Salem, Oregon Population 2021

177,803
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The city’s top employer is the State of Oregon, which provides over 21,000 jobs. The Salem-Keizer School District, Salem Health, Chemeketa Community College and Marion County are other top employers in Salem, each providing thousands of jobs to residents.

Salem Population Growth

Salem has seen continuous and steady growth since its founding. By 1900, the population exceeded 4,000 people. At the time of the next census in 1910, this number had risen to over 14,000 and had almost doubled just 20 years later. In 1970, the population reached over 68,0000 and in 1990 surpassed 100,000. Recent estimates show that the current population count is up 8.3% since the last census was taken in 2010, indicating that this city will continue to see steady growth well into its future.

Salem has been inhabited for over 10,000 years, according to estimates. When the Europeans first arrived at the land that is now Salem, the Kalapuya people occupied the area. The region was known initially as Chim-i-ki-ti until the Methodist Mission came to the city and named it Chemeketa. After the establishment of the Oregon Institute, it was merely called the Institute.

After the dissolution of the Institute, a townsite was laid out by trustees. The town name selected was Salem, although some wanted it to remain Chemeketa. When the territorial capital was moved from Oregon City in 1851, Salem became the new capital until 1855, when it was moved again to Corvallis. However, later that year, Salem was named as the capital again. Salem was incorporated as a city just two years later and before the end of the decade was designated as the state capital.

Salem’s first capitol building was erected in 1855 but burned down just two months later. Another capitol building was developed in 1876 but also burned down in 1935. The third capitol building, which is still in use today, was completed in 1938.

The city’s economy initially revolved around agriculture, which remains vital to the marketplace today. Specifically, Salem has had a thriving cherry-growing industry which gave it the nickname “Cherry City.” The city was selected as the site of the Oregon State Fair and the annual cherry festival. Today, the city is a major food processing center and is home to Kettle Foods, NORPAC Foods and Oregon Fruit Products, Inc.

The city is also home to many universities and other higher education institutes, including Willamette University and Corban University. The largest employer in Salem is the state government, although as previously mentioned agriculture is still critical to the economy. In the 1990s, tech manufacturing plants made their way to the city. Today, Salem has taken on multiple projects to increase housing in the downtown area as well as to add office space to the growing city.

Salem Demographics

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

  • White: 81.53%
  • Two or more races: 6.37%
  • Other race: 5.56%
  • Asian: 2.55%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 1.46%
  • Black or African American: 1.36%
  • Native American: 1.16%
The current population of Salem, Oregon is 177,803based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 172,646.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 154,637.

Salem, Oregon Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021440,9013,4990.79%
2020437,4023,4990.80%
2019433,9033,4990.81%
2018430,4046,1621.43%
2017424,2427,4241.75%
2016416,8188,7962.11%
2015408,0225,9301.45%
2014402,0924,0771.01%
2013398,0151,9390.49%
2012396,0762,0980.53%
2011393,9782,4990.63%
2010391,4790.00%

Salem Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White137,99881.53%
Two or More Races10,7866.37%
Some Other Race9,4125.56%
Asian4,3242.55%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,4761.46%
Black or African American2,3031.36%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,9601.16%
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Salem Population By Race

Salem Population Pyramid 2021

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Salem Median Age

35.9


Total

34.7


Male

36.8


Female

Salem Adults

There are 128,444 adults, (23,910 of whom are seniors) in Salem.

Salem Age Dependency

61.9

Age Dependency Ratio

22.9

Old Age Dependency Ratio

39

Child Dependency Ratio

Salem Sex Ratio

Mujer

83,869

49.55%

Masculino

85,390

50.45%

Salem Population by Age

Salem Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Salem Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married72.1%27.9%
All54.3%45.7%
Masculino42.2%57.8%
Non Family40.7%59.3%
Mujer36%64%

54.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Salem Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All60,5192.6654.3
Married27,3313.472.1
Non Family22,2611.3440.7
Mujer8,0573.4936
Masculino2,8703.5742.2

3.29

Average Family Size

2.66

Average Household Size

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Salem Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade6,8796.19%
9th to 12th Grade7,1506.43%
High School Graduate26,18523.56%
Some College29,69326.71%
Associates Degree9,7008.73%
Bachelors Degree19,46217.51%
Graduate Degree12,08210.87%
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Salem Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Salem Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White82,32477,82027,509
Hispanic19,46711,2641,888
Other Race5,0872,611409
2+ Races5,0403,870775
Asian2,8192,4371,164
Black1,6031,347184
Islander1,214904110
Native American1,15790283

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.53%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 41.29%.

