Asheville Population 2018

Asheville is a city located in the state of North Carolina. It serves as the county seat of Buncombe County and is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville has an estimated population of 89,121 people, making it the 12th most populous city in the state. The larger metropolitan area has a population of over 400,000 people.

Asheville History

The region that is now known as Asheville was first inhabited by Cherokees. The European explorer Hernando de Soto first arrived in 1540 and brought diseases which killed many of the natives. The region was primarily used by these visitors for hunting.

In 1784, Asheville was settled by Colonel Samuel Davidson after redeeming a land grant. However, he was killed and his wife, child and slave fled. His twin brother and his brother-in-law returned to retrieve the body and avenge the murder. At the end of the expedition, the men and their extended family settled in the area. The nearby county seat was incorporated with the land and renamed as Asheville after the governor of North Carolina.

It was during the 1880s that the Western North Carolina Railroad constructed a line running from Salisbury to Asheville. It was at this time that the population began to increase, although it was quite slow. Industrial plants were being erected during this time period, attracting more residents.

By 1900, Asheville was the third largest city in North Carolina. The city was quite prosperous in the decades that followed. It was during the early 1900s that the Burton Street Community for African Americans was developed and a sanitary district was established in West Asheville, which later was incorporated within Asheville’s borders. As with other cities around the nation, the Great Depression had a major impact on Asheville, with eight of its banks closing and the city debt reaching the highest in the nation. The city didn’t default on its debts that were used to build infrastructure and buildings but instead paid it off. Because of this, economic growth was very slow and much of the downtown area was left as it originally was.

The positive thing about this is that the city has retained much of its buildings constructed in the Art Deco style, including its city hall. There is other noteworthy architecture located throughout the city, including the Grove Park Inn, which is a luxurious hotel and spa situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Today, Asheville is a beautiful mountainous city that offers modern attractions, many restaurants, and hotels, as well as historic landmarks and sights, including the popular Biltmore House, the largest private residence in the country that draws in visitors from all around the world.

Asheville Demographics

Recent estimates show that the city’s population is over 89,000. The city of Asheville covers over 45 square miles, giving it a population density of 2,000 people per square mile. It is the most populous city in Western North Carolina and the 12th most populous in the state.

The population of Asheville is primarily white, making up almost 78% of the population. Over 17% of the population is Black or African American, 3.76% is Hispanic or Latino, less than 1% is Asian, and 1.58% are mixed race. The largest age group is the 25 to 44 group, making up 28.7% of the population. Data show that 19.6% of the population is under the age of 18, while 18.3% are at least 65 years old. Approximately 19% of Asheville’s population lives below the federal poverty line.

The largest employers in the area include Mission Health System, Buncombe County Schools System and Ingles Markets. Each of these companies employ over 3,000 people. The State of North Carolina and Buncombe County also employ thousands of people.

Asheville Population Growth

Though Asheville’s growth was quite slow during its earliest years, it has seen steady growth according to data from censuses dating back to the 1800s. The city did actually lose inhabitants during the 1970s and 1980s but quickly rebounded to again post strong growth at the time of the census in 1990. Between 2000 and 2010m the city saw 21.1% growth as the city continues to grow and modernize. Recent estimates show that the population is up almost 9% since the last census taken in 2010, indicating that this mountain city still has a lot of growing to do in its future.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate

Asheville Race Data

Race Population Percentage
Black or African American10,70212.01%
Two or More Races2,0012.25%
Some Other Race6640.75%
American Indian and Alaska Native3720.42%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander60.01%

Population Pyramid

0k0k0k0k0k0k Male Population0k0k0k0k0k0k Female Population8580757065605550454035302520151050

Asheville Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
Houses Without Mortgage
Houses With Mortgage
Vacancy Rate
Median Rent
Median Home Value
Renter-Occupied Units
Owner-Occupied Units
Total Housing Units

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Asheville for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.5% and the labor force participation rate is 65.3%.

Asheville Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
Non Family Households
Female Householder (no husband) Families
Male Householder (no wife) Families
Married Couple Families
Average Family Size
Average Household Size