Salinas is a city located in California. With a 2020 population of 155,619, it is the 35th largest city in California and the 166th largest city in the United States. Salinas is currently declining at a rate of -0.21% annually but its population has increased by 3.44% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 150,441 in 2010. Salinas reached it's highest population of 157,144 in 2016. Spanning over 23 miles, Salinas has a population density of 6,642 people per square mile.
The average household income in Salinas is $73,830 with a poverty rate of 17.21%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,299 per month, and the median house value is $378,000. The median age in Salinas is 30.5 years, 30.1 years for males, and 30.9 years for females. For every 100 females there are 99.7 males.
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.