The suggestion to "Check References" addresses two issues:

  1. Are the citations and references to data in the HomeTownLocator (HTL) gazetteers made by well-respected people and organizations? This page answers that question!
  2. Does HomeTownLocator source it's data from authoritative and credible sources and is the data kept current? Yes, details on data sources, update cycles, date of most recent update.

While there are a great many citations and references to HomeTownLocator data from other websites, citations made by professional and reputable organizations should be the most credible ones, so we’ll only focus on those.

The most noteworthy references from this group are references or citation to data from HTL in published papers or reports issued by federal, state, and local government agencies and departments, community service and non-profit organizations, schools, colleges, universities, and libraries because these written reports and papers are enduring public records.

If you do a Google search for filetype:pdf, you’ll find over 4,000 published papers and reports by professional organizations that reference HomeTownLocator data.

You can also find over 20,000 website references and citations to HTL made by different types of public organizations using search links that specify various top-level-domains:

In addition to checking references, here are three FAQs that will also help you evaluate the trustworthiness of HomeTownLocator:

  1. How long has this been a popular site?  HomeTownLocator has continually averaged over a million visitors per month since January 2005.
  2. How many people have used the site within the last year?  From August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020, HomeTownLocator served 37.6 M page views to 15.4 M visitors.
  3. Does the site use authoritative sources of data and how often is it updated? There is a link to a References section in the footer of every page in the site. It contains links to the original data sources; the update frequency for each type of data; the date of the most recent update.

We have carefully chosen the most authoritative data sources and have links to data methodology statements. Here’s the one for the most recent demographic data update: Methodology State: 2020/2025 Esri Updated Demographics.