Leicester is an unincorporated community in Buncombe County, North Carolina; although incorporating was proposed in 2007, the proposal never passed. Leicester is part of the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2007, Leicester population is 12,514 people. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of 16.26 percent.
Starting in April 1829, a Post Office began operating in the area, then called Turkey Creek. Frontiersman Leicester Chapman purchased a tract of land in the area from the city of Asheville, becoming the Postmaster in 1852. Seven years later, Chapman renamed the area Leicester for the Earl of Leicester, also his own namesake.