Charlottesville, Virginia

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Charlottesville, Virginia

Introduction to Charlottesville, Virginia

The central Virginia city of Charlottesville is nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, approximately 70 miles northwest of Richmond and 100 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Established as a town in 1762 and incorporated as an independent city in 1888, Charlottesville is autonomous and not subservient to any county or other political subdivision. Major highways through Charlottesville are U.S. Route 250, U.S. Route 29, and Interstate 64.

Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia, which was founded in 1819 by native son Thomas Jefferson. Consistently listed among the top ten public universities nationwide, the university is a strong factor in the city's community life and serves as the area's focal point for cultural and sporting events. Steeped in historic value, the Charlottesville area lays claim to having raised three ex-Presidents (Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and James Madison), whose former homes are now historic sites and architectural wonders which attract thousands of visitors every year.

Owing largely to the presence of the university, the technology industry is a continuously growing staple of the local economy. More traditional industries like agriculture are also prominent in the region, which embodies nearly 200,000 acres of orchards, vineyards, and cattle farms. The region's fastest growing industry is the grape business. Local wines and vineyards are nationally recognized and the area is highly ranked among the country's wine producers. Another significant local industry is horse farming, as evidenced by the more than 13,000 horses stabled in the city and surrounding county.

Things to do and see in Charlottesville

Nearly two million travelers per year visit the Charlottesville area to see the area’s historic sites and take in the spectacular scenery of Central Virginia. Perched on a nearby mountain overlooking the city is Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, which offers tours and hosts special events and ceremonies. Only a mile down the road from Monticello is Ash Lawn-Highland, former home of James Monroe. Here visitors can explore beautiful gardens and enjoy the Ash Lawn Opera Festival, which offers six to eight weeks of full-length opera and musical theatre productions. About 45 minutes north of Charlottesville is Montpelier, the former home of James and Dolly Madison. This is a 2,750-acre estate that includes racecourses, a National Landmark Forest, active archaeological sites, and more than 130 buildings.

Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County are a paradise for nature lovers. Skyline Drive and The Blue Ridge Parkway offer breathtaking views of valleys and mountains to tourists who don't even need to leave their cars. Hikers can enjoy the many short and long trails which wind through the woods off these roads. Charlottesville is also home to a large number of parks with playgrounds, picnic areas, public tennis courts, and swimming pools. Other popular area activities are hot air balloon rides, golf at world-class resorts, and tours of one of the many local vineyards in the area, a few of which are listed here:

  • Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery
  • DelFosse Vineyards and Winery
  • Jefferson Vineyards
  • Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard

Charlottesville has an active art, music and theater scene. The Downtown Mall, one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the country, is the location of the Virginia Discovery Museum. A 3,500 seat Charlottesville Pavilion Amphitheater attracts big name acts to the area. The newly renovated Paramount Theater hosts Broadway shows and concerts by nationally-known entertainers. The city also hosts an annual Virginia Festival of the Book, and is home to many prominent writers including John Grisham and Rita Mae Brown, as well as former home to Edgar Alan Poe and William Faulkner.

Charlottesville has no professional sports teams, but local sports fans are captivated by the University of Virginia Cavaliers, who have a wide fan base across the region. Cavalier football games are played in Scott Stadium, which is also used as a venue for large concerts by such artists as the Rolling Stones and the Dave Matthews Band. The John Paul Jones Arena, which opened in 2006, is where the University of Virginia basketball teams play their games. This new stadium is one of the largest in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Not surprisingly, The University of Virginia has an active athletic rivalry with Virginia Tech. An even older rivalry (often referred to as "The South's Oldest Rivalry") exists between the Cavaliers and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels.

Horseracing fans can enjoy the exciting world of steeplechase racing, held every fall and spring at The Foxfield Races.

