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Nonfarm dwelling units include those in urban places and all nonfarm dwelling units in rural areas. Urban places include all incorporated places whose populations, as counted in the most recent decennial census, were 2,500 persons or more, and a small number of densely populated unincorporated places classified as "urban" by the Bureau of the Census under a special rule. In order to be classified as urban under this rule an unincorporated place must have a population of 10,000 or more, and a population density of 1,000 or more per square mile. Classifications are made at the time of each decennial census and the place remains so classified until the time of the next census, at which time it is reclassified in accordance with its attained population and density. Rural nonfarm dwelling units include all units located outside of urban places but not on farms.

The term "start" is intended to mean the beginning of active building and the statistics attempt to allocate starts to the period in which this initial activity occurred. This point in time has generally been taken to be the time at which

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Table 5.-New privately financed nonfarm dwelling units started: By geographic division, by type of structure,

by year, 1940-46

[In thousands of family units]

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1 Geographic data for 1945 and 1946 have

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not been adjusted for lapsed building permits and for lag between issuance of permit and actual start of construction. Consequently, totals for these years are not consistent with those in tables having national break-downs only, as shown in table 1. * Less than 300 units.

1944.

1945.

1946,

Multifamily:

1940.

1941.

1942.

1943.

1944.

1945.

1946.

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Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 6.-New privately financed nonfarm dwelling units started: By geographic division, by urban and rural nonfarm areas, by year, 1940-46

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1 "Urban" plus "Rural nonfarm” data will not necessarily add to "Total nonfarm” due to rounding.

* Geographic data for 1945 and 1946 have not been adjusted for lapsed building permits and for lag between issuance of permit and actual start of construction. Consequently totals for these years are not consistent with those in tables having national break-downs only, as shown in table 1. Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 7.-New privately financed dwelling units started in urban areas: By geographic division, by type of structure, by year, 1940-46

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1 Geographic data for 1945 and 1946 have not been adjusted for lapsed building permits and for lag between issuance of permit and actual start of construction. Consequently, totals for these years are not consistent with those in tables having national break-downs only, as shown in table 1. Less than 51 units.

Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Composition of the Estimates of Nonfarm Dwellings Started

As indicated in the introduction, estimates for the years 1900 through 1929 were made by the Twentieth Century Fund and the National Bureau of Economic Research. They represent estimates for each 10-year period, in turn broken into annual totals for each year. For the years 1930 through 1939 BLS similarly distributed an aggregate estimate for the decade. The data for subsequent years represent estimates which have been prepared annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These estimates recapitulate the monthly estimates now regularly prepared by the Bureau. To make these monthly estimates the Bureau uses separate methods for estimating the urban and rural nonfarm components. These are described below.

Urban Area Estimates

Estimates for urban areas are based largely on building permits issued by local government officials as reported to BLS. The number of cities

for which building permits have been reported has been expanding constantly. Monthly data are now available in the BLS for almost 2,500 urban localities covering more than 85 percent of the urban population of the country.

The estimate for urban places is prepared on the assumption that cities in the same state and of like population size and proximity to metropolitan centers will experience approximately the same volume of residential construction. For each city classification an estimating factor is computed, generally the ratio of total cities to reporting cities in each classification. This factor is multiplied by the number of dwelling units reported to get the estimated total for all cities in the classification (thus, if 5 out of 6 cities of 5,000 to 10,000 population in a given State report, the estimated total for the classification is 1.2 times the reported totals). The estimates obtained for the various city classifications are added to give the total estimate for all urban places. Such estimating, or "blow-up," factors are used to fill in gaps caused by approximately 1,000 nonreporting urban localities, but

Table 8.-New privately financed dwelling units started in rural nonfarm areas: By geographic division, by type of structure, by year, 1940-46

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1 Geographic data for 1945 and 1946 have not been adjusted for lapsed building permits and for lag between issuance of permit and actual start of construction. Thus "All Region" totals for these years are not consistent with those in tables having national break-downs only, as shown in table 1. 2 Less than 51 units.

Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Table 9.-New privately financed dwelling units started in urban areas: By geographic division, by type of structure, by month, January 1946-March 1947

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1 Monthly structural distribution by divisions may not add to correct total of all types of structures due to rounding. Data for 1946 have not been adjusted for lapsed building permits and for lag between issuance of permit and actual start of construction. Less than 51 units.

Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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they were obtained and for abnormal delays between permit issuance and the start of construction. Special field surveys were conducted during this period by BLS to develop such lapse and lag figures for use in adjusting the estimates. These have been applied as noted in the footnotes to specific tables. These factors were not used prior to 1945.

Estimation of Homebuilding in Rural Nonfarm Areas

Between 1940 and 1945 the rural nonfarm portion of the national estimate of housing starts was derived from benchmark estimates made for each geographic division of the country for the last quarter of 1939, based on an analysis of 1940 housing census data, the Defense Housing Surveys and related information.

Building-permit reports were received monthly from about 1,600 rural nonfarm places, of which all but 75 were incorporated. From these data the ratio of units reported in rural nonfarm places for the current quarter to units reported in the identical places for the preceding quarter was

The abnormal conditions under which the residential construction industry has operated in 1945 and 1946 has made it desirable to introduce some modification in the usual estimating procedure to account for the nonuse of permits after Table 10.-New privately financed nonfarm dwelling units started1 in 29 industrial areas: By month, January 1946-December 1946

I See footnote 2, on p. 13.

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Includes all privately financed new dwelling units; excludes trailers, dormitory units, barracks, and converted units.
* Industrial areas include entire counties or groups of counties surrounding the central city or cities.
Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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