Frequently Asked Questions
The HomeTownLocator state gazetteers have profiles for neighborhoods, cities and towns, counties and ZIP Codes. There are also profiles for county-equivalents such as Parishes in LA and Boroughs in AK, and county subdivisions such as townships.
There are 30 data points in each profile and they are grouped into three categories:
- Basic Demographic Data on population, housing, income, and households.
- Growth Rates including historical growth rates since 2010 and projected growth rates over the next five years.
- Peer Comparisons which rank the different geographical levels against their peers in order to give you a better perspective in evaluating the data.
Here is an example of the basic demographic data for a neighborhood (statistically, it's an official Census Block Group) in a small city in Florida:
The Housing Affordability Index gives you a quick overview of how affordable a location is. The index base of 100 represents a balance point where a resident with a median household income can normally qualify to purchase a median price home. Values above 100 indicate increased affordability, while values below 100 indicate decreased affordability.
Yes. The Diversity Index expresses the racial and ethnic diversity of a geographic area in a single number that ranges from 0 to 100. The Diversity Index represents the likelihood that two persons, selected at random from a specific geographic area, belong to different race or ethnic groups. If an area’s entire population belongs to one race or ethnic group, then the area has zero diversity. If an area’s population is evenly divided into two or more race/ethnic groups, then the Diversity Index is 100.
The Wealth Index is designed to give you a good general idea of the level of affluence in a specific neighborhood, city or town, county or ZIP Code. It is an index based on key indicators of affluence including average household income and average net worth, and it includes the value of material possessions and resources. It represents the wealth of the area relative to the national level. Values above or below 100 represent above-average wealth or below-average wealth compared to the national level.
Each state gazetteer has a Reverse Geocoder Map that allows you to select a very specific location, mark a spot and get both the coordinates for the location and the nearest address. The example below uses a Florida location, but the same tool is available in each state gazetteer.
Here are the 3 simple steps to accomplish this task:
- Go to the Reverse Geocoder Map for your state. The URL for Florida is https://florida.hometownlocator.com/maps/coordinates2.cfm. Here are two examples for other states: https://northcarolina.hometownlocator.com/maps/coordinates2.cfm, https://california.hometownlocator.com/maps/coordinates2.cfm, etc.
- Use your mouse to drag the map window to the general area of interest and then use the +/- controls in the upper left of the map to zoom in on the area of interest. Zoom in as much as possible to help you place your marker exactly on the location of interest and then click on the spot. The system will drop a pin on that location and give you the nearest street address as well as the coordinates.
- When you follow the link that says, Research this Address, you get the same information that is available when you use the HTL Address Research Tool.
In the example, I've dropped a pin on a small airport north of Tampa, Florida.
Our demographic data is provided by the company ranked #1 for accuracy at the most granular levels of geography. Here is a detailed methodology statement.
The annual data updates include key demographic information for:
- 29,320 Populated Places including every incorporated city, town, village and Census Designated Place (CDP)
- 3,142 counties and county-equivalents such as LA Parishes, AK Boroughs and Census Areas, and VA Independent Cities
- 35,610 county subdivisions such townships and minor civil divisions (MCDs) such as election precincts, parish governing authorities, etc. When no governmental or administrative functions are defined for county subdivisions, the Census Bureau delineates census county divisions for statistical purposes.
- 217,209 neighborhoods (statistically, these are census block groups) which are the smallest geographical unit that Census Bureau makes available for public use.
- 32,413 ZIP Codes
Each annual update includes historical growth rates since 2010 and estimated growth rates for the next 5 years.
With demographic data for 317,694 different administrative, census and geographical units, there is potentially a lot of complexity that you might have to deal with. However, the HTL Address Research Tool capability cuts through the complexity and makes it very easy to do location-specific research. And, there is a simple procedure for specifying an exact location on a map when you don't have an address (it's one of the items in the FAQs).