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A Comparison of Asheville Metro’s Current Population Growth

Johnson Price Sprinkle PA accounting firm with offices in Asheville, Boone and Marion, NC, is pleased to provide the U.S. Census Bureau’s recently released 2017 population numbers for all 382 metros in the nation. According to the new data, the four-county Asheville metro (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, and Madison counties) grew by 1.2 percent between 2016 and 2017; adding a net of 5,231 new residents to a total population of 456,145. Asheville metro remains the sixth largest among all fifteen metros in the state and sixth for its pace of growth (see chart below).

Percent Population Change – North Carolina Metros
2016 to 2017

Percent Population Change - NC Metros 2016 to 2017
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

How does Asheville metro’s current population growth rate compare to the state and nation? At 1.2 percent, Asheville metro’s population growth rate is just a hair above North Carolina’s current rate of 1.1 percent and solidly above the national rate of 0.7 percent.

How does Asheville metro’s current growth rate compare to its own recent past? Over the last twenty years, the metro’s population growth rate has ranged from a peak of 2.1 percent in 2006 to a low of 0.7 percent in both 2011 and 2012. The dramatic shift closely follows dates of the recent economic recession, which began in late 2007 and lasted until mid-2009. The statewide pattern of population growth follows a similar path (see chart below).

Percent Population Change
1998-2017Percent Population Change - 1998 - 2017

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Finally, where does Asheville metro’s population size and growth rate rank among all 382 metros in the nation? With the 2017 release, Asheville metropolitan ranks 116th for its size and 104th for its growth rate; both placing solidly in the top-third of all metros (see chart below). Since 2010 Asheville metro’s size rank has held relatively stable; remaining between the 116th and 120th largest metro in the nation. Asheville metro’s population growth rate ranking has risen 65 places from 169th in 2010 to the current 104th, after reaching 83rd in 2016. Therefore, nationally Asheville’s relative size rank has remained mostly unchanged, while it’s growth rate has been gradually rising over time.

Asheville’s Rank Among All 382 U.S. Metros
2010-2017Asheville Metro's Rank Among All 382 US Metros - 2010 - 2017

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

So how does Asheville metro’s current population growth compare? Among all North Carolina metros, Asheville places middle-of-the-pack for both its size and growth rate; both ranking sixth in 2017. Among all U.S. metros nationally, Asheville’s metropolitan area maintains a stable size rank, while experiencing a gradual rise in its growth rate ranking.

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Johnson Price Sprinkle PA is a 60+ year old accounting firm providing small to middle market businesses with tax, business consulting, audit, fraud, and technology solution services. With offices in Asheville, Boone, and Marion, NC, our CPAs and JPS team strive to provide personal service alongside technical expertise resulting in our clients’ long-term financial success. We also invest time and energy in our community, taking pride in doing what we can to make Western North Carolina a better place.
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