U.Va. Graduate Guide

U.Va. & Charlottesville Facts

All About the University


A Top-Ranked City

#1 City in America, Frommer's Cities Ranked and Rated
In 2004, the Charlottesville metropolitan area, encompassing the city and Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Greene counties, beat out 402 other metro areas in the United States and Canada to claim the title in Frommer's Cities Ranked and Rated, authored by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander. Charlottesville was commended for its low unemployment and crime rates, good health care, temperate climate, and cultural amenities. (The Daily Progress)

Recent & Notable Rankings

In 2013, Travel Channels ranked Charlottesville as a Top College Towns.

In 2013, Times Magazine ranked Charlottesville as #4 in Best Cities for Working Women in the U.S.

In 2012 Southern Living ranked Charlottesville as one of the South's Best College Towns.

In 2011 Gallup Wellbeing in #2 U.S. University Towns in Well Being.

Other rankings over the years include:

  • #1 - Healthiest city in Virginia and the 26th healthiest city in the nation.
  • #1 - U.Va. "Hottest for Fitness."
  • #1 - Best Place to Live among Small Cities in the South
  • #1 - Best Climate on East Coast, American Association of State Climatologists
  • #1 - Tops among small cities in the ePodunk College Town Index, 2002
  • #1 - Tops in the state in the ePodunk Historic Small Towns Index, June 2001
  • #2 - Healthiest Place to Live, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine
  • #6 - Top Ten Cities That Have It All, Arts & Entertainment TV
  • #7 - Best Place to Raise a Family, Reader's Digest
  • #8 - Best College Towns: The Coolest Places to Work, Play, Study, Party, and Live

Location and Climate

A half-hour to the west of Charlottesville is the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Blue Ridge Mountains. A three-hour drive to the east brings you to Atlantic Ocean beaches. Richmond, the state capital, is only one hour away by car, and Washington, D.C., is just two hours north. The average July high is 88 degrees. The average January low is 26 degrees. Charlottesville averages over 200 days of sunshine a year.


  • Charlottesville Population: 43,475 (2012 census)
  • Albemarle County Population: 98,970 (2010 census)
  • Charlottesville and surrounding counties: 144,000
  • 2010 Census Population Statistics (including age, gender, race)

Quality of Life

Odds & Ends

Charlottesville was named for Princess Charlotte, wife of George III.

Charlottesville was the filming location for 1991 movie, "True Colors" (which focuses on friends from law school) and 1995 movie, "Major Payne." The nearby Miller School was the location for "Toy Soldiers." "Evan Almighty" was filmed in Crozet and is directed by U.Va. alumnus Tom Shadyac.

Charlottesville and its surrounding areas have their share of celebs, including Sissy Spacek, Howie Long, Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid; authors John Grisham, Tami Hoag (mysteries), Jan Karon (Jessica Mitford series), and Rita Mae Brown (Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries); and former poet laureate Rita Dove (The Hook 2003-2004 Annual Manual).

Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe all called Charlottesville or its environs home, as did explorer Meriwether Lewis.

The Dave Matthews Band put in its time as a college band in Charlottesville and some of its band members still call the town home. DMB manager Coran Capshaw is a major real estate developer in Charlottesville.