Charlottesville Facts

A Top-Ra​nked City

  • No. 2 Best Small College Town, No. 7 Best College Town in America, WalletHub, 2023 More
  • Top 15 Happiest Place to Live in the U.S., Outside Magazine, 2023 More
  • Wine Region of the Year, Wine Enthusiast, 2023 More
  • No. 22 Top 100 Best Places to Live,, 2022 More
  • Top Adventure Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2020 More
  • No. 5 Best Place to Live, Livability, 2018 More
  • Best Small Cities in the U.S., National Geographic Traveler, 2018 More
  • No. 3 Happiest Place to Live, National Geographic, 2017 More
  • No. 4 Safest College Campus, ADT Security, 2018 More
  • No. 5 Healthiest, Happiest City in the U.S., The Today Show, 2017 More
  • America’s Happiest City, U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014 More
  • No. 9 America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel & Leisure, 2014 More
  • Top 5 College Towns in the Country, 2014 More
  • No. 6 Best College Towns for People Who Aren’t in College, Conde Nast Traveler, 2014 
  • No. 1 America’s Best Small Towns for Food, 2013 More
  • No. 4 Best (Small) City for Working Women, 2013 More
  • One of the Travel Channel’s Top College Towns, 2013 
  • One of the South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living, 2012
  • No. 2 Overall Wellbeing (No. 1 for College Towns), Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 2011 More
  • Best College Town of the South, Southern Living Magazine, 2011
  • Healthiest Place to Live, Men’s Journal, 2010
  • No. 1 City in America, Frommer’s “Cities Ranked and Rated,” 2004

Location a​nd Climate

A half-hour to the west of Charlottesville is the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Blue Ridge Mountains. A three-hour drive to the east brings you to Atlantic Ocean beaches. Richmond, the state capital, is an hour away by car, and Washington, D.C., is a little more than two hours north. The average July high is 87 degrees. The average January low is 25 degrees. Charlottesville averages more than 219 days of sunshine a year.


Estimates as of July 2021:

  • Charlottesville Population: 45,672
  • Albemarle County Population: 113,535
  • Combined City and County Population: 159,207
  • Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area Population: 222,688
  • U.S. Census Bureau Statistics (including age, gender, race)

The University

As a $2.7 billion a year business (all divisions), the University is the area’s No. 1 employer, with more than 16,500 faculty and staff in the areas of information technology, engineering, research and development, business, finance, administration, public relations, athletics and facilities management. UVA encompasses a vast complex of schools, a level-one trauma center, teaching hospital and research facilities, as well as arts and athletic venues.

With a total student body of more than 22,000, the University of Virginia has achieved national prominence in many disciplines and is consistently ranked among the top three public universities, a judgment based on faculty strength, student achievement, satisfaction of alumni and numerous other factors.

Odds & Ends

Charlottesville was named for Princess Charlotte, wife of George III.

Charlottesville was the filming location for 1991 movie, “True Colors” (which focuses on friends from law school) and 1995 movie, “Major Payne.” The nearby Miller School was the location for “Toy Soldiers.” The Steve Carell movie “Evan Almighty” was filmed in nearby Crozet.

Charlottesville and its surrounding areas have their share of celebs, including Sissy Spacek, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Howie Long; authors John Grisham, Tami Hoag (mysteries), Jan Karon (the Mitford series) and Rita Mae Brown (Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries); and former poet laureate Rita Dove, a UVA professor.

Georgia O’Keefe called Charlottesville home during the summers of 1913 through 1916 when she taught art at the University. Her mother moved to Charlottesville in 1909 and O’Keefe lived with her on and off beginning in 1912.

Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe all called Charlottesville or nearby environs home, as did explorer Meriwether Lewis.

The Dave Matthews Band put in its time as a college band in Charlottesville and some of its band members still call the town home. DMB manager Coran Capshaw is a major real estate developer in Charlottesville.