Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2018

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 very interesting 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 interesting name as the result of a merger between the towns of Salem and Winston. Salem was originally founded in 1753 and was incorporated as a town in 1856. A new town 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 towns were merged and incorporated as Winston-Salem. In the 1920s, Winston-Salem’s population had grown so large, it was the largest city in the state.

After the merger, tobacco continued to play a large 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, bio-tech 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 Demographics

Winston Salem’s estimated population tops 242,000. 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.

Over 51% of Winston-Salem’s residents are white. Over 34% are black, 2% are black, while 14.7% are Hispanic or Latino. Approximately 53% of the residents of the city are female, and almost 28% of companies are owned by women. 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, just 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.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2017244,6052,8001.16%
2016241,8051,7970.75%
2015240,0081,2820.54%
2014238,7262,8081.19%
2013235,9181,8950.81%
2012234,0231,9570.84%
2011232,0662,0190.88%
2010230,04744,2712.16%
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%

Winston Salem Population in 2018Source: By Vasiliymeshko [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Population by Race

Race Population
White135,142
Black or African American83,275
Some Other Race8,964
Two or More Races5,747
Asian4,802
American Indian and Alaska Native355
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander189

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey)

Winston Salem Population Pyramid 2018

0%2%4%6%8% Male Population0%2%4%6%8% Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

Data via US Census (2016 ACS 5-Year Survey): Table S0101

Winston Salem Median Age

35


Total

33.6


Male

36.2


Female

Winston Salem Adults

There are 180,763 adults, (31,717 of which are seniors) in Winston Salem.

Winston Salem Age Dependency

60.1

Age Dependency Ratio

21.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38.8

Child Dependency Ratio

Winston Salem Sex Ratio

Female

126,707

53.13%

Male

111,767

46.87%

Winston Salem Households and Families

Winston Salem Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Winston Salem Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married75%25%
All54.1%45.9%
Non Family42%58%
Male42%58%
Female39.3%60.7%

54.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Winston Salem Households by Type

Type Count Average Size Owned
All94,4032.4254.1
Non Family38,6441.2242
Married36,0123.2175
Female15,5273.3439.3
Male4,2203.3942

3.17

Average Family Size

2.42

Average Household Size

5.5%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Winston Salem Households

Winston Salem Education

Winston Salem Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,9005.83%
9th to 12th Grade12,3248.08%
High School Graduate36,50123.92%
Some College32,00920.98%
Associates Degree10,6817.00%
Bachelors Degree31,41020.59%
Graduate Degree20,74513.60%

Winston Salem Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White80,31274,85936,838
Black50,65644,10810,826
Hispanic16,5097,9091,656
Other Race4,0681,734248
Asian3,0812,7401,946
Multiple Races2,0811,912880
Native American27422884
Islander439

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.21%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 63.16%.

Winston Salem Earnings by Educational Attainment

Name Average Male Female
Overall$30,632$32,296$28,244
Less Than High School$16,801$18,826$12,487
High School Grad$24,054$26,117$21,195
Some College$28,112$31,426$25,675
Bachelors Degree$41,762$49,579$37,292
Graduate Degree$56,807$75,569$47,189

$30,632

Average Earnings

$32,296

Average Male

$28,244

Average Female

Winston Salem Language

Winston Salem Language by Age

Winston Salem Language

83.42% of Winston Salem residents speak only English, while 16.58% speak other languages. The largest non-English language is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.38% of the population.

Winston Salem Poverty

Winston Salem Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black79,29225,79732.53%
Hispanic34,92015,94345.66%
White105,99512,41611.71%
Other8,7283,39138.85%
Multiple5,5471,29123.27%
Asian4,29370716.47%
Native3539426.63%
Islander1766939.20%

24.28%

Overall Poverty Rate

22.96%

Male Poverty Rate

25.44%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Winston Salem

The race most likely to be in poverty in Winston Salem is Hispanic, with 45.66% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Winston Salem is White, with 11.71% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 5.73%. Among those working part-time, it was 27.20%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 31.94%.

Winston Salem Poverty Rate by Education

Name Poverty
Less Than High School41.04%
High School22.04%
Some College16.92%
Bachelors or Greater6.35%

Winston Salem Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Name Poverty
Female Unemployed50.69%
Male Unemployed42.89%
Female Employed13.37%
Male Employed11.30%

Winston Salem Income

Winston Salem Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$40,898$63,810
Families$53,105$77,012
Married Families$71,361$99,069
Non Families$27,889$42,982

Winston Salem Marital Status

Winston Salem Marital Status

Marriage Rates

40.4%

Overall Marriage Rate

43.7%

Male Marriage Rate

37.7%

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 Over65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35To44.

Winston Salem Marital Status by Race

Winston Salem Veterans

Winston Salem Veterans by War

14,319

Number of Veterans

12,905

Male Veterans

1,414

Female Veterans

Name Veterans
Vietnam4,513
First Gulf War2,679
Second Gulf War1,810
Korea1,652
World War II756

Winston Salem Veterans by Age

Name Veterans
35 to 543,966
75+3,245
65 to 743,153
55 to 642,812
18 to 341,143

Winston Salem Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White8,8658.31%
Black5,1278.31%
Hispanic4432.19%
2 or More2257.97%
Indian4716.43%
Other320.65%
Asian230.60%

Winston Salem Veterans by Education

10.65%

Veteran Poverty Rate

24.18%

Veteran Disability Rate

Winston Salem Employment Status

Winston Salem Employment by Age

62.5%

Labor Force Participation

56.1%

Employment Rate

9.9%

Unemployment Rate

Winston Salem Employment by Race

Winston Salem Employment by Education

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

58.02%

Born in North Carolina

90.33%

Native Born

9.67%

Foreign Born

6.74%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

90.33% of Winston Salem residents were born in the United States, with 58.02% having been born in North Carolina. 6.74% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.