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living in Charlotte vs Asheville

Living in Asheville vs Charlotte 🆚 | Which Is Better: Charlotte or Asheville NC?

Last Updated on: 26th December 2023, 03:12 pm

The Asheville vs Charlotte debate is common among North Carolina residents because they are two of the most unique and culturally relevant cities in the state.

Nicknamed “the Queen City”, Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and is known for its booming economy, world-class attractions, and quaint downtown area. Known as the “Land of the Sky,” Asheville is an eclectic community of artists and creative entrepreneurs, situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

If you’re considering moving to Asheville vs Charlotte, there are several variables that you should consider. Here is a look at the Charlotte vs Asheville pros and cons to make the decision easier.


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Pros of Living in Charlotte

Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, and residents are attracted by its robust job market, affordable living, and unique culture. Charlotte is worth visiting if you’re interested in NASCAR, professional sports, or amazing southern cooking. Here are some of the pros and cons of Charlotte NC.

  • World-class restaurants: One of the major plusses of Charlotte versus Asheville is its fantastic restaurant scene, which offers everything from mouth-watering barbecue to seafood and sushi.
  • Strong job market: Charlotte ranks among the top 10 labor markets in the US. It’s a major hub of finance and banking as well as competitive industries like health care, construction, and automotive.
  • Affordable cost of living: Charlotte is very affordable for a major city. The COLI index for Queen City is 94.8, which indicates that the Charlotte NC cost of living in 2023 is 5.2% less expensive than the rest of the US.

Cons of Living in Charlotte

Although there are many benefits to living in Charlotte, like any city, it has its disadvantages as well. Here are some of the cons of living in Charlotte.

  • High crime rate: While Charlotte has plenty of areas that are perfectly safe, it does feature a relatively high crime rate. The total crime rate is 4,077 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is 54.7% higher than the rest of the state and 73.8% higher than the US.
  • Traffic and lack of public transportation: Charlotte ranks among the worst cities in the country for traffic congestion and doesn’t have a very extensive public transportation system.


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Pros of Living in Asheville

Asheville is a peaceful artists’ colony in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range near the confluence of the Swannanoa and French Broad River. Asheville, NC, is near cities like Hendersonville, Black Mountain, Bryson, and more. It’s a great community for creatives, families, and anyone seeking natural beauty and a high quality of life. Here is a look at the pros and cons of Asheville NC.

  • Vibrant creative community: Asheville is an eclectic community full of musicians, painters, craft breweries, and funky boutiques that offers a small-town atmosphere with big-city amenities.
  • Outdoor adventure: Asheville is a mountain town and haven for outdoor enthusiasts with plenty of backcountry roads, fishing lakes, mountain biking trails, and other fun activities.
  • Fantastic weather: The weather in Asheville is pleasant year-round and never gets too hot or too cold, yet you still get four distinct seasons.

Cons of Living in Asheville

  • High cost of housing: Asheville’s cost of living is higher than other parts of North Carolina, and housing prices are steadily rising with a median list price of $495,000.
  • Limited job opportunities: While Asheville has a stable economy supported by industries like health care, manufacturing, and hospitality, you will find less industry compared to a bustling metropolis like Charlotte.


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Charlotte vs. Asheville Comparison

While both cities offer unique advantages and disadvantages, they will appeal to different groups of people. Here is a side-by-side comparison of living in Asheville versus Charlotte.

Charlotte vs. Asheville Population

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina by population. The population of Charlotte is 897,720 compared to 93,776 residents in Asheville. That makes Charlotte 61% bigger than Raleigh and 57% bigger than Atlanta by population.

Charlotte vs Asheville Cost of Living

The cost of living in Charlotte, North Carolina, is lower than in Asheville. The cost of living index for Charlotte is 94.8, while in Asheville, it’s 106.3. That means the Asheville, North Carolina cost of living is 6.3% higher than the national average and 11.4% higher than in Charlotte.

The Economic Policy Institute shows that the average family of four with two adults and two children would need to earn $94,948 to afford the Asheville cost of living, compared to $85,510 in Charlotte.

Charlotte versus Asheville Crime Rates

Both cities have a crime rate that is higher than the rest of the US. But Asheville has a higher overall crime rate, while Charlotte has a higher violent crime rate. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the Asheville vs Charlotte crime rate.

