 permit-issuing places. They are obtained using Form C-404, Report of New Privately Owned Residential Building or Zoning Permits Issued. Data are collected from individual permit offices, most of which are municipalities; the remainder are counties, townships, or New England and Middle Atlantic-type towns. When a report is not received, missing data are either (1) obtained from the Survey of Construction, which is used to collect information on housing starts, or (2) imputed.

The number of new housing units authorized by county is obtained by directly cumulating the data for the permit-issuing places to counties. Although not subject to sampling variability, data are subject to various nonsampling errors. Explicit measures of their effects generally are not available, but it is believed that most of the significant response and operational errors were detected and corrected in the course of the Census Bureau''s review of the data for reasonableness and consistency.

The portion of residential construction measurable from building permits records is inherently limited since such records obviously do not reflect construction activity outside of areas subject to local permits requirements. For the nation as a whole, less than 2 percent of all privately owned housing units are constructed in areas not requiring building permits. However, this proportion varies greatly from state to state and among counties. Any attempt to use these figures for inter-area comparisons of construction volume must, at best, be made cautiously and with broad reservations.

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