Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2019

Winston-Salem is a city located in the state of North Carolina. It is located in Forsyth County, where it serves as the county seat. It is part of the Piedmont Triad region. The city has a long and fascinating history that has led to such nicknames as “Camel City” for its connection with the tobacco industry and “City of Arts and Innovation.” Winston-Salem is the fifth most populous city in the state with recent estimates showing a population of 242,203 people.

Winston-Salem History

Winston-Salem has an unusual name as the result of a merger between the towns of Salem and Winston. Salem was initially founded in 1753 and was incorporated as a town in 1856. A new city was formed in 1849 that was named Winston. Unlike Salem, Winston was a small town that saw little growth in its earliest years. However, growth soon picked up with the connection through the North Carolina Railroad and the establishment of a tobacco warehouse. By the end of the 1880s, the town had a total of nearly 40 tobacco factories.

The post office referred to the neighboring towns as Winston-Salem, which led to the establishment of a separate post office in the late 19th century. In 1913, the municipalities were merged and incorporated as Winston-Salem. In the 1920s, Winston-Salem’s population had grown so large that it was the largest city in the state.

After the merger, tobacco continued to play a significant role in the area. The Reynolds family operated R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, which employed many of the town’s workers. The Reynolds Building, which served as headquarters for the company, was the tallest building in the country at the time it was built in 1929. The company also purchased land to build 180 houses that it turned around and sold to its workers. Today, the city still remains one of the primary manufacturing centers for Reynolds brand cigarettes.

The city only continued to grow in the years that followed. In the 1930s, the first Krispy Kreme was opened in Winston-Salem, and the city remains home to the company’s corporate headquarters today. Other businesses have made their way into Winston-Salem, which is the location of corporate headquarters for companies including Lowes Foods, Hanesbrands and Blue Rhino. Though the city’s economy was formerly centered on textiles and tobacco, more recently nanotech, biotech and high-tech fields have grown in population. Medical research is also a growing industry, with the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center growing to become the largest employer in the city.

Winston-Salem Population and Religion Statistics

Winston-Salem’s estimated population currently reports 244,000. Its last official population count was 229,617 and was recorded during the 2010 census. The city is spread out across 133.7 square miles and has a population density of 1,700 people per square mile.

Approximately 53% of the residents of the city are female, and women own almost 28% of companies. Over 20% of Winston-Salem’s population lives below the federal poverty line.

This city is known for being one of the most religious in the state. Over 54% of residents are affiliated with a religion. The largest religious group is Baptists, which make up almost 16% of the total religious population. Other religions observed in Winston-Salem include Methodist, Catholicism, and Lutheran, to name a few. There are also a minority of residents that follow Eastern religions.

The city’s economy is primarily centered on the health care industry. The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is Winston-Salem’s biggest employer, providing jobs to over 11,000 people. Novant Health, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, the city and county governments, and Reynolds American are also top employers, providing jobs to thousands of people throughout Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem Population Growth

Winston-Salem has continuously seen growth in its population at almost every 10-year census. The city reached over 100,000 residents at the time of the 1960 census and continued to reflect steady growth before surpassing 200,000 residents by the time of the 2010 census. Though growth has slowed a bit, recent estimates show that the population is up 5.5% since the last census, indicating that the city will soon hit its next milestone of 250,000 residents.

Winston Salem Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Winston Salem was:

  • White: 56.22%
  • Black or African American: 34.72%
  • Other race: 4.08%
  • Two or more races: 2.31%
  • Asian: 2.24%
  • Native American: 0.32%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.11%
LatLng(36.0999, -80.2442)
Rank in State5th
StateNorth Carolina
CountyForsyth County
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Land Area (km²)343.17 (132.50 mi²)
Water Area (km²)3.17 (1.22 mi²)
TypeCity
GEOID3775000
Density (km²)717.79
Density (mi²)1,859.09
Area Code(s)336
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2018246,3281,9550.80%
2017244,3732,7171.12%
2016241,6561,9600.82%
2015239,6961,1880.50%
2014238,5082,7671.17%
2013235,7411,8740.80%
2012233,8672,0200.87%
2011231,8471,8140.79%
2010230,03344,2572.16%
2000185,77642,2912.62%
1990143,48511,6000.85%
1980131,885-1,798-0.14%
1970133,68322,5481.86%
1960111,13523,3242.38%
195087,8117,9960.96%
194079,8154,5410.59%
193075,27426,8794.52%
192048,39525,6957.86%
191022,7009,0005.18%
190013,7003,0002.50%
189010,7006,60010.07%
18804,1003,70026.20%
18704000.00%
Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2018671,4564,7100.70%
2017666,7465,7120.86%
2016661,0344,6820.71%
2015656,3522,9490.45%
2014653,4033,3960.52%
2013650,0073,1600.49%
2012646,8472,5860.40%
2011644,2612,9690.46%
2010641,2920.00%

