Salem, North Carolina

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Salem is a census-designated place (CDP) in Burke County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,923 at the 2000 census. It is part of the HickoryLenoirMorganton Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Salem is located at 35°42′14″N 81°41′56″W / 35.70389°N 81.69889°W / 35.70389; -81.69889 (35.703920, -81.698820).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,923 people, 918 households, and 678 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 692.3 people per square mile (267.4/km²). There were 962 housing units at an average density of 227.9/sq mi (88.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 78.86% White, 15.91% African American, 0.48% Native American, 1.81% Asian, 0.44% Pacific Islander, 1.27% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.19% of the population.

There were 918 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 21.8% from 18 to 24, 21.2% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 153.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 147.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $32,050, and the median income for a family was $45,430. Males had a median income of $28,672 versus $21,913 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $14,506. About 9.5% of families and 10.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.

There are three North Carolina Department of Correction facilities located in Salem: Foothills Correctional Institution, Foothills Minimum Custody Unit, and Western Youth Institution. This total incarcerated population of nearly 1,000 inmates significantly skews the above demographic information. Without the inmates, the average population of Salem would be older, there would be very few minorities, and there would be a nearly even balance of males and females.[citation needed]

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