Total Crime Violent Crime Murder Rate Property Crime
Charlotte 4077 per 100k 836 per 100k 12 per 100k 3240 per 100k
54.7% higher than the state 99.4% higher than the state 50% higher than the state 45.5% higher than the state
73.8% higher than the country 115.6% higher than the country 83.3% higher than the country 65.5% higher than the country
Ashville 6550 per 100k 810 per 100k 12 per 100k 5741 per 100k
147% higher than the state 93.2% higher than the state 50% higher than the state 157.8% higher than the state
179% higher than the country 108.9% higher than the country 83.3% higher than the country 193.2% higher than the country

So, while Asheville has more property crime, Charlotte has more violent crime. Yet they both have the same murder rate. So, in general, both experience the same crime levels, yet suffer from different problems.

Charlotte versus Asheville Things to Do

Residents will find plenty of things to do in Charlotte versus Asheville; however, they both offer a different flavor that appeals to different groups of people. Charlotte NC living offers more in terms of activities and attractions. It’s a larger city, so there are naturally more restaurants, bars, museums, sports teams, and entertainment venues. 

Asheville, on the other hand, is better for nature enthusiasts who are interested in fishing, hiking, camping, and canoeing. It’s also a very welcoming and creative community that attracts artists looking for peace and quiet with a small-town atmosphere. While Charlotte also offers access to parks and nature preserves, you may have to drive a bit outside the city limits to truly experience the great outdoors

Asheville vs Charlotte Climate and Weather

Asheville is further north and at a higher elevation than Charlotte, which means it’s cooler but also gets more snow. Charlotte NC temps ranges from about 30°F in the winter to 89.7°F in the summer, while in Asheville the summer high is closer to 83.7°F and the winter low gets as cold as 25.1°F.

But living in Asheville, NC has pros and cons when it comes to the weather. It generally stays pretty pleasant year round, but it does get about 10.2 inches of snow per year versus 2.3 inches in Charlotte.

Asheville vs. Charlotte Traffic

Charlotte North Carolina living means you’ll have to deal with a lot of traffic. Charlotte is a larger city and experiences more congestion and traffic-related delays. It does have buses and light rails; however, it also ranks among the worst cities in the US in terms of public transportation. Asheville in comparison, has several public transportation options, including a historic trolley, and doesn’t experience as many traffic jams as Charlotte.

The average commute time for residents living in Asheville vs Charlotte is 17.3 minutes per day compared to 25.4 minutes for the latter.

Asheville versus Charlotte Jobs

The job market is very different in Charlotte versus Asheville. Charlotte is a major hub for finance and offers a wider range of employment opportunities compared to Asheville. Charlotte is home to over 1000 companies, including 10 Fortune 500s. The abundance of job opportunities and relatively affordable cost of living are major factors in Charlotte NC’s high quality of life.

Finding employment in Asheville is a bit more challenging because it’s a smaller city, and there aren’t as many jobs as there are people who want to move to the community. However, there are plenty of hospitals offering jobs in health care, along with other key industries like science, technology, arts, and tourism.


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Asheville versus Charlotte Sports

When it comes to sports teams, Charlotte is the clear winner. There are several pro sports teams in Charlotte, including the Panthers in the NFL, the Hornets in the NBA, and the Charlotte FC in the MLS. It’s also a major hub for NASCAR with the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Asheville has no professional sports teams but is home to the Asheville City, SC, an amateur soccer team, and the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. But you’ll definitely find more pro sports in Charlotte vs Asheville.

How Far Is Charlotte from Asheville?

It’s about 130 miles from Asheville, NC, to Charlotte, NC, or a 2-hour drive. If you plan on driving from Charlotte to Asheville, you’ll want to take I-85 to US 321 and then to I-40. There are also buses that run from Asheville NC to Charlotte NC daily. 

Asheville vs Charlotte: Where Are You Moving?

Now that you understand the benefits and negatives of living in Charlotte vs Asheville, you’re ready to decide which peaceful North Carolina city you’re ready to make your home. When you’ve decided, trust the award-winning team at Make a Move for a stress-free relocation.  Call 704-378-8588 for a free, personalized moving quote.


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