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High Points

Charlottesville strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Virginia):

Category Trophy
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Charlottesville Walking and Biking to Work
Short Commute Times
(vs. State)
Top 3% trophy Charlottesville Short Commute Times
Public Transportation Use
(vs. State)
Top 7% Charlottesville Public Transportation Use
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 10% Charlottesville Racial Diversity
College Educated Adults
(vs. State)
Top 10% Charlottesville College Educated Adults
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. State)
Top 17% Charlottesville Well-Paid Single Women

Comparative Profile of Charlottesville, Virginia

Comparing Charlottesville to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Virginia (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Female Share of the Population 10 6
Racial Diversity 7 10
Well-Paid Single Women 7 9
Senior Citizens 4 2
Well-Paid Single Men 3 6
Male Share of the Population 1 5
Age of the Population 1 1
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 2


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 2 5
Portion of People Married 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 9 10
Median Family Income 4 7
People in Middle Class or Better 2 2
People Above Poverty 1 1

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Walking and Biking to Work 10 10
Working at Home 10 10
Short Commute Times 10 10
Public Transportation Use 8 10


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 10 8
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 8 10
Affordability of Property Taxes 7 2
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 7 4
Affordability of Rents 7 2
Housing Recently Built 4 4

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Charlottesville Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 58 miles NE of Lynchburg, Virginia (center to center)
Nearest Large City 99 miles SW of Washington, District of Columbia
Metro Area Charlottesville
Standard Zip Codes 22901, 22902, 22903, 22904, 22911
P.O. Box Zip Codes 22905, 22906
Company Zip Codes 22907, 22908, 22909, 22910
Phone Area Codes 434
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.02
Longitude -78.49

Charlottesville Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 1.7 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 45 F
Apr Temp 45 to 69 F
Jul Temp 66 to 88 F
Oct Temp 47 to 70 F
Annual Precip 48.8 inches
Distance 23.8 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 44 F
Apr Temp 40 to 70 F
Jul Temp 65 to 88 F
Oct Temp 42 to 70 F
Annual Precip 42.6 inches
Distance 34.2 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 41 F
Apr Temp 38 to 63 F
Jul Temp 61 to 83 F
Oct Temp 39 to 65 F
Annual Precip 38.8 inches
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Charlottesville Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 45,049 100%
Male 21,021 46.7%
Female 24,028 53.3%
Under 18 6,835 15.2%
18+ 38,214 84.8%
65+ 4,548 10.1%
Median Age 25.6
Average Family Size 2.85
White 31,337 69.6%
African-American 10,009 22.2%
Asian 2,223 4.9%
American Indian & Alaskan 49 0.1%
Other 458 1%
Mixed Race 958 2.1%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 1,102 2.4%

Estimated Charlottesville Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 40,437
Growth -4,612
Growth % -10.2%

Charlottesville Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 33.4%
English 11.5%
US/American 9.4%
German 9.4%
Irish 8.2%
Italian 4%
Scottish 2.8%
European 2.4%
Scotch-Irish 2.4%
Polish 1.6%
French (except Basque) 1.3%
Dutch 1.2%
British 1.1%
Russian 1%
Welsh 0.8%
Swedish 0.7%
African 0.7%
Norwegian 0.7%
Greek 0.6%
French Canadian 0.5%
Eastern European 0.4%
Hungarian 0.4%
Austrian 0.3%
Swiss 0.3%
Northern European 0.3%
Albanian 0.2%
Croatian 0.2%
Turkish 0.2%
Danish 0.2%
Lebanese 0.2%
Ukrainian 0.2%
Canadian 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Charlottesville 45,049 $45,110
Gordonsville 1,498 $40,268
Grottoes 2,114 $46,574
Scottsville 555 $41,667
Stanardsville 476 $33,750
Waynesboro 19,520 $40,772

Charlottesville Public Libraries

Jefferson-madison Regional Library
Charlottesville, Virginia
(434) 979-7151

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Charlottesville Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(804) 982-7000
Emergency Service: Yes

(Government - State)
(800) 251-3627
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Charlottesville

