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Asheville is a city in and the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the 11th largest city in North Carolina. The city’s population was 83,393 according to the 2010 United States census.
It is the principal city in the four-county Asheville metropolitan area, with a population of 424,858 in 2010.
Asheville is home to the United States National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the world’s largest active archive of weather data.
Asheville prospered in the decades of the 1910s and 1920s and at one point was the third largest city in the state, behind Charlotte and Wilmington. From the start of the depression through the 1980s, economic growth in Asheville was slow. During this time of financial stagnation, most of the buildings in the downtown district remained unaltered. Therefore, Asheville has one of the most impressive, comprehensive collections of Art Deco architecture in the United States
Asheville pops up on national rankings for a variety of things: the “New Freak Capital of the U.S.” (Rolling Stone, 2000), the “Happiest City for Women” (Self, 2002), one the “Best Outside Towns” (Outside Magazine, 2006), one of the “Top Seven Places to Live in the U.S.” (Frommer’s, 2007), one of the “10 Most Beautiful Places in America” (Good Morning America, 2011) and one of the “25 Best Places for Business and Careers” (Forbes, 2012).
The Buncombe County Schools System is the largest in Western North Carolina with over 26,000 students enrolled in 44 schools. It is also one of only 8 school districts in North Carolina to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This school system is divided into six districts: Enka, Erwin, North Buncombe, Owen, Reynolds, and Roberson. Within each school district there is one high school, one or two middle schools, and three to five elementary schools. Some districts also host an intermediate school, serving grades 5-6; in these districts, the middle school serves grades 7 and 8.