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City of Asheville

  •   State: 
    North Carolina
    Buncombe County
      County FIPS: 
    35°35′45″N 82°33′10″W
      Area total: 
    45.95 sq mi
      Area land: 
    45.47 sq mi (117.77 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.39 sq mi (1.00 km²)
    2,134 ft (650 m)
    1797; Incorporated 1797
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Asheville, NC
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,080.20 residents per square mile of area (803.18/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Asheville is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the state's 11th-most populous city. According to the 2020 census, the city's population was 94,589, up from 83,393 in the 2010 census. It is the principal city in the four-county Asheville metropolitan area, which had a population of 424,858 in 2010, and of 469,015 in 2020. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the land where Asheville now exists lay within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation. The U.S. Census of 1790 counted 1,000 residents of the area, excluding the Cherokee Native Americans as a separate nation. In the 1800 US Census, some 107 settlers in the county were slaveholders, owning a total of 300 enslaved African Americans. The county seat, named "Morristown" in 1793, was established on a plateau where two old Indian trails crossed. The city contributed a number of companies to the Confederate States Army, as well as a number for the Union Army. In April 1865, the "Battle of Asheville" was fought at the present-day site of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. For a time, an Enfield rifle manufacturing facility was located in the town. In late 1865, Union forces left Asheville, accompanied by 2,700 troops, to face resistance from Confederate troops in western North Carolina. Later that month, Union troops under Gen. George Stoneman captured the overall command of the 3rd Regiment, North Carolina Mounted Infantry.


Asheville is the primary city name, but also Biltmore Forest, Biltmore Frst are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Asheville. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the land where Asheville now exists lay within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation. A town at the site of the river confluence was recorded as Guaxule by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his 1540 expedition through this area. The Cherokee had traditionally used the area by the confluence for open hunting and meeting grounds. They called it Untokiasdiyi (in Cherokee), meaning "Where they race", until the middle of the 19th century.European Americans began to settle in the area of Asheville in 1784, after the United States gained independence in the American Revolutionary War. Buncombe County was officially formed in 1792. In the 1800 US Census, some 107 settlers in the county were slaveholders, owning a total of 300 enslaved African Americans. The county seat, named "Morristown" in 1793, was established on a plateau where two old Indian trails crossed. In 1797, Morristown was incorporated and renamed "Asheville" after North Carolina Governor Samuel Ashe. The city contributed a number of companies to the Confederate States Army, as well as a number for the Union Army. For a time, an Enfield rifle manufacturing facility was located in the town. By 1943, when the last burial was conducted, it held an estimated 2,000 people, estimated to have held the remains of an estimated 1,000-2,000 slaves. In 1866, the federal troops plundered Asheville and burned it to the ground.


Asheville is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the Swannanoa River and the French Broad River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.3 square miles (117.2 km²) It has a climate that borders between a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa/Trewartha Do) and an oceanic climate (Koppen Cfb) with noticeably cooler temperatures than the rest of the Piedmont region of the Southeast due to the higher elevation. The last time a calendar year passed without a single 90 °F (32.2 °C) reading was as recent as 2009. Montford and Albemarle Park have been named local historic districts by the Asheville City Council. Asheville is home to the Art Deco Asheville City Hall, as well as other unique buildings in the downtown area, such as the Battery Park Hotel, which was built in 1887. The city is also known for its architecture, which includes the Biltmore Village Hotel and the original Battery Park Park dormers, which were built in the 1880s and 1890s. It is located on the National Register of Historic Places, and many of its buildings are listed in the U.S. National Park Service's National Park System. It was founded in 1788 by Thomas Jefferson, who was the first European to settle in the area, and is the oldest city in the state.


Asheville is the larger principal city of the Asheville-Brevard CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Madison counties. At the 2000 census, there were 68,889 people, 30,690 households and 16,726 families residing in the city. Asheville is an important city for North Carolinian Catholics, who make pilgrimages to the Basilica of St. Lawrence. There are a number of Baptist churches, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Churches of Christ, as well as a few non-Christian places of worship, such as Urban Dharma, a Tibetan Buddhist center of the Drikung Kagyu school. As of the 2020 U.S. census,there were 94,589 people, 40,340 households, and 18,902 families in Asheville. The city's population was 77.95% White, 17.61% Black or African American, 3.76% Hispanic or Latino American, 0.92% Asian American,0.35% Native American, 1.06% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 1.58% two or more races. The median household income was $32,772, and the median family Income was $44,029. The per capita income for the city was $20,024. About 13% of families and 19% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.9% of those under age 18 and 10.1% ofThose age 65 or over.


