Albemarle County, Virginia

Albemarle County is a county located in the Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its county seat is Charlottesville, which is an independent city and enclave entirely surrounded by the county.[2] Albemarle County is part of the Charlottesville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of Albemarle County was 98,970,[3] more than triple the 1960 census count.

Albemarle County
The Albemarle County Office Building

Location within the U.S. state of Virginia

Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°02′N 78°34′W
Country United States
State Virginia
Named forWillem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle[1]
Largest communityHollymead
  Total726 sq mi (1,880 km2)
  Land721 sq mi (1,870 km2)
  Water5 sq mi (10 km2)  0.7%
  Density140/sq mi (53/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district5th

Albemarle County was created in 1744 from the western portion of Goochland County, though portions of Albemarle were later carved out to create other counties. Albemarle County was named in honor of Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle. However, its most famous inhabitant was Thomas Jefferson, who built his estate home, Monticello, in the county.


At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Albemarle County were a Siouan-speaking tribe called the Saponi.[4] In 1744, the Virginia General Assembly created Albemarle County from the western portion of Goochland County.[5] The county was named in honor of Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle and titular Governor of Virginia at the time.[6] The large county was partitioned in 1761, forming Buckingham and Amherst counties, at which time the county seat was moved from the formerly central Scottsville to a piece of newly central land, christened Charlottesville.[6] In 1777, Albemarle County was divided and Fluvanna County established, finalizing the boundaries of modern Albemarle County.

Albemarle County is well known for its association with President and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, who was born in the County at Shadwell, though it was then part of Goochland County.[7] However, his home of Monticello is located in the County.[8]

During the Civil War, the Battle of Rio Hill was a skirmish in which Union cavalry raided a Confederate camp in Albemarle County, Virginia.

Until the Civil War, the majority of Albemarle County's population consisted of enslaved African Americans.[9]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 726 square miles (1,880 km2), of which 721 square miles (1,870 km2) is land and 5 square miles (13 km2) (0.7%) is water.[10]


The Rivanna River's south fork forms in Albemarle County and was historically important for transportation. The south fork flows in-between Darden Towe Park and Pen Park. Boat ramp access is available at Darden Towe Park. The James River acts as a natural border between Albemarle and Buckingham Counties.

Major highways

Protected areas

Albemarle's western border with Augusta and Rockingham Counties is located within the Shenandoah National Park.

Adjacent counties

Albemarle County borders 8 other counties, more than any other county in Virginia.

Parks and recreation[11]

  • Beaver Creek Lake
  • Chris Green Lake
  • Darden Towe
  • Charlotte Y. Humphris Park
  • Ivy Creek Natural Area
  • Mint Springs Valley
  • Patricia Ann Byrom Forest Preserve Park
  • Preddy Creek Trail Park
  • Simpson Park
  • Totier Creek Park
  • Walnut Creek Park


Historical population
Est. 2018108,718[12]9.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2015[3]

The largest self-reported ancestry groups in Albemarle County are English 16.3%, German 16.0%, Irish 12.7%, "American" 11.4% and Italian 5.2%.[17]

As of the census[18] of 2010, there were 98,970 people, 38,157 households, and 24,578 families residing in the county. The population density was 137 people per square mile (52.8/km2). There were 42,122 housing units at an average density of 58 per square mile (22.4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.6% White, 9.7% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. 5.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 38,157 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 25.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 12.3% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females there were 92.69 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.59 males.

22% of Albemarle residents have a graduate or professional degree, compared with 10% nationwide.

The median income for a household in the county was $63,001, and the median income for a family was $98,934. Males had a median income of $55,530 versus $52,211 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,718. About 3.8% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.0% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.


35% of people working in Albemarle live in the county, while 65% commute in. 19% of those commuting in live in Charlottesville, while the remainder live in the surrounding counties. 26,800 people commute out of Albemarle for work. 48% of those commute to Charlottesville, making up 51% of Charlottesville's in-commuters. In 2018, Albemarle had a 2.7% unemployment rate, compared with a national rate of 3.9%.[19]

The top 10 employers as of Q2 2019 were:[19]

  1. University of Virginia
  2. County of Albemarle
  3. Sentara Healthcare
  4. U.S. Department of Defense
  5. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
  6. Atlantic Coast Athletic Club
  7. Piedmont Virginia Community College
  8. Northrop Grumman Corporation
  9. Crutchfield Corporation
  10. Walmart

