These Are The 10 Worst Asheville Suburbs

We used science and data to determine which Asheville suburbs are the real pits.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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Asheville conjures up images of tons of things to do, quality people, and a bustling economy. The region consistently ranks as one of the best places to live across the country.

But not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Asheville.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Asheville ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Asheville area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Asheville proper, although Avery Creek certainly tries.

We examined the 23 biggest suburbs of Asheville to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t find them on the worst places to live in North Carolina, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Asheville in terms of quality of life:

  1. Woodfin
  2. Swannanoa
  3. Fruitland
  4. Hendersonville
  5. Etowah
  6. Canton
  7. Waynesville
  8. East Flat Rock
  9. Mountain Home
  10. Dana

Read on to see how we determined the places around Asheville that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger. And once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of worst to best.


How we determined the worst Asheville ‘burbs

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things. We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the Census’s most recent 2010-2014 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • Low unemployment (Less jobs)
  • Low median income (Less pay)
  • Low population density (No things to do)
  • Low home values (No one’s willing to pay to live here)
  • High number of high school drop outs

Then, we ranked each place that have over 5,000 people around Asheville for each of these criteria from worst to best.

The place with the lowest average rankings for these criteria ranks as the worst suburb of Asheville.

Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Asheville to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 23 suburbs ranked from worst to best.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Snarkiness incorporated for entertainment purposes only. Hold on to your pants.


1. Woodfin

Woodfin, NC

Source: Google Maps

Population: 6,167
Median Income: $35,186
Median Home Value: $146,000

2. Swannanoa

Swannanoa, NC

Source: Google Maps

Population: 4,444
Median Income: $37,262
Median Home Value: $123,700

3. Fruitland

Fruitland, NC

Source: Google Maps

Population: 2,443
Median Income: $30,294
Median Home Value: $87,500

4. Hendersonville

Hendersonville, NC

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,350
Median Income: $36,000
Median Home Value: $164,700

5. Etowah

Etowah, NC


Population: 6,862
Median Income: $44,918
Median Home Value: $175,400

6. Canton

Canton, NC

Source: wikipedia

Population: 4,160
Median Income: $35,825
Median Home Value: $131,900

7. Waynesville

Waynesville, NC

Source: Downtown Durham. Wikipedia.

Population: 9,770
Median Income: $35,708
Median Home Value: $149,400

8. East Flat Rock

East Flat Rock, NC

Source: Google Maps

Population: 3,917
Median Income: $25,452
Median Home Value: $116,100

9. Mountain Home

Mountain Home, NC

Source: Google Maps

Population: 3,345
Median Income: $34,602
Median Home Value: $181,800

10. Dana

Dana, NC

Source: Google Maps

Population: 2,466
Median Income: $45,357
Median Home Value: $144,500

The areas around Asheville that you probably don’t want to live in

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Asheville with Woodfin landing ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Asheville aren’t all bad. Avery Creek takes the cake as the best place to live around Asheville.

For the chart below, these are ranked from worst to best.
For more NC reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Asheville Suburbs

Place Rank Population Median Income Median Home Value
Woodfin 1 6,167 $35,186 $146,000
Swannanoa 2 4,444 $37,262 $123,700
Fruitland 3 2,443 $30,294 $87,500
Hendersonville 4 13,350 $36,000 $164,700
Etowah 5 6,862 $44,918 $175,400
Canton 6 4,160 $35,825 $131,900
Waynesville 7 9,770 $35,708 $149,400
East Flat Rock 8 3,917 $25,452 $116,100
Mountain Home 9 3,345 $34,602 $181,800
Dana 10 2,466 $45,357 $144,500
Black Mountain 11 7,977 $40,185 $170,600
Horse Shoe 12 2,832 $59,890 $210,000
Mills River 13 6,917 $57,326 $213,100
Fletcher 14 7,320 $47,451 $176,400
Mars Hill 15 2,168 $41,385 $181,500
Valley Hill 16 2,316 $30,872 $187,100
Weaverville 17 3,783 $52,056 $236,100
Lake Junaluska 18 2,472 $63,266 $258,900
Fairview 19 2,882 $57,212 $250,400
Flat Rock 20 3,181 $63,983 $385,500
Laurel Park 21 2,696 $63,125 $268,000
Royal Pines 22 5,124 $63,268 $211,300
Avery Creek 23 2,605 $55,375 $185,300