Salem Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Masculino Mujer
Overall$34,678$37,893$31,366
Less Than 9th Grade$24,557$26,943$19,304
High School Graduate$27,159$30,185$24,602
Some College$32,380$36,956$30,241
Bachelors Degree$49,408$60,124$41,583
Graduate Degree$63,198$75,006$55,032

$34,678

Average Earnings

$37,893

Average Male

$31,366

Average Female

Salem Earnings by Educational Attainment

Salem Language by Age

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Salem Language

77.97% of Salem residents speak only English, while 22.03% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 17.12% of the population.

Salem Language

Salem Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White108,73212,15911.18%
Hispanic37,9409,31724.56%
Multiple9,3252,81830.22%
Other8,9972,22224.70%
Islander2,4321,07844.33%
Asian4,03264616.02%
Black2,06657527.83%
Native1,69744926.46%

15.54%

Overall Poverty Rate

14.78%

Male Poverty Rate

16.28%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Salem

The race most likely to be in poverty in Salem is Islander, with 44.33% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Salem is White, with 11.18% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.30%. Among those working part-time, it was 18.15%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 22.99%.

Salem Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade24.41%
High School15.61%
Some College12.43%
Bachelors or Greater4.00%

Salem Poverty Rate by Education

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Name Poverty
Female Unemployed36.37%
Male Unemployed26.94%
Female Employed9.27%
Male Employed7.98%

Salem Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Salem Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$55,920$73,609
Families$68,568$85,406
Married Families$83,712$100,326
Non Families$34,798$49,354
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Income by Household Type

Salem Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

44.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

45.6%

Male Marriage Rate

43.8%

Female Marriage Rate

Salem Married by Age and Sex

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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.

Salem Marital Status by Race

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Salem Marital Status

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9,369

Number of Veterans

8,649

Male Veterans

720

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,281
First Gulf War1,864
Second Gulf War1,395
Korea793
World War II397

Salem Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 542,442
65 to 742,391
75+2,281
55 to 641,604
18 to 34651

Salem Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White8,6098.04%
Hispanic4882.01%
2+ Races2573.90%
Asian1363.90%
Other Race1231.92%
Black1066.14%
Native American1027.54%
Islander362.12%

Salem Veterans by Race

Salem Veterans by Education

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7.00%

Veteran Poverty Rate

31.24%

Veteran Disability Rate

Salem Veterans by Education

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61.7%

Labor Force Participation

58.1%

Employment Rate

5.8%

Unemployment Rate

Salem Employment by Age

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Salem Employment by Race

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Salem Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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50.86%

Born in Salem

88.49%

Native Born

11.51%

Foreign Born

7.53%

Non Citizen

3.98%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

88.49% of Salem residents were born in the United States, with 50.86% having been born in Oregon. 7.53% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Salem Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021177,8031,7190.98%
2020176,0841,7190.99%
2019174,3651,7191.00%
2018172,6463,0191.78%
2017169,6273,1491.89%
2016166,4783,3032.02%
2015163,1752,5001.56%
2014160,6751,8611.17%
2013158,8141,4450.92%
2012157,3691,1980.77%
2011156,1719240.60%
2010155,24718,3231.26%
2000136,92429,1382.42%
1990107,78618,6951.92%
198089,09120,3662.63%
197068,72519,5833.41%
196049,1426,0021.31%
195043,14012,2323.39%
194030,9084,6421.64%
193026,2668,5874.04%
192017,6793,5852.29%
191014,0949,83612.72%
19004,2588602.28%
18903,3988602.96%
18802,5381,3998.34%
18701,1390.00%

Salem Population by Year