Madison County, North Carolina

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Madison County, North Carolina
Seal of Madison County, North Carolina
Map of North Carolina highlighting Madison County
Location in the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location in the U.S.
Founded 1851
Named for James Madison
Seat Marshall
Largest town Mars Hill
 • Total 451 sq mi (1,168 km2)
 • Land 450 sq mi (1,165 km2)
 • Water 1.9 sq mi (5 km2), 0.4%
 • (2010) 20,764
 • Density 46/sq mi (18/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Advertisement for Warm Springs Hotel, Madison County, ca. 1880

Madison County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 20,764. [1] Its county seat is Marshall.[2] The county was formed in 1851 from parts of Buncombe County and Yancey County. It was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States (1809–1817).[3]

Madison County is part of the Asheville, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 451 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 450 square miles (1,200 km2) is land and 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) (0.4%) is water.[4]

Madison County is located deep in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina, and much of the county's terrain is rugged, heavily forested, and sparsely populated. The county's northern border is with the State of Tennessee. Madison County's largest river is the French Broad River, which flows north-northwest through the county, first past the county seat of Marshall, then past the resort town of Hot Springs\

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Major highways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 5,908
1870 8,192 38.7%
1880 12,810 56.4%
1890 17,805 39.0%
1900 20,644 15.9%
1910 20,132 −2.5%
1920 20,083 −0.2%
1930 20,306 1.1%
1940 22,522 10.9%
1950 20,522 −8.9%
1960 17,217 −16.1%
1970 16,003 −7.1%
1980 16,827 5.1%
1990 16,953 0.7%
2000 19,635 15.8%
2010 20,764 5.7%
Est. 2014 21,157 [5] 1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 19,635 people, 8,000 households, and 5,592 families residing in the county. The population density was 44 people per square mile (17/km²). There were 9,722 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.63% White, 0.83% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 1.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,000 households out of which 28.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.50% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.20% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 26.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,985, and the median income for a family was $37,383. Males had a median income of $27,950 versus $22,678 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,076. About 10.90% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 19.20% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government

Madison County is governed by a five-member board of commissioners who are elected every two years. The board selects its own chairman and holds scheduled meetings on the second Monday of each month.[11] Madison County is a member of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of governments. Madison County is considered a "dry" county, meaning that the sale and/or public consumption of alcoholic beverages is illegal within the county limits. However, individual towns have right of self-determination regarding alcohol sales. Hot Springs, Marshall and Mars Hill[12] all allow beer and wine sales, but not liquor.


Madison County's public educational system consists of one early college high school, one traditional high school (Madison High School located in the county seat of Marshall), one middle school, and four elementary schools. The county is also home to Mars Hill College, a private, coed, four-year liberal-arts college affiliated with the North Carolina Baptist Convention. Founded in 1856, Mars Hill is the oldest college in western North Carolina; it offers 33 majors and five degrees.


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



The county is divided into eleven townships: Beech Glenn, Ebbs Chapel, Grapevine, Hot Springs, Laurel, Mars Hill, Marshall, Revere Rice Cove, Sandy Mush, Spring Creek and Walnut.[13]

Formerly there were sixteen townships, which were both numbered and named:

  • 1 (Marshall)
  • 2 (Shelton Laurel)
  • 3 (Bull Creek)
  • 4 (Middle Fork of Ivy)
  • 5 (West Fork of Ivy)
  • 6 (Sandy Mush)
  • 7 (Little Pine Creek)
  • 8 (Spring Creek)
  • 9 (Hot Springs)
  • 10 (Big Laurel)
  • 11 (Upper Laurel)
  • 12 (Big Pine Creek)
  • 13 (Meadow Fork of Spring Creek)
  • 14 (Grapevine)
  • 15 (Mars Hill)
  • 16 (Foster Creek)

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 27, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 196.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Madison County Website - County Commissioners<".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Asheville-Citizen Times - Mars Hill voters approved beer, wine sales". 5 March 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "1991 General Assembly of North Carolina - House Bill 689 - Madison County School Elections" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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