Asheville is a city located in Buncombe County North Carolina. Asheville has a 2023 population of 93,392. It is also the county seat of Buncombe County.Asheville is currently declining at a rate of -0.36% annually and its population has decreased by -1.07% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 94,406 in 2020.
The average household income in Asheville is $81,971 with a poverty rate of 12.38%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Asheville is 40.3 years, 38.6 years for males, and 41.7 years for females.
Asheville serves as the county seat of Buncombe County and is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The largest employers in the area include Mission Health System, Buncombe County Schools System and Ingles Markets. Each of these companies employs over 3,000 people. The State of North Carolina and Buncombe County also use thousands of people.
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 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 was taken in 2010, indicating that this mountain city still has much growing to do in its future.
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 for hunting by these visitors.
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, 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 incorporated within Asheville’s borders. As with other cities around the nation, the Great Depression had a significant 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 obligations that were used to build infrastructure and buildings but instead paid it off. Because of this, economic growth was, 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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Asheville was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 57.13%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
90.75% of Asheville residents speak only English, while 9.25% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 5.79% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Asheville is Other, with 28.49% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Asheville is Native, with 1.46% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.62%. Among those working part-time, it was 16.55%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 19.96%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Asheville
95.47% of Asheville residents were born in the United States, with 45.81% having been born in North Carolina. 4.82% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.