Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2020

251,762

Winston-Salem is a city located in North Carolina. With a 2020 population of 251,762, 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 1.09% annually and its population has increased by 9.64% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 229,617 in 2010. Spanning over 134 miles, Winston-Salem has a population density of 1,898 people per square mile.

The average household income in Winston-Salem is $69,340 with a poverty rate of 21.67%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $782 per month, and the median house value is $144,400. The median age in Winston-Salem is 35.4 years, 33.8 years for males, and 36.6 years for females. For every 100 females there are 88.6 males.

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: 56.26%
  • Black or African American: 34.78%
  • Other race: 3.45%
  • Two or more races: 2.80%
  • Asian: 2.42%
  • Native American: 0.21%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.08%
The current population of Winston-Salem, North Carolina is 251,762, based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 246,328.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 229,617.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina Population 2020

Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2020680,8764,7100.69%
2019676,1664,7100.70%
2018671,4564,7100.70%
2017666,7465,7120.86%
2016661,0344,6820.71%
2015656,3522,9490.45%
2014653,4033,3960.52%
2013650,0073,1600.49%
2012646,8472,5860.40%
2011644,2612,9690.46%
2010641,2920.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White136,21956.26%
Black or African American84,21334.78%
Some Other Race8,3643.45%
Two or More Races6,7762.80%
Asian5,8552.42%
American Indian and Alaska Native5000.21%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander1980.08%

Winston-Salem Population Pyramid 2020

Winston-Salem Median Age

35.4


Total

33.8


Male

36.6


Female

Winston-Salem Adults

There are 184,690 adults, (33,713 of whom are seniors) in Winston-Salem.

Winston-Salem Age Dependency

60.4

Age Dependency Ratio

22.3

Old Age Dependency Ratio

38

Child Dependency Ratio

Winston-Salem Sex Ratio

Female

128,358

53.01%

Male

113,767

46.99%

Winston-Salem Households and Families

Winston-Salem Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Winston-Salem Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married73.8%26.2%
All53.6%46.4%
Non Family41.2%58.8%
Female40.2%59.8%
Male38.2%61.8%

53.6%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All94,9372.4453.6
Non Family39,1531.2141.2
Married36,8503.2573.8
Female14,8683.4340.2
Male4,0663.438.2

3.22

Average Family Size

2.44

Average Household Size

5.8%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Winston-Salem Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8,3865.35%
9th to 12th Grade11,2227.16%
High School Graduate38,42724.50%
Some College33,84421.58%
Associates Degree11,3787.26%
Bachelors Degree32,06920.45%
Graduate Degree21,49213.71%

Winston-Salem Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White82,07877,39437,666
Black52,31245,51410,857
Hispanic16,3259,0061,930
Other Race4,1192,040328
Asian3,7573,1862,324
Multiple Races2,5682,212779
Native American31828691
Islander5826

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 94.29%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 61.86%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$32,585$36,323$30,476
Less Than High School$19,504$21,868$14,561
High School Grad$25,193$28,042$21,607
Some College$30,539$32,730$28,337
Bachelors Degree$43,087$49,568$40,201
Graduate Degree$62,439$80,220$50,490

$32,585

Average Earnings

$36,323

Average Male

$30,476

Average Female

Winston-Salem Language

Winston-Salem Language by Age

Winston-Salem Language

83.01% of Winston-Salem residents speak only English, while 16.99% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 13.16% of the population.

Winston-Salem Poverty

Winston-Salem Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Black79,83522,29627.93%
Hispanic34,99314,32040.92%
White107,15812,14811.34%
Other8,3023,24539.09%
Multiple6,4541,63725.36%
Asian5,1814298.28%
Islander19816683.84%
Native4989919.88%

21.67%

Overall Poverty Rate

20.06%

Male Poverty Rate

23.09%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Winston-Salem

The race most likely to be in poverty in Winston-Salem is Islander, with 83.84% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Winston-Salem is Asian, with 8.28% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 4.81%. Among those working part-time, it was 24.78%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 29.60%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School38.65%
High School22.13%
Some College14.06%
Bachelors or Greater5.53%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed48.30%
Male Unemployed36.67%
Female Employed11.45%
Male Employed9.60%

Winston-Salem Income

Winston-Salem Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$44,311$69,340
Families$58,075$83,690
Married Families$76,034$105,625
Non Families$29,955$46,791

Winston-Salem Marital Status

Winston-Salem Marital Status

Marriage Rates

40.5%

Overall Marriage Rate

44.3%

Male Marriage Rate

37.3%

Female Marriage Rate

Winston-Salem Married by Age and Sex

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

Winston-Salem Veterans

13,704

Number of Veterans

12,419

Male Veterans

1,285

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam4,535
First Gulf War2,584
Second Gulf War2,274
Korea1,234
World War II480
Age Group Veterans
35 to 543,509
65 to 743,362
75+3,001
55 to 642,678
18 to 341,154
Name Veterans % of Total
White8,2217.62%
Black5,0247.94%
Hispanic4422.19%
2 or More3039.38%
Indian9322.20%
Other511.07%
Hawaiian129.38%

$Winston-Salem Veterans by Education

9.70%

Veteran Poverty Rate

21.66%

Veteran Disability Rate

Winston-Salem Employment Status

61.2%

Labor Force Participation

56.4%

Employment Rate

7.5%

Unemployment Rate

Winston-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

57.77%

Born in North Carolina

90.11%

Native Born

9.89%

Foreign Born

6.67%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

90.11% of Winston-Salem residents were born in the United States, with 57.77% having been born in North Carolina. 6.67% 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
2020251,7622,7171.09%
2019249,0452,7171.10%
2018246,3281,9550.80%
2017244,3732,7171.12%
2016241,6561,9600.82%
2015239,6961,1880.50%
2014238,5082,7671.17%
2013235,7411,8740.80%
2012233,8672,0200.87%
2011231,8471,8140.79%
2010230,03344,2572.16%
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%