The city of Asheville is home to a Duke Energy Progress coal power plant near Lake Julian. In 2012 a Duke University study found high levels of arsenic and other toxins in North Carolina lakes and rivers downstream from the Asheville power plants coal ash ponds. Asheville is recognized by the Green Restaurant Association as the first city in the U.S. to be a Green Dining Destination (significant density of green restaurants) The Asheville City Council's goal is to reduce the overall carbon footprint 80% by 2030. In 2009 the city installed over 3,000 LED street lights, managed its water system under ISO 14001 standards for environmental management, and switched many employees to a 4-day work week. In this first year of the program 6.30% of waste was diverted from the landfill for recycling. As part of the Zero Waste AVL initiative, which began in 2012, each resident receives "Big Blue," a rolling cart in which they can put all of their materials unsorted. In July 2013 Duke Energy Corp. and North Carolina environmental regulators proposed a settlement in the lawsuit that stated coal ash threatened Asheville's water supply. The settlement called for Duke to assess the sources and extent of contamination at the Riverbend power plant in Asheville. Duke was to be fined $99,100. However, following the coal ash spill in Eden, NC, the North Carolina DENR cancelled all previous settlements with Duke Energy. For Asheville, this goal is defined in their Sustainability Management Plan as: "Making decisions that balance the values of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic vitality to meet our present needs".

Arts and culture

Asheville has a strong tradition of street performance and outdoor music, including festivals, such as Bele Chere and the Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival. The town is also home to the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, the Asheville Lyric Opera, the Land of the Sky Symphonic Band, and the Smoky Mountain Brass Band. A residency at local music establishment the Orange Peel by the Smashing Pumpkins in 2007, along with the Beastie Boys in 2009, brought national attention to Asheville. The rock band Band of Horses have recorded two albums at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, as have the Avett Brothers (who have also traditionally played a New Year's Eve concert in Asheville) The Asheville Film Festival completed its sixth year, but the City of Asheville ceased to fund it, putting its future in doubt. The city is an annual participant in the 48-Hour Film Project. The Twin Rivers Media Festival is an independent multi-media film festival held annually in downtown Asheville. Asheville was the first U.S. city recognized by the Green Restaurant Association as a Destination of Green Dining Dining (significant density of green restaurants). Local restaurants include Plant Plant, an upscale vegan restaurant, and Tupelo Honey Cafe. The Arras Estate is the largest privately owned house in the United States, and listed as a National Historic Landmark. Biltmore Estate is known as "America's Favorite Dining destination" and is noted for its scenic beauty, including the Blue Ridge Parkway.


University of North Carolina at Asheville's sports teams are known as the Bulldogs. Warren Wilson College's Fighting Owls participate in mountain biking and ultimate sports. The Blue Ridge Rollergirls, Asheville's first women's flat-track roller derby team, was established in 2006. The college is also home of the Hooter Dome, where the Owls play their home basketball games. UNCA's sports team is called the Bulldogs and play in the Big South Conference. The university is located in Asheville, North Carolina, and has a population of about 2,000. It is located near Asheville's main airport, Asheville International Airport, which is located on the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The campus is home to the University of Asheville's football team, the Bulldogs, and the women's basketball team, which plays in the NCAA Division II. The school also has a number of other sports teams, such as the ultimate sports team, and a women's ski and snowboard team, as well as a men's ski team. The Bulldogs are a member of the Big S Conference. They play their games in the Hooters Dome, which was built in the 1970s and is the site of the college's first basketball game. They are also a part of the South Carolina College of Natural Sciences, where they play their football and basketball games in a stadium known as Hooter Stadium. The team is also known for its women's skiing and snowboarding teams, which were founded in the 1980s.

Parks and recreation

Asheville is a major hub of whitewater recreation, particularly whitewater kayaking, in the eastern US. Many kayak manufacturers have their bases of operation in the Asheville area. There are two youth soccer clubs in Asheville, Asheville Shield Football Club and HFC. The Asheville Hockey League provides opportunities for youth and adult inline hockey at an outdoor rink at Carrier Park. The group American Whitewater named Asheville one of the top five US whitewater cities in its July/August 2006 journal. The city is also home to numerous disc golf courses, and the Asheville Civic Center has held recreational ice hockey leagues in the past. It is the home of the National Whitewater Center, which is home to some of the world's most famous whitewater rafting expeditions. The town also has a number of outdoor sports venues, including the Asheville Ice Hockey League, which offers inline hockey, pick-up hockey, and ice hockey in the outdoor rink. It also has numerous parks and trails, as well as the Asheville River, which runs through the center of the city and is a popular destination for kayakers and other water enthusiasts. It's also the home to the North Carolina State University, which has an outdoor sports center, the Asheville Aquatic Center, and several other outdoor sports facilities, including a disc golf course and an indoor ice hockey rink. There is also a large number of golf courses in the city, including several that are popular with disc golfers and others that are open to the general public.


