Charlottesville, Virginia

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Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.

The population was 40,745 according to the 2004 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau.[4] It is the county seat of Albemarle County[5] though the two are separate legal entities. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing the total population to 118,398. The city is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.

In 2004, Charlottesville was ranked the best place to live in the United States in the book Cities Ranked and Rated by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander. Sperling and Sander ranked the cities based on cost of living, climate, and quality of life.[citation needed] Charlottesville is best known as being the home to two U.S. Presidents (Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe), and nearby is that of James Madison in Orange, as well as the home of the University of Virginia, which, along with Monticello is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monticello, Jefferson's mountain-top home, attracts approximately half a million tourists every year.[6]

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