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Mars Hill, North Carolina
Official seal of Mars Hill, North Carolina
Motto: "A great place to...LIVE WORK PLAY LEARN"
Location of Mars Hill, North Carolina
Location of Mars Hill, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Madison
 • Total 1.9 sq mi (5.0 km2)
 • Land 1.9 sq mi (5.0 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 2,320 ft (707 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,869
 • Density 911.7/sq mi (352.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 28754
Area code(s) 828
FIPS code 37-41620
GNIS feature ID 0989359
Website Official website

Mars Hill is a town in Madison County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,869 at the 2010 U.S. Census. It is the home of Mars Hill University, the name of which was inspired by Acts 17:22. The town is located 15 miles (24 km) due north of Asheville, western North Carolina's largest city. Interstate 26 passes a 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.


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).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all of it 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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 289
1910 301 4.2%
1920 364 20.9%
1930 455 25.0%
1940 517 13.6%
1950 1,404 171.6%
1960 1,574 12.1%
1970 1,623 3.1%
1980 2,126 31.0%
1990 1,611 −24.2%
2000 1,764 9.5%
2010 1,869 6.0%
Est. 2015 2,256 20.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census 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 65 or over.

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