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Buncombe County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolinamarker. It is part of the Ashevillemarker, North Carolinamarker, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population estimate for 2008 was 229,047. Its county seat is Ashevillemarker .

History

The county was formed in 1791 from parts of Burke Countymarker and Rutherford Countymarker. It was named for Edward Buncombe, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War, who was captured at the Battle of Germantownmarker.

In 1808 the western part of Buncombe County became Haywood Countymarker. In 1833 parts of Burke County and Buncombe County were combined to form Yancey Countymarker, and in 1838 the southern part of what was left of Buncombe County became Henderson Countymarker. In 1851 parts of Buncombe County and Yancey County were combined to form Madison Countymarker. Finally, in 1925 the Broad River township of McDowell Countymarker was transferred to Buncombe County.

In 1820, a U.S. Congressman, whose district included Buncombe County, unintentionally contributed a word to the English language. In the Sixteenth Congress, after lengthy debate on the Missouri Compromise, members of the House called for an immediate vote on that important question. Instead, Felix Walker rose to address his colleagues, insisting that his constituents expected him to make a speech "for Buncombe." It was later remarked that Walker's untimely and irrelevant oration was not just for Buncombe—it "was Buncombe." Thus, buncombe, afterwards spelled bunkum and then shortened to bunk, became a term for empty, nonsensical talk.

Law and government

Buncombe County is a member of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of governments.

Buncombe County has a council/manager form of government.

The 2008 election voted in the current commissioners: K. Ray Bailey, Holly Jones, Bill Stanley, Carol Peterson, and chair David Gantt. The county manager is Wanda Greene.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 660 square miles (1,709 km²), of which, 656 square miles (1,699 km²) of it is land and 4 square miles (10 km²) of it (0.58%) is water.

The French Broad River enters the county at its border with Henderson Countymarker to the south and flows north into Madison Countymarker. The source of the Swannanoa River, which joins the French Broad River in Asheville, is in northeast Buncombe County near Mount Mitchellmarker. A milestone was achieved in 2003 when Interstate 26 was extended from Mars Hillmarker (north of Asheville) to Johnson Citymarker, Tennesseemarker completing a 20-year half-billion dollar construction project through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Major highways



National protected areas



Townships

The county is divided into sixteen townships: Asheville, Avery Creek, Black Mountain, Broad River, Fairview, Flat Creek, French Broad, Ivy, Leicester, Limestone, Lower Hominy, Reems Creek, Sandy Mush, Swannanoa, Woodfin, and Upper Hominy.

Adjacent counties



Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 206,330 people, 85,776 households, and 55,668 families residing in the county. The population density was 314 people per square mile (121/km²). There were 93,973 housing units at an average density of 143 per square mile (55/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.06% White, 7.48% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.15% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. 2.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 85,776 households out of which 27.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.50% were married couples living together, 10.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.10% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.90% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 15.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,666, and the median income for a family was $45,011. Males had a median income of $30,705 versus $23,870 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,384. About 7.80% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.30% of those under age 18 and 9.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Map of Buncombe County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels


Cities and towns



Census-designated places



Other place



See also



References

  1. debunk - The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, accessed 2009-01-11


External links




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