36% of workers in Albemarle are employed by the government, with 898 working for the federal government, 12,476 working for the state government, and 4,127 working for the local government.[19]


Albemarle is governed by an elected six-member Board of Supervisors. Management of the County is vested in a Board-appointed County Executive.[20]

Board of Supervisors of Albemarle County[21]
Name Party First election District
  Rick Randolph Dem 2015 Scottsville
  Diantha McKeel Dem 2013 Jack Jouett
  Liz Palmer Dem 2013 Samuel Miller
  Ned Gallaway Dem 2017 Rio
  Ann Mallek (Chair) Dem 2007 White Hall
  Norman Dill (Vice-Chair) Dem 2015 Rivanna

There are also several elected Constitutional Officers:[22]

  • Clerk of the Circuit Court: John Zugg (D)
  • Commonwealth's Attorney: Robert Neira Tracci, (R)
  • Sheriff: J.E. "Chip" Harding (R)

The nonpartisan School Board is also elected. Its members are:[23]

  • Kate Acuff (Chair, Jack Jouett Magisterial District)
  • Katrina Callsen (Rio Magisterial District)
  • Jason Buyaki (Rivanna Magisterial District)
  • Graham Paige (Samuel Miller Magisterial District)
  • Stephen Koleszar (Vice Chair, Scottsville District)
  • David Oberg (White Hall Magisterial District)
  • Jonno Alcaro (Vice-Chairmen, At-Large)

Albemarle is represented by Republican Bryce Reeves and Democrat Creigh Deeds in the Virginia State Senate, Republican Steve Landes Democrat David Toscano, Republican Rob Bell, and Republican Matt Fariss in the Virginia House of Delegates, and Republican Denver Riggleman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[24]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 34.0% 19,259 58.8% 33,345 7.3% 4,122
2012 43.2% 23,297 55.2% 29,757 1.6% 853
2008 40.4% 20,576 58.4% 29,792 1.2% 616
2004 48.5% 21,189 50.5% 22,088 1.0% 449
2000 49.6% 18,291 44.1% 16,255 6.2% 2,300
1996 48.8% 15,243 45.1% 14,089 6.1% 1,896
1992 43.7% 13,894 43.7% 13,886 12.7% 4,024
1988 58.7% 15,117 40.2% 10,363 1.1% 273
1984 64.2% 14,455 35.4% 7,982 0.4% 93
1980 53.2% 10,424 37.2% 7,293 9.5% 1,865
1976 54.6% 9,084 44.0% 7,310 1.4% 238
1972 65.2% 8,447 33.2% 4,303 1.6% 201
1968 53.5% 4,512 26.7% 2,255 19.8% 1,674
1964 51.5% 3,251 48.5% 3,062 0.0% 2
1960 59.5% 3,135 39.9% 2,102 0.7% 35
1956 57.2% 2,508 32.2% 1,412 10.6% 466
1952 60.3% 2,523 39.3% 1,642 0.4% 18
1948 40.3% 984 48.2% 1,178 11.5% 281
1944 35.7% 964 63.9% 1,725 0.4% 12
1940 32.7% 804 67.1% 1,648 0.2% 6
1936 25.7% 635 74.0% 1,825 0.3% 7
1932 20.4% 508 78.2% 1,949 1.4% 34
1928 35.0% 846 65.0% 1,571
1924 20.3% 366 76.8% 1,383 3.0% 53
1920 25.4% 541 74.6% 1,587
1916 14.0% 223 86.1% 1,376
1912 9.6% 144 80.8% 1,215 9.6% 144

Emergency services

Albemarle County has two branches of law enforcement, the Albemarle County Police Department, which handles criminal matters and is directed by the appointed police chief, Colonel Steve Sellers. The second branch is the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office, which handles civil service in the county and they are directed by the elected Sheriff Chip Harding.

EMS services are provided by three volunteer rescue squads and Albemarle County Fire Rescue. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad, located in the City of Charlottesville, providing 24hr EMS services to the City of Charlottesville and on nights and weekends in particular areas of the county, the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, located in Crozet, and the Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, located in the town of Scottsville. Albemarle County Fire Rescue operates 6 Advance Life Support ambulances, Medic 4 (Earlysville), Medic 8 (Seminole), Medic 11 (Monticello), Medic 12 (Hollymead), Medic 15 (Ivy), and Medic 16 (Pantops).

