Mars Hill, North Carolina

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Mars Hill, North Carolina
Main Street in Mars Hill
Main Street in Mars Hill
Official seal of Mars Hill, North Carolina
"A great place to...LIVE WORK PLAY LEARN"
Location of Mars Hill, North Carolina
Location of Mars Hill, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°49′43″N 82°32′52″W / 35.82861°N 82.54778°W / 35.82861; -82.54778Coordinates: 35°49′43″N 82°32′52″W / 35.82861°N 82.54778°W / 35.82861; -82.54778
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • Total2.10 sq mi (5.45 km2)
 • Land2.10 sq mi (5.45 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation2,310 ft (700 m)
 • Total2,007
 • Density954.35/sq mi (368.43/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code828
FIPS code37-41620[3]
GNIS feature ID0989359[2]

Mars Hill is a town in Madison County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,869 at the 2010 U.S. Census, and was estimated at 2,032 in 2018 by the U.S. Census. It is the home of Mars Hill University, the name of which was inspired by Acts 17:22.[4] The town is located 15 miles (24 km) due north of Asheville. Interstate 26 passes one mile east of the town. It is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Long occupied by indigenous peoples, this area was not settled by European Americans much before the American Revolutionary War. They were mostly yeomen and subsistence farmers, many of whom had Scots-Irish ethnicity. The California Creek Missionary Baptist Church, Mars Hill College Historic District, Mars Hill High School, and Thomas J. Murray House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[5]


Mars Hill is located at 35°49′43″N 82°32′52″W / 35.82861°N 82.54778°W / 35.82861; -82.54778 (35.828496, -82.547843).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land. The town has an elevation of 2,330 feet (710 m), so the climate of the area is considerably cooler than might be expected of a town in a southern state.

Higher education[edit]

Mars Hill University, a private, coed, liberal-arts college, is located in Mars Hill. Founded in 1856 by local Baptists, it is the oldest college or university in western North Carolina. Although it is no longer directly associated with a Baptist church or organization, the university does state that "it is an academic community rooted in the Christian faith." Due to the presence of the university, residents of the town of Mars Hill enjoy a much greater variety of cultural, intellectual, and entertainment offerings than would usually be found in a town of its size. The university's enrollment typically runs from 1300 to 1600 students; they are not included in the census calculations of the town's population.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

2020 census[edit]

Mars Hill racial composition[8]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,615 80.47%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 139 6.93%
Native American 5 0.25%
Asian 23 1.15%
Pacific Islander 1 0.05%
Other/Mixed 98 4.88%
Hispanic or Latino 126 6.28%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,007 people, 742 households, and 440 families residing in the town.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 1,764 people, 541 households, and 312 families residing in the town. The population density was 911.7 people per square mile (352.9/km2). There were 586 housing units at an average density of 302.9 per square mile (117.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.21% White, 5.95% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.85% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.36% of the population.

There were 541 households, out of which 20.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.68.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 11.7% under the age of 18, 43.1% from 18 to 24, 16.2% from 25 to 44, 15.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $32,917, and the median income for a family was $45,000. Males had a median income of $29,615 versus $23,625 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,366. About 11.1% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.1% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 64 or over.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mars Hill, North Carolina
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "History of Mars Hill College". Archived from the original on 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  9. ^ Chandler, John Wesley. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  10. ^ Deep in Tradition | Tommy Hunter | June Appal Recordings. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Where Dead Voices Gather: Life After 78 RPM. The Anthology of American Folk Folk Music. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  12. ^ The Fall of Saigon and Ambassador Graham Martin. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  13. ^ Ray Rapp's Biography. Retrieved 26 May 2019.

External links[edit]