Population by Race

Race Population
White135,034
Black or African American83,401
Some Other Race9,810
Two or More Races5,538
Asian5,376
American Indian and Alaska Native761
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander273

Winston Salem Population Pyramid 2019

Winston Salem Median Age

35.3


Total

33.9


Male

36.5


Female

Winston Salem Adults

There are 182,824 adults, (32,964 of whom are seniors) in Winston Salem.

Winston Salem Age Dependency

60.3

Age Dependency Ratio

22

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38.3

Child Dependency Ratio

Winston Salem Sex Ratio

Female

127,326

53.01%

Male

112,867

46.99%

Winston Salem Households and Families

Winston Salem Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Winston Salem Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married74.3%25.7%
All54.5%45.5%
Non Family42.9%57.1%
Female39.8%60.2%
Male38.3%61.7%

54.5%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All94,1052.4554.5
Non Family38,4101.2142.9
Married36,7673.2574.3
Female15,0113.439.8
Male3,9173.4238.3

3.21

Average Family Size

2.45

Average Household Size

5.6%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Winston Salem Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,3765.42%
9th to 12th Grade12,0687.80%
High School Graduate36,68623.73%
Some College33,44221.63%
Associates Degree11,2967.31%
Bachelors Degree31,68720.49%
Graduate Degree21,06813.63%

Winston Salem Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White80,88675,80236,914
Black51,64645,12611,233
Hispanic16,5708,4831,801
Other Race4,4671,855320
Asian3,4172,9812,087
Multiple Races1,9571,758625
Native American474435147
Islander5220

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.71%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 61.08%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$31,445$35,063$29,440
Less Than High School$17,672$20,871$13,402
High School Grad$24,008$26,243$20,853
Some College$29,515$32,058$26,991
Bachelors Degree$42,146$48,461$38,419
Graduate Degree$59,961$77,292$48,724

$31,445

Average Earnings

$35,063

Average Male

$29,440

Average Female

Winston Salem Language

Winston Salem Language by Age

Winston Salem Language

82.87% of Winston Salem residents speak only English, while 17.13% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.55% of the population.

Winston Salem Poverty

Winston Salem Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black79,45623,94730.14%
Hispanic35,17815,70444.64%
White105,91812,23811.55%
Other9,5774,18843.73%
Multiple5,2931,20722.80%
Asian4,80958112.08%
Native76020226.58%
Islander25812548.45%

23.28%

Overall Poverty Rate

21.47%

Male Poverty Rate

24.88%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Winston Salem

The race most likely to be in poverty in Winston Salem is Islander, with 48.45% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Winston Salem is White, with 11.55% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.22%. Among those working part-time, it was 26.49%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 30.64%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School40.58%
High School22.21%
Some College15.52%
Bachelors or Greater6.08%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed46.93%
Male Unemployed38.03%
Female Employed13.06%
Male Employed10.47%

Winston Salem Income

Winston Salem Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$42,219$66,187
Families$55,119$79,750
Married Families$73,229$101,635
Non Families$29,021$44,420

Winston Salem Marital Status

Winston Salem Marital Status

Marriage Rates

40.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

44.2%

Male Marriage Rate

37.5%

Female Marriage Rate

Winston Salem Married by Age and Sex

Winston Salem Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Winston Salem Marital Status by Race

Winston Salem Veterans

13,962

Number of Veterans

12,493

Male Veterans

1,469

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam4,580
First Gulf War2,784
Second Gulf War2,197
Korea1,492
World War II654
Age Group Veterans
35 to 543,846
65 to 743,230
75+3,076
55 to 642,722
18 to 341,088

Winston Salem Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White8,4037.85%
Black5,1768.28%
Hispanic4502.20%
2 or More1917.02%
Indian13721.75%
Other450.85%
Hawaiian105.56%

Winston Salem Veterans by Education

9.31%

Veteran Poverty Rate

23.02%

Veteran Disability Rate

Winston Salem Employment Status

61.2%

Labor Force Participation

56.1%

Employment Rate

8.2%

Unemployment Rate

Winston Salem Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

58.30%

Born in North Carolina

90.19%

Native Born

9.81%

Foreign Born

6.70%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

90.19% of Winston Salem residents were born in the United States, with 58.30% having been born in North Carolina. 6.70% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.