The City of Asheville operates under a council-manager form of government, via its charter. A mayor and a six-member city council are elected at-large for staggered four-year terms. The city council appoints a city manager, a city attorney, and a city clerk. In the absence or disability of the mayor, the vice-mayor performs the mayoral duties. In 2009, a group of Asheville citizens challenged the legitimacy of Cecil Bothwell's election to the City Council, citing the Constitution of North Carolina, which does not permit atheists to hold public office. Bothwell has described himself as a "post theist" rather than an atheist, and is a member of a local Unitarian Universalist congregation. In 2007 the Council became the first city on the East Coast to commit to building all municipal buildings to LEED Gold Standards and to achieve 80 percent energy reduction of 2001 standards by 2040. In 2012, Barack Obama won the entirety of Buncombe County with 55% of the vote. In 2020, the Asheville City Council voted unanimously to approve reparations to the city's Black citizens. The resolution called for increased investment in Black communities in the city. An effort by the council to return to partisan elections was defeated by voters in a referendum held in November 2007. In 2010, President Obama visited the city on a few occasions, including in April 2010, when he and his family vacationed to Asheville for the first time since October 5, 2008.In the North Carolina Senate, Julie Mayfield (D-Asheville) and Chuck Edwards (R-Hendersonville) both represent most of the city of Asheville.


Asheville and its surrounding area have several institutions of higher education. It is home to several charter schools, including Francine Delany New School for Children and ArtSpace Charter School. Two private residential high schools are located in the Asheville area: the all-male Christ School (located in Arden) and the co-educational Asheville School. North Buncombe High School, T. C. Roberson High School and A.C. Reynolds High School are three Buncombe County schools located in Asheville. Asheville City Schools include Asheville High School (known as Lee H Edwards High School 1935-1969), School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville, Asheville Middle School, Claxton Elementary, Randolph Learning Center, Hall Fletcher Elementary, Isaac Dickson Elementary, Ira B. Jones Elementary, and Vance Elementary. The Asheville City School System operates high schools, middle schools and elementary schools both inside and outside the city of Asheville. It was formerly home to one of the few Sudbury schools in the Southeast, Katuah Sudbury School. Asheville is also home to Western Carolina University (Cullowhee) and Warren Wilson College (Swannanoa) The Asheville area has several colleges, including Brevard College (Brevard), Mars Hill University (Mars Hill) and Shaw University College of Adult and Professional Education or C.A.P.E. (Shaw) The University of North Carolina at Asheville is located near the town of Montreat, North Carolina. It also has several community colleges, such as Blue Ridge Community College (Flat Rock) and Montreat College.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina = 78.6. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 64. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 50. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Asheville = 4.8 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 94,589 individuals with a median age of 40.6 age the population grows by 4.98% in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 2,080.20 residents per square mile of area (803.18/km²). There are average 2.11 people per household in the 32,709 households with an average household income of $38,620 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 7.50% of the available work force and has dropped -5.84% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 20.82%. The number of physicians in Asheville per 100,000 population = 395.2.


The annual rainfall in Asheville = 37.6 inches and the annual snowfall = 14.2 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 125. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 212. 85 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 28 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 46, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina which are owned by the occupant = 51.21%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 42 years with median home cost = $192,950 and home appreciation of -8.37%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $7.62 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,558 per student. There are 13.5 students for each teacher in the school, 326 students for each Librarian and 313 students for each Counselor. 6.62% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 19.70% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 10.71% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Asheville's population in Buncombe County, North Carolina of 14,694 residents in 1900 has increased 6,44-fold to 94,589 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 53.08% female residents and 46.92% male residents live in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina.

    As of 2020 in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina are married and the remaining 50.03% are single population.

  • 19.9 minutes is the average time that residents in Asheville require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    76.63% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 13.53% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 2.15% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.45% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, 51.21% are owner-occupied homes, another 39.02% are rented apartments, and the remaining 9.77% are vacant.

  • The 53.17% of the population in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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