Asheville Information - Fun Facts & Figures

For those that have and affinity for the outdoors, this area beckons to be explored. People have been creating catch phrases to describe Asheville for years, "Land of the Sky," "Altitude Effects Attitude,"…and the fact is Asheville is not only deserving of these distinctions but is extraordinary and unlike any place on this green earth! What makes Asheville so special? We wouldn’t be able to sum it up with mere words and therefore won’t even try. So with that in mind, enjoy these facts but keep in mind that to learn what makes Asheville so special you must get here before you can understand and experience our mountain paradise.

Fun Facts

The Top Three Things that we Love About Asheville:

  • There is a grand diversity in the people of Asheville which is exemplified through the arts, culture, and laid back mindset of its inhabitants.
  • The City is surrounded by some of the oldest and most beautiful mountains in the world.
  • There is a lot of life and with it an Indescribable energy that permeates Asheville, the heart of WNC.

Quick Facts

City: Asheville Asheville City Skyline seen from Town Mountain
State: North Carolina
County: Buncombe County
Country: United States of America
City Population: ~72,000
County Population: ~222,000
Average Commute: ~17 Minutes
Median Age: ~40 years young
Median Income: ~$38,000 - Expect a lower income but a greater quality of life
Median Home Price: ~$220,000 - This number just keeps going up


Asheville is nestled in the heart of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the great Appalachian Mountain chain. It is in-between the French Broad river and the Swannanoa river, and on a plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located in Western North Carolina, Asheville is both a valley and mountain town.

Latitude: 35°34'N
Longitude: 82°32'W

65 miles from Greenville, S.C.
125 miles from Charlotte, N.C.
200 miles from Atlanta, GA.

Climate Information

Asheville's climate is mild and temperate with four distinct seasons. The surrounding mountains insulate the valley and are responsible for its moderate weather. Because of this moderate weather, its inhabitants can enjoy outdoor activities year round.

The Asheville Climate is moderate with four distict seasons.

Average annual rainfall - 46.97 inches 
Average annual snowfall: 14 inches
Rainiest month, July avg. 4.31 inches 
Coldest month, Jan. avg. 47 high, 25 low 
Warmest month, July avg. 83 high, 63 low
Average Annual Temperature 56 degrees

The following average temperatures were recorded in Downtown Asheville (2,216 ft.) and at a nearby mountain elevation (3800 ft.) Both elevations are provided to give you an idea of the temperature fluctuations between the city (valley) and the mountains.

Downtown Asheville

Higher Elevations


Economic Figures provided by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.
  • Tourism is a major business in Asheville
  • Health services, and leisure & hospitality industries continue as the major job creators, with an emerging professional/business services sector playing an increasingly important role.
  • Stable population Growth, owing to in-migration and fueled by the retiring baby-boom generation, will continue to fuel growing home sales and guide residential building activity.
4.5 %
3.3 %
4.3 %

North Carolina average unemployment rate:
Asheville’s average unemployment rate:
National average unemployment rate:

*Figures reflect data from April, 2007 - Asheville Chamber of Commerce.

Asheville Taxes

Sales & Use Tax
Total (State 4.5% + County 2.5%)

Mfg. Fuels & Equip.


3.0% (for nonresidential use)
2.0% (for home consumption)

Population Information

Population Growth 1990 2000 2005 (est.) % Change 1990-2000
Asheville City 61,607 68,889 69,308 11.8%
Buncombe County 174,821 206,330 217,531 18.0%
Asheville and Surrounding Counties 308,000 369,171 391,007 19.9%
North Carolina 6,628,637 8,049,313 8,642,283 21.4%
United States 248,709,873 281,421,906 296,460,069 13.2%

Median Age 1990 2000 2006  
Asheville City 37.8 39.2 39.9
Buncombe County 36.8 38.9 39.6
Asheville and Surrounding Counties 38.0 40.2 40.8
North Carolina 33.2 35.3 36.2
United States 32.8 35.3 36.5

Did You Know?

Biltmore Estate - Largest Private Home

Biltmore Estate - The Largest Private Home in the United States

Asheville is home to the Biltmore Estate which is the largest privately owned home in the United States, at 175,000 square feet. A relic of southern charm, this less than modest abode has over 250 rooms.

Rich Art Deco Architectural Heritage

More art deco architecture built in the late 1920s and early 1930s can be found in downtown Asheville than in any other southeastern city except Miami Beach.

Home of Thomas Wolfe

One of America's most esteemed authors, Thomas Wolfe, was born and raised in Asheville. Thomas Wolfe spent his early years at his mother's boardinghouse, the Old Kentucky Home, which he later used as the setting of his most famous novel "Look Homeward, Angel." The house is owned by the state of North Carolina and is operated as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.

Blue Ridge Mountains seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway

A Leaf Watchers Paradise

The Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville make it the premier southeastern destination for autumn leaf watchers. The fall color season extends from late September through early November, with trees turning first at the highest elevations of 6,000 feet, and moving downward through October to Asheville at 2,500 feet and then to Chimney Rock at 1,300 feet. This significant variance in elevation means there is no "peak weekend" for viewing fall color, and the fall display can be enjoyed for six weeks or more, depending at what elevation it is viewed. Visit our Blue Ridge Parkway page to learn more.

Scene from Dupont - WNC Waterfalls

Waterfalls Galore

Nine of North Carolina's 11 major waterfalls are located in the western part of the state, including the eastern United State's highest, Whitewater Falls at 411 feet. Bridal Veil Falls, Cullasaja Falls, High Falls, Rainbow Falls and Whitewater Falls are all on or just off U.S. Highway 64. Connestee Falls, Looking Glass Falls and Maiden Hair Falls can be found along U.S. Highway 276. Sliding Rock, a natural waterslide, is also just off U.S. 276. Another must-see is Hickory Nut Falls, a 404-foot marvel located in Chimney Rock Park. Visit our Waterfalls page to learn more.

View from D. Hiden Ramsey Library step at UNCA

Our Fine Educational Institutions

Asheville and the surrounding area is home to many fine Educational Institutions including:

  • University of North Carolina at Asheville, or UNC Asheville, a liberal arts college in North Asheville of about 3500 students and part of the University of North Carolina System.
  • Warren Wilson College, located in the community of Swannanoa about 4 miles east of the Asheville city limits.
  • Mars Hill College, a four-year liberal-arts college affiliated with the North Carolina Baptist Convention, is located about 15 miles north of Asheville. It is the oldest college in western North Carolina.
  • Montreat College, a four-year liberal-arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is located 15 miles east of Asheville.
  • Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College.
  • State Randolph Community College.
  • Blue Ridge Community College.
WNC Kayaking

Asheville Accolades and Other Interesting Facts

  • Outside Magazine's August 2007 edition listed Asheville as the Best Town in the Southeast.
  • Relocate-America, April 2007 awarded Asheville #1 of the Top 100 places to live in 2007.
  • American Style, Summer 2006 named Asheville #2 of America's Top 25 Small Town Art Destinations.
  • Natural Home, December 2006 ranked Asheville #1 of 10 America's Best Eco-Neighborhoods.
  • Family Fun Magazine selected Asheville as one of the top five Southeast cities in its 2001 Travel Awards review.
  • Canoe and Kayak Magazine named Asheville as one of the top ten paddle towns.
  • Asheville was chosen by Southern Living Magazine's Reader's Choice poll as one of the top mountain destinations in the Southeast.
  • Asheville is also home to the National Climatic Data Center and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Asheville Facts and Figures - Info about Asheville NC