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Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by, but separate from, Albemarle County in Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of the United Kingdom.
The official population estimate for the city, calculated in 2010, was 43,475. It is the county seat of Albemarle County though the two are separate legal entities. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing the total population to 118,398. The city is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.
Charlottesville is best known as the home to two U.S. Presidents (Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe), and nearby is that of James Madison in Orange, as well as the home of the University of Virginia, which, along with Monticello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monticello, Jefferson’s mountain-top home, attracts approximately half a million tourists every year. While both served as Governor of Virginia, they lived in Charlottesville and traveled to and from the capitol (Richmond, Virginia) along the 71-mile (114 km) historic Three Notch’d Road.
Charlottesville has a four-season humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with all months being well-watered, though the period from May to September is the wettest. Winters are somewhat cool, with a January average of 35.9 °F (2.2 °C), though lows can fall into the teens (< −7 °C) on some nights and highs frequently (11 days in January) reach 50 °F (10 °C). Spring and autumn provide transitions of reasonable length. Summers are hot and humid, with July averaging 77.2 °F (25.1 °C) and the high exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) on 33 or more days per year. Snowfall is highly variable from year to year but is normally light and does not remain on the ground for long, averaging 17.3 inches (44 cm). Extremes have ranged from −10 °F (−23 °C) on January 19, 1994 up to 107 °F (42 °C), most recently on September 7, 1954. Charlottesville is located in the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia along the Rivanna River, a tributary of the James, just west of the Southwest Mountains, itself paralleling the Blue Ridge about 20 miles (32 km) to the west. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.3 square miles (27 km2), all of it land. Charlottesville is 115 miles (185 km) from Washington, D.C. and 70 miles (110 km) from Richmond. Charlottesville has a large series of attractions and venues for its relatively small size. Visitors come to the area for wine and beer tours, ballooning, hiking, and world-class entertainment that perform at one of the area's four larger venues. The city is both the launching pad and home of the Dave Matthews Band as well as the center of a sizable indie music scene. The Charlottesville area was the home of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Monticello, Jefferson's plantation manor, is located just a few miles from downtown. The home of James Monroe, Ash Lawn-Highland, is down the road from Monticello. About 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Charlottesville lies the home of James and Dolley Madison, Montpelier. During the summer, the Ash Lawn-Highland Opera Festival is held at the downtown Paramount Theater with a performance at Ash Lawn-Highland. The nearby Shenandoah National Park offers recreational activities and beautiful scenery, with rolling mountains and many hiking trails. Skyline Drive is a scenic drive that runs the length of the park, alternately winding through thick forest and emerging upon sweeping scenic overlooks. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a similar scenic drive that extends 469 miles (755 km) south to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, terminates at the southern entrance of Shenandoah, where it turns into Skyline Drive. This junction of the two scenic drives is only 22 miles (35 km) west of downtown Charlottesville. As of the census of 2000, there were 45,049 people, 16,851 households, and 7,633 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,389.7 people per square mile (1,695.3/km²). There were 17,591 housing units at an average density of 1,714.1 per square mile (662.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.56% White, 22.22% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 4.93% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 2.13% from two or more races. 2.45% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race. There were 16,851 households out of which 20.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.2% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.7% were non-families. 34.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.85. The age distribution was 15.2% under the age of 18, 33.8% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 15.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 87.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males. The city's low median age and the "bulge" in the 18-to-24 age group are both due to the presence of the University of Virginia. The median income for a household in the city was $31,007, and the median income for a family was $45,110. Males had a median income of $31,197 versus $26,458 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,973. About 12.0% of families and 25.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.8% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over. Federally, Charlottesville is part of Virginia's 5th congressional district, represented by Republican Robert Hurt, elected in 2010. References and more area information on Wikipedia here >>
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