Asheville is a city located in Buncombe County, North Carolina. With a 2020 population of 93,758, it is the 12th largest city in North Carolina and the 356th largest city in the United States. Asheville is currently growing at a rate of 0.70% annually and its population has increased by 12.43% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 83,393 in 2010. Spanning over 46 miles, Asheville has a population density of 2,057 people per square mile.
The average household income in Asheville is $68,735 with a poverty rate of 13.46%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,001 per month, and the median house value is $242,500. The median age in Asheville is 39.1 years, 38.1 years for males, and 40.3 years for females. For every 100 females there are 88.9 males.
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.
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 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.