(As of 2005)
1601 University Avenue
Charlottesville Fashion Square
1600 East Rio Road
Harris Teeter
975 Emmet St
Hollymead Town Center
163 Community Street
1980 Rio Hill Center
Rivanna Ridge
1986 Abbey Road
Route 29
1520 Siminole Trail
Target Charlottesville T-1858
3290 Seminole Trail

Wal-mart in Charlottesville

(As of 2006)
975 Hilton Heights Road
(434) 973-1412
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Featured Colleges in the Charlottesville Area (QuickSchools™)

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Charlottesville High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,642 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.1

Serves 1,296 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.1

Serves 1,122 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13

A Charter School.
Serves 89 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 9.4

A Vocational School

A Non-traditional School

A Special Education School

A Non-traditional School

Charlottesville Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Piedmont Virginia Community College

University of Virginia-Main Campus

(List of Virginia Colleges)

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Advanced Controls

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Limit Results to One State?

City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Gainesville, Florida 94   32.7% 9.8% 42.8% 19 $44,263 4.6% 31.6% 95,447 26.7% 46.8 0.4% 9.4
2. Columbia, South Carolina 93.1   37.2% 10.3% 35.7% 18 $39,589 5.6% 50.8% 116,278 22.1% 79.7 0.5% 13.1
3. Tallahassee, Florida 90.5   34.7% 8.2% 45% 19 $49,359 5.2% 39.6% 150,624 24.7% 54.4 0.6% 10.1
4. Greenville, North Carolina 90.2   35.6% 8.8% 38.4% 19 $44,491 5.6% 38.6% 60,476 26.1% 74 0.4% 8.2
5. Athens, Georgia 89.5   29.9% 8.1% 40% 19 $41,407 5.2% 35.1% 101,489 28.6% 59 0.4% 4.6
6. Ypsilanti, Michigan 89.5   40.6% 7% 35.4% 21 $40,793 5% 38.6% 22,362 25.8% 48.7 0.2% 9.4
7. Greenville, South Carolina 88.3   40.8% 14.4% 34.2% 18 $44,125 5.6% 37.9% 56,002 16.1% 74.8 0.7% 11.4
8. Carrboro, North Carolina 88.1   37.1% 5.1% 60.9% 22 $47,330 5.4% 27.3% 16,782 19% 68.5 0.4% 5.9
9. Albany, New York 88   41.8% 13.4% 32.5% 20 $39,932 5.6% 36.9% 95,658 21.7% 58.4 0.2% 11.8
10. Bowling Green, Kentucky 86.1   33.5% 12% 26.9% 17 $40,320 6% 19.2% 49,296 21.8% 59.8 0.4% 5.9
11. Tuscaloosa, Alabama 85.8   35.3% 11.8% 30.9% 18 $41,753 5.7% 45.9% 77,906 23.6% 64.2 0.4% 6.1
12. Carrollton, Georgia 84.7   32.9% 11.3% 27.9% 21 $39,143 5.8% 37.5% 19,843 23.4% 76.6 0.4% 10.7
13. Knoxville, Tennessee 84.2   38.5% 14.4% 24.6% 21 $37,708 5.9% 20.3% 173,890 20.8% 65.5 0.3% 9.5
14. Commerce, Texas 82.9   34.7% 9.8% 30.9% 20 $37,284 6% 28.9% 7,669 22.9% 53.5 0.3% 6.3
15. St. Cloud, Minnesota 82.8   30.3% 10.3% 29.6% 18 $50,460 5.5% 8.3% 59,107 13.1% 46.8 0.3% 4.3
16. Cookeville, Tennessee 80.2   35% 13.7% 28.2% 16 $39,623 5.3% 8.9% 23,923 23.2% 51.6 0.5% 4.6
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Historic Charlottesville


Monticello (the home of Thomas Jefferson, Charlottesville c1905.

Select a photo to view (Source):

Monticello (the home of Thomas Jefferson, Charlottesville c1905.

Inauguration Day (University of Virginia) c1905.

Rouss physical laboratory (University of Virginia) c1905

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