Where Everybody in Asheville is Moving From

Elizabeth Whalen
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Even if you’ve never visited Asheville, N.C., you’ve almost certainly seen parts of it or its environs. That’s because a slew of movies, including award winner “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Dirty Dancing,” “The Fugitive,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Last of the Mohicans” and “Bull Durham” were filmed, at least in part, in the city or the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.

Those mountains also offer residents recreation opportunities ranging from hiking to birding to ice climbing—yes, ice climbing. Perhaps that natural beauty is what’s attracting new residents to Asheville. The metro-area population went from 450,914 to 456,145 between July 2016 and July 2017, a 1.2 percent increase, according to the latest census data. During that time, the population of Buncombe County, where Asheville is located, went from 255,334 to 257,607, a 0.9 percent increase. (The metro area includes five counties, so it has a larger population than Buncombe County does.)

Some of that growth is due to local births, but if we look a little further back in time, we’ll see that, according to another census study, 17,567 people moved into Buncombe County from other places between 2011 and 2015.

Where are all those people coming from?

The same study gives us a pretty good idea. A little more than half, it turns out, are coming from outside North Carolina. In fact, 57 percent (9,941 people) of domestic movers came from other states, and 43 percent (7,626 people) moved from other places within North Carolina, many from nearby counties.

Below are rankings for the top five counties of origin for movers to Buncombe County:

Movers outside of North Carolina:

  1. San Diego County, CA: 432 movers
  2. Duval County, FL (Jacksonville): 397 movers
  3. Wayne County, MI (Detroit): 207 movers
  4. Lee County, FL (Cape Coral): 178 movers
  5. Lawrence County, PA (Newcastle): 172 movers

Movers from North Carolina:

  1. Henderson County: 910 movers
  2. Haywood County: 794 movers
  3. Wake County: 662 movers
  4. Madison County: 477 movers
  5. Guilford County: 377 movers


Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau

U.S. Census Bureau

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on March 23, 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Elizabeth Whalen

Elizabeth Whalen is a freelance writer based in Berkeley, CA. She loves writing about data, business and sustainability. When she's not writing, you'll find her reading, listening to music or watching tennis.
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