Salem, MA Profile: Facts & Data


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Salem, Massachusetts - Basic Facts

The City of Salem had a population of 43,697 as of July 1, 2020. Salem ranks in the upper quartile for Population Density and Diversity Index when compared to the other cities, towns and Census Designated Places (CDPs) in Massachusetts. See peer rankings below.

The primary coordinate point for Salem is located at latitude 42.5195 and longitude -70.8967 in Essex County. The formal boundaries for the City of Salem encompass a land area of 8.28 sq. miles and a water area of 10.01 sq. miles. Essex County is in the Eastern time zone (GMT -5). The elevation is 13 feet.

The City of Salem (GNIS ID: 619453) has a C5 Census Class Code which indicates an active incorporated place that is independent of any county subdivision and serves as a county subdivision equivalent. It also has a Functional Status Code of "A" which identifies an active government providing primary general-purpose functions.

Alternate Unofficial Names for Salem: Naamkeek, Naumkeag, Nehumkeke.


Salem, MA Data & Demographics (As of July 1, 2020)


Total Population 43,697 (100%)
Population in Households 41,598 (95.2%)
Population in Families 29,249 (66.9%)
Population in Group Quarters1 2,099 ( 4.8%)
Population Density 5,269
Diversity Index2 70


Median Household Income $65,226
Average Household Income $88,552
% of Income for Mortgage4 25%
Per Capita Income $37,856
Wealth Index5 78


Total HU (Housing Units) 19,927 (100%)
Owner Occupied HU 9,170 (46.0%)
Renter Occupied HU 9,462 (47.5%)
Vacant Housing Units 1,295 ( 6.5%)
Median Home Value $385,664
Average Home Value $432,214
Housing Affordability Index3 88


Total Households 18,632
Average Household Size 2.23
Family Households 9,935
Average Family Size 3
  1. Group Quarters - a place where people live or stay in a group living arrangement. Includes college residents halls, nursing facilities, military barracks, and correctional facilities.
  2. The Diversity Index is a scale of 0 to 100 that represents the likelihood that two persons, chosen at random from the same area, belong to different races or ethnic groups. If an area's entire population belongs to one race AND one ethnic group, then the area has zero diversity. An area's diversity index increases to 100 when the population is evenly divided into two or more race/ethnic groups.
  3. The Housing Affordability Index base is 100 and represents a balance point where a resident with a median household income can normally qualify to purchase a median price home. Values above 100 indicate increased affordability, while values below 100 indicate decreased affordability.
  4. The % of Income for Mortgage quantifies the percentage of median household income dedicated to mortgage payments on a home priced at the median value (assuming a 30-year mortgage and a 20% down payment).
  5. The Wealth Index is based on a number of indicators of affluence including average household income and average net worth, but it also includes the value of material possessions and resources. It represents the wealth of the area relative to the national level. Values above or below 100 represent above-average wealth or below-average wealth compared to the national level.


2010-2020 2020-2025
Population 0.54% 0.48%
Households 0.42% 0.45%
Families 0.29% 0.38%
Median Household Income   2.13%
Per Capita Income   2.26%
Owner Occupied HU   0.71%


Salem, MA - Peer Comparisons by Rank and Percentile

The table below compares Salem to the other 245 incorporated cities, towns and CDPs in Massachusetts by rank and percentile using July 1, 2020 data. The location Ranked # 1 has the highest value. A location that ranks higher than 75% of its peers would be in the 75th percentile of the peer group.

Variable Description Rank Percentile
Total Population # 31 88th
Population Density # 19 93rd
Median Household Income # 174 29th
Housing Affordability Index # 51 21st
Per Capita Income # 151 39th
Diversity Index # 18 93rd

Additional comparisons and rankings can be made with a VERY EASY TO USE Massachusetts Census Data Comparison Tool.

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