Albemarle County Fire/Rescue system is a combination system that consists of seven volunteer fire stations and three career fire stations (Hollymead, Ivy and Monticello). Three of the volunteer stations (stations 3, 5, and 7) are covered 24 hours a day by volunteers. The other volunteer stations (2, 4, 6, and 8) are supplemented by career staff Monday - Friday, 6AM - 6PM. Volunteers operate these stations weeknights from 6PM - 6AM as well as weekends and holidays. The three career stations are staffed 24 hours by both career and volunteer firefighters Volunteer and career firefighters are trained and work together to provide Fire and EMS services to the population of Albemarle County.

Albemarle County Fire Rescue has begun building a station (Station 16) in the eastern portion of the county near Pantops area slated to open in Fall of 2018.

Fire stations[25]

  • Crozet Volunteer Fire Department (Station 5)
  • Earlysville Volunteer Fire Company (Station 4)
  • East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company (Station 2)
  • Hollymead Fire Rescue (Station 12)
  • Ivy Fire Rescue (Station 15)
  • Monticello Fire Rescue (Station 11)
  • North Garden Volunteer Fire Company (Station 3)
  • Scottsville Volunteer Fire Department (Station 7)
  • Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department (Station 8)
  • Stony Point Volunteer Fire Company (Station 6)

Rescue squads[25]

  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (Rescue 1)
  • Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad (Rescue 7)
  • Western Albemarle Rescue Squad (Rescue 5)


The Albemarle County Public School System operates public education in the County. It provides education to nearly 14,000 students including preschool through high school. The Albemarle County Public School System's mission is to "establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time." [26] ACPS provides 25 school facilities[26] which include Murray High School, a charter school, that is located in the City of Charlottesville. , Albemarle High School, Western Albemarle High School, and Monticello High School.[27] The School Board and the Superintendent, Dr. Pamela Moran, work closely together in operating the Albemarle County Public School System.

The School Board has 7 members, elected by Magisterial District:

  • Kate Acuff (Chair, Jack Jouett district)
  • Pamela Moynihan (Rio district)
  • Jason Buyaki (Rivanna district)
  • Graham Paige (Samuel Miller district)
  • Stephen Koleszar (Vice Chair, Scottsville district)
  • David Oberg (White Hall district)
  • Jonno Alcaro (At Large)

Many private schools in Albemarle serve the County and students from surrounding areas. These include:

Some students attend several private schools in the City of Charlottesville.

Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is the regional library system that provides services to the citizens of Albemarle.


The city of Charlottesville is enclaved within Albemarle County. Under Virginia law in effect since 1871, all municipalities in the state incorporated as cities are legally and politically independent of any county.


There is only one incorporated town in Albemarle County:

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Many of these unincorporated areas have Charlottesville addresses.

Notable residents

See also


  1. "County Overview". County of Albemarle. Archived from the original on 19 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  4. Swanton, John R. (1952), The Indian Tribes of North America, Smithsonian Institution, p. 72, ISBN 0-8063-1730-2, OCLC 52230544
  5. Pawlett, Nathaniel (1976). "An Index to Roads Shown in the Albemarle County Surveyors Books 1744-1853" (PDF). Charlottesville, Virginia: Virginia Highway & Transportation Research Council. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. Atkins, Ace (2007-03-27). "A county by any other name?". C-Ville Weekly. Portico Publications. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  7. Henry Stephens Randall, The Life of Thomas Jefferson
  8. "Albemarle County". Commonwealth of Virginia. Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2008-10-11. Albemarle County is widely recognized as rich in history and beauty. Among its historic attractions are Monticello, home to President Thomas Jefferson...
  9. "Enslaved Population in Virginia". Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  10. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. "Parks". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  12. "County Population Totals and Components of Change: 2010-2018". Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  13. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  14. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  15. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  16. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  17. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-17. Retrieved 2015-03-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  20. "County Executive". County of Albemarle, VA. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  21. "Board of Supervisors Home". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  22. "Circuit Court Clerk's Office". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  23. "Meet the Board Members". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  24. Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  25. "System & Stations". Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  26. "Division Fact Sheet". Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  27. "Our Schools". Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  28. Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  29. National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Mirador (Boundary Increase) (Report). Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Historic Resources. 7 April 2003.
  30. "Inside The New York Times Book Review: John Grisham on 'The Whistler'". The New York Times. 2016-11-04. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  31. Healy, Patrick. "Grisham's 'Time to Kill' Coming to Broadway". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  32. Obituary of Claude Hampton Hall (1922-2001), Bryan-College Station, Texas, Eagle, April 4, 2001

Further reading

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