Salinas is a city located in Monterey County California. Salinas has a 2023 population of 161,585. It is also the county seat of Monterey County.Salinas is currently declining at a rate of -0.37% annually and its population has decreased by -1.11% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 163,397 in 2020.
The average household income in Salinas is $92,586 with a poverty rate of 14.35%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Salinas is 31.3 years, 30.6 years for males, and 32.3 years for females.
Salinas, the county seat of Monterey County, is an urban area located 10 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Salinas River and just outside the Greater Bay Area.
About 38% of people in Salinas, CA were born outside the U.S. The city of Salinas has a Hispanic-majority population; nearly three quarters of its residents are Latino, many of them immigrants from Mexico who arrived to work in the region’s agricultural fields.
In 1870, just prior to being incorporated, the population stood at 599 people. This more than tripled in the ten years that followed and, as of the latest 2019 figures, the population of Salinas stands at 157,596.
Salinas struggles with a high youth crime rate, being dubbed the “youth murder capital of California.” On top of this, a lack of affordable housing has kept its growth rate from climbing in later years. The city is expected to continue its modest growth since recovering from the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
On September 9th, 1850, California was admitted to the Union and officially became a state. 1867 saw the first streets laid out for Salinas and the town was incorporated in 1874. Post-war, major urban and suburban development converted what was mainly farmland to a thriving city. The 1950s and 1960s saw a particularly large growth spurt, which was seen again in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Agriculture has always been the area's major industry. This “green gold” went some considerable way toward making Salinas one of the wealthiest cities per capita in the U.S. shortly after the end of World War I. Today, this fuels a $2 billion industry, supplying the country with 80% of its lettuce and artichokes, amongst many other crops.
Salinas is also the birthplace of Nobel Prize laureate John Steinbeck. The historic downtown district is home to the National Steinbeck Center, John Steinbeck House and the John Steinbeck Library.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Salinas was:
Two or more races
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 83.8%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 36.78%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
28.18% of Salinas residents speak only English, while 71.82% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 67.48% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Salinas is Other, with 17.56% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Salinas is White, with 8.43% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.36%. Among those working part-time, it was 11.89%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 23.15%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is 55-64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55-64.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Salinas
64.21% of Salinas residents were born in the United States, with 57.04% having been born in California. 27.59% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.