Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2023

255,524

Winston-Salem is a city located in North Carolina. With a 2023 population of 255,524, it is the 5th largest city in North Carolina and the 92nd largest city in the United States.Winston-Salem is currently growing at a rate of 0.79% annually and its population has increased by 2.4% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 249,545 in 2020. Spanning over 134 miles, Winston-Salem has a population density of 1,927 people per square mile.

The average household income in Winston-Salem is $71,423 with a poverty rate of 22.82%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Winston-Salem is 35.9 years, 34.6 years for males, and 37 years for females.

Winston-Salem is part of the Piedmont Triad region. The city has a long and fascinating 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 {pop} people.

Winston-Salem Population and Religion Statistics

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, 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.

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

After the merger, tobacco continued to play a significant 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, biotech 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

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

  • White: 54.92%
  • Black or African American: 34.17%
  • Two or more races: 4.98%
  • Other race: 3.09%
  • Asian: 2.49%
  • Native American: 0.26%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Winston-Salem, North Carolina is 255,524 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates.The last official US Census in 2020 recorded the population at 249,545.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2023

Winston-Salem Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

White

Black or African American

Two or more races

Other race

Asian

Native American

Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Winston-Salem Population by Race

Winston-Salem Population Pyramid 2023

Winston-Salem Median Age

35.9

Total

34.6

Male

37

Female

Winston-Salem Adults

There are 188,041 adults, (35,646 of whom are seniors) in Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem Age Dependency

61.3

Age Dependency Ratio

23.4

Old Age Dependency Ratio

37.9

Child Dependency Ratio

Winston-Salem Sex Ratio

Female130,79553.21%
Male114,99246.79%

Winston-Salem Population by Age

Winston-Salem Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

3.23

Average Family Size

2.44

Average Household Size

54.6%

Rate of Home Ownership

Married

Male

Female

NonFamily

owner

renter

Winston-Salem Households and Families

Male

Female

Less Than 9th Grade

9th to 12th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Associates Degree

Bachelors Degree

Graduate Degree

Winston-Salem Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Winston-Salem Educational Attainment by Race

High School Graduation Rate

Bachelors Rate

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 80.39%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 56.16%.

Winston-Salem Educational Attainment by Race

All

Male

Female

$34,495

Average Earnings

$37,515

Average Male

$31,716

Average Female

Winston-Salem Earnings by Educational Attainment

Winston-Salem Language by Age

Only English

Spanish

Other Indo-European Languages

Asian and Pacific Island Languages

Other Languages

Winston-Salem Language

82.46% of Winston-Salem residents speak only English, while 17.54% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.1% of the population.

Winston-Salem Language

Winston-Salem Poverty by Race

rate

22.82%

Overall Poverty Rate

17.81%

Male Poverty Rate

20.48%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Winston-Salem

The race most likely to be in poverty in Winston-Salem is Islander, with 131.93% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Winston-Salem is Asian, with 9.38% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.23%. Among those working part-time, it was 21.55%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 27.22%.

Winston-Salem Poverty

Winston-Salem Poverty Rate by Education

Winston-Salem Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Winston-Salem Income by Household Type

Households

Families

MarriedFamilies

NonFamilies

mean

median

Income by Household Type

Winston-Salem Marital Status

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Marriage Rates

39.9%

Overall Marriage Rate

43.3%

Male Marriage Rate

37.0%

Female Marriage Rate

Winston-Salem Married by Age and Sex

male

female

Winston-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.

Winston-Salem Marital Status by Race

Married

Widowed

Divorced

Separated

NeverMarried

Winston-Salem Marital Status

Second Gulf War

First Gulf War

Vietnam

Korea

World War II

12,150

Number of Veterans

11,047

Male Veterans

1,103

Female Veterans

Winston-Salem Veterans by War

Winston-Salem Veterans by Age

count

Winston-Salem Veterans by Race

Winston-Salem Veterans by Education

Less Than 9th Grade

High School Graduate

Some College

Bachelors or Greater

8.06%

Veteran Poverty Rate

21.91%

Veteran Disability Rate

Winston-Salem Veterans by Education

LaborForceParticipation

61%

Labor Force Participation

57.3%

Employment Rate

5.6%

Unemployment Rate

Winston-Salem Employment by Age

LaborForceParticipation

Winston-Salem Employment by Race

LaborForceParticipation

Winston-Salem Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

Europe

Asia

Africa

Oceania

Latin America

North America

56.99%

Born in Winston-Salem

88.72%

Native Born

9.77%

Foreign Born

6.22%

Non Citizen

3.55%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

88.72% of Winston-Salem residents were born in the United States, with 56.99% having been born in North Carolina. 6.22% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.

Winston-Salem Place of Birth

Note: data after 2020 is projected based on recent growth

Winston-Salem Population by Year