Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2021

250,765
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Winston-Salem is a city located in North Carolina. With a 2020 population of 250,765, it is the 5th largest city in North Carolina (after Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Durham) and the 90th largest city in the United States . Winston-Salem is currently growing at a rate of 0.57% annually and its population has increased by 9.21% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 229,617 in 2010. Winston-Salem reached it's highest population of 250,765 in 2021. Spanning over 134 miles, Winston-Salem has a population density of 1,891 people per square mile.

The average household income in Winston-Salem is $71,423 with a poverty rate of 20.72%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $806 per month, and the median house value is $147,900. The median age in Winston-Salem is 35.5 years, 33.8 years for males, and 36.8 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: 56.61%
  • Black or African American: 34.88%
  • Two or more races: 2.83%
  • Other race: 2.83%
  • Asian: 2.50%
  • Native American: 0.25%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.09%
The current population of Winston-Salem, North Carolina is 250,765 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 246,535.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 229,617.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2021

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

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2021685,7664,8790.71%
2020680,8874,8790.72%
2019676,0084,8790.72%
2018671,1294,4890.67%
2017666,6405,6160.84%
2016661,0244,7470.72%
2015656,2773,0270.46%
2014653,2503,3490.51%
2013649,9013,1070.48%
2012646,7942,5280.39%
2011644,2663,0210.47%
2010641,2450.00%

Winston-Salem Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White138,19156.61%
Black or African American85,15734.88%
Two or More Races6,9142.83%
Some Other Race6,9072.83%
Asian6,1152.50%
American Indian and Alaska Native6130.25%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2180.09%
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Winston-Salem Population by Race

Winston-Salem Population Pyramid $2021

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Winston-Salem Median Age

35.5


Total

33.8


Male

36.8


Female

Winston-Salem Adults

There are 186,060 adults, (34,302 of whom are seniors) in Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem Age Dependency

60.9

Age Dependency Ratio

22.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38.3

Child Dependency Ratio

Winston-Salem Sex Ratio

Female

129,523

53.06%

Male

114,592

46.94%

Winston-Salem Population by Age

Winston-Salem Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Winston-Salem Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married73.5%26.5%
All53.5%46.5%
Non Family42.5%57.5%
Female38.2%61.8%
Male37.9%62.1%

53.5%

Rate of Home Ownership

Winston-Salem Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All94,9572.4653.5
Non Family39,3731.242.5
Married36,3553.2473.5
Female15,0183.6138.2
Male4,2113.3437.9

3.26

Average Family Size

2.46

Average Household Size

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Winston-Salem Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,0145.05%
9th to 12th Grade10,6286.70%
High School Graduate39,52724.91%
Some College34,04521.46%
Associates Degree11,6997.37%
Bachelors Degree32,95920.77%
Graduate Degree21,78113.73%
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Winston-Salem Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Winston-Salem Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White82,47677,96137,847
Black53,52247,01611,215
Hispanic16,6179,6612,246
Asian4,0253,5302,644
Other Race3,5341,911420
2+ Races2,4962,122761
Native American401353118
Islander6527

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 65.69%.

Winston-Salem Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$33,801$37,899$31,138
Less Than 9th Grade$21,372$23,684$16,471
High School Graduate$25,966$30,054$21,955
Some College$30,633$33,912$28,258
Bachelors Degree$44,805$50,179$40,918
Graduate Degree$62,743$80,763$52,180

$33,801

Average Earnings

$37,899

Average Male

$31,138

Average Female

Winston-Salem Earnings by Educational Attainment

Winston-Salem Language by Age

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Winston-Salem Language

82.70% of Winston-Salem residents speak only English, while 17.30% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.34% of the population.

Winston-Salem Language

Winston-Salem Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black80,60621,89527.16%
Hispanic36,19313,53237.39%
White107,14911,45510.69%
Other6,8842,16031.38%
Multiple6,6081,81627.48%
Asian5,4364097.52%
Islander21818685.32%
Native61310717.46%

20.72%

Overall Poverty Rate

18.80%

Male Poverty Rate

22.41%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Winston-Salem

The race most likely to be in poverty in Winston-Salem is Islander, with 85.32% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Winston-Salem is Asian, with 7.52% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.59%. Among those working part-time, it was 22.89%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 28.76%.

Winston-Salem Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade35.16%
High School21.83%
Some College13.03%
Bachelors or Greater5.60%

Winston-Salem Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Female Unemployed43.85%
Male Unemployed33.04%
Female Employed10.96%
Male Employed8.30%

Winston-Salem Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Winston-Salem Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$45,750$71,423
Families$60,540$86,680
Married Families$80,317$110,347
Non Families$30,164$47,427
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Income by Household Type

Winston-Salem Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

39.9%

Overall Marriage Rate

43.6%

Male Marriage Rate

36.7%

Female Marriage Rate

Winston-Salem Married by Age and Sex

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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

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Winston-Salem Marital Status

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12,647

Number of Veterans

11,518

Male Veterans

1,129

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam4,098
First Gulf War2,495
Second Gulf War2,314
Korea1,126
World War II429

Winston-Salem Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
65 to 743,202
35 to 543,087
75+2,823
55 to 642,488
18 to 341,047

Winston-Salem Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White7,6327.03%
Black4,4916.99%
Hispanic4792.33%
2+ Races34410.71%
Native American8917.05%
Other Race801.96%
Islander118.40%

Winston-Salem Veterans by Race

Winston-Salem Veterans by Education

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8.68%

Veteran Poverty Rate

20.58%

Veteran Disability Rate

Winston-Salem Veterans by Education

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60.7%

Labor Force Participation

56.9%

Employment Rate

6%

Unemployment Rate

Winston-Salem Employment by Age

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Winston-Salem Employment by Race

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Winston-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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57.87%

Born in Winston-Salem

90.14%

Native Born

9.86%

Foreign Born

6.45%

Non Citizen

3.41%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

90.14% of Winston-Salem residents were born in the United States, with 57.87% having been born in North Carolina. 6.45% 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

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2021250,7651,4100.57%
2020249,3551,4100.57%
2019247,9451,4100.57%
2018246,5352,0340.83%
2017244,5012,7251.13%
2016241,7762,0210.84%
2015239,7551,2770.54%
2014238,4782,7501.17%
2013235,7281,8610.80%
2012233,8672,0000.86%
2011231,8671,8450.80%
2010230,02244,2462.16%
2000185,77642,2912.62%
1990143,48511,6000.85%
1980131,885-1,798-0.14%
1970133,68322,5481.86%
1960111,13523,3242.38%
195087,8117,9960.96%
194079,8154,5410.59%
193075,27426,8794.52%
192048,39525,6957.86%
191022,7009,0005.18%
190013,7003,0002.50%
189010,7006,60010.07%
18804,1003,70026.20%
18704000.00%

Winston-Salem Population by Year