Salem, Oregon Population 2020

179,944

Salem is a city located in Marion County, Oregon. With a 2020 population of 179,944, it is the 2nd largest city in Oregon (after Portland) and the 145th largest city in the United States. Salem is currently growing at a rate of 1.84% annually and its population has increased by 16.37% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 154,637 in 2010. Spanning over 49 miles, Salem has a population density of 3,696 people per square mile.

The average household income in Salem is $70,524 with a poverty rate of 15.60%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $922 per month, and the median house value is $223,200. The median age in Salem is 35.4 years, 34.6 years for males, and 36.3 years for females. For every 100 females there are 102.3 males.

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: 80.88%
  • Two or more races: 6.76%
  • Other race: 5.43%
  • Asian: 2.70%
  • Black or African American: 1.53%
  • Native American: 1.37%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 1.32%
The current population of Salem, Oregon is 179,944, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 173,442. The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 154,637.
Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020446,3707,1341.60%
2019439,2367,1341.62%
2018432,1027,1341.65%
2017424,9687,6841.81%
2016417,2849,0062.16%
2015408,2786,0091.47%
2014402,2694,1281.03%
2013398,1412,0030.50%
2012396,1382,1580.54%
2011393,9802,4840.63%
2010391,4960.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White134,87780.88%
Two or More Races11,2666.76%
Some Other Race9,0615.43%
Asian4,5052.70%
Black or African American2,5481.53%
American Indian and Alaska Native2,2911.37%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2,2081.32%

Salem Population Pyramid 2020

Salem Median Age

35.4


Total

34.6


Male

36.3


Female

Salem Adults

There are 126,223 adults, (23,257 of whom are seniors) in Salem.

Salem Age Dependency

62

Age Dependency Ratio

22.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

39.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Salem Sex Ratio

Female

82,418

49.42%

Male

84,338

50.58%

Salem Households and Families

Salem Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Salem Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married71%29%
All53.3%46.7%
Non Family40.4%59.6%
Male39.2%60.8%
Female34%66%

53.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All59,6932.6653.3
Married26,9103.3871
Non Family22,2611.3740.4
Female7,5673.5234
Male2,9553.5639.2

3.29

Average Family Size

2.66

Average Household Size

6.8%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.4%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Salem Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade6,8666.28%
9th to 12th Grade7,3666.74%
High School Graduate27,38125.05%
Some College28,54526.11%
Associates Degree9,2598.47%
Bachelors Degree18,51116.93%
Graduate Degree11,38210.41%

Salem Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White81,00876,29926,093
Hispanic18,87210,7861,617
Multiple Races5,2343,913730
Other Race4,8472,570279
Asian3,0742,5141,253
Black1,6891,450202
Native American1,5531,01186
Islander1,034805113

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.19%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 40.76%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,424$36,064$30,069
Less Than High School$22,284$24,538$17,129
High School Grad$27,355$29,143$25,455
Some College$31,786$36,368$28,717
Bachelors Degree$50,305$60,937$40,773
Graduate Degree$62,867$70,809$53,688

$32,424

Average Earnings

$36,064

Average Male

$30,069

Average Female

Salem Language

Salem Language by Age

Salem Language

77.71% of Salem residents speak only English, while 22.29% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 17.16% of the population.

Salem Poverty

Salem Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White107,63712,52511.64%
Hispanic36,9218,85323.98%
Multiple9,9242,66526.85%
Other8,5621,86921.83%
Islander2,1681,15953.46%
Black2,21473633.24%
Asian4,23057613.62%
Native2,06650224.30%

15.60%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.12%

Male Poverty Rate

16.08%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Salem

The race most likely to be in poverty in Salem is Islander, with 53.46% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Salem is White, with 11.64% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.34%. Among those working part-time, it was 19.51%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 22.24%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School20.90%
High School16.56%
Some College12.15%
Bachelors or Greater4.04%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed34.99%
Male Unemployed25.27%
Female Employed9.97%
Male Employed8.27%

Salem Income

Salem Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$53,619$70,524
Families$65,430$81,853
Married Families$80,173$96,062
Non Families$33,946$47,796

Salem Marital Status

Salem Marital Status

Marriage Rates

44.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

45.2%

Male Marriage Rate

44.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Salem Married by Age and Sex

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

Salem Veterans

10,141

Number of Veterans

9,253

Male Veterans

888

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam3,643
First Gulf War1,976
Second Gulf War1,363
Korea1,019
World War II521
Age Group Veterans
75+2,637
35 to 542,498
65 to 742,432
55 to 641,843
18 to 34731
Name Veterans % of Total
White9,3298.91%
Hispanic5232.23%
2 or More2363.55%
Asian1714.55%
Black1427.46%
Other1171.96%
Indian1176.73%
Hawaiian292.08%

$Salem Veterans by Education

7.07%

Veteran Poverty Rate

33.39%

Veteran Disability Rate

Salem Employment Status

61.8%

Labor Force Participation

57.8%

Employment Rate

6.3%

Unemployment Rate

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

50.39%

Born in Oregon

88.35%

Native Born

11.65%

Foreign Born

7.75%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

88.35% of Salem residents were born in the United States, with 50.39% having been born in Oregon. 7.75% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020179,9443,2511.84%
2019176,6933,2511.87%
2018173,4423,5922.11%
2017169,8503,2511.95%
2016166,5993,3482.05%
2015163,2512,5301.57%
2014160,7211,8781.18%
2013158,8431,4740.94%
2012157,3691,2230.78%
2011156,1469170.59%
2010155,22918,3051.26%
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%