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City of Salem

  •   State: 
    Marion County
      County FIPS: 
    44°56′21″N 123°2′22″W
      Area total: 
    49.23 sq mi
      Area land: 
    48.91 sq mi (126.67 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.55 sq mi (1.41 km²)
    157 ft (48 m)
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Salem, OR
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Salem, Marion County, Oregon, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    3,589.09 residents per square mile of area (1,385.74/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Income taxes: 

Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. Salem is the principal city of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Marion and Polk counties and had a combined population of 390,738 at the 2010 census. A 2019 estimate placed the metropolitan population at 400,408, the state's second largest. This area is, in turn, part of the Portland-Vancouver-Salem Combined Statistical Area. The State of Oregon is the largest public employer in the city, and Salem Health is thelargest private employer. Major roads include Interstate 5, Oregon Route 99E, and Oregon Route 22, which connects West Salem across the WillAmette River via the Marion Street and Center Street bridges. The Vern Miller Civic Center, which houses the city offices and library, has a public space dedicated as the Peace Plaza in recognition of the names by which the city has been known. The first people of European descent arrived in the area as early as 1812; they were animal trappers and food gatherers for the fur trading companies in Astoria, Oregon. When the Methodist Mission moved to the area, they called the new establishment Chemeketa; although it was more widely known as the Mill, because of its situation on Mill Creek. In 1842, the missionaries established the Oregon Institute that was to become the site of Salem. The state capital was moved briefly to Corvallis in 1855, but was moved back to Salem permanently that same year.


Salem is the primary city name, but also Brooks are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Salem. Salem is the state capital of Oregon. It has had three state capitol buildings. The first people of European descent arrived in the area as early as 1812. Salem is nicknamed the "Cherry City" because of the past importance of the local cherry-growing industry. The city is home to the Oregon State Fair and the Salem Cherry Festival, which was revived in the late 1940s. It is also the home of Willamette University, the forerunner of Oregon State College and the University of Oregon, which is located in nearby Corvallis. The town was named Chemeketa by the Methodist Mission, which later changed its name to Salem. It was also known as the Mill, because of its situation on Mill Creek. The current Oregon State Capitol was completed on the same site in 1938 and is recognizable by its distinctive pioneer statue atop the capitol dome that is plated with gold-leaf and officially named the Oregon Pioneer. The Vern Miller Civic Center, which houses the city offices and library, has a public space dedicated as the Peace Plaza in recognition of the names by which the city has been known. The state fair and cherry festival have always been important to Salem, and the city celebrates it in a number of ways, including parades, parades and the election of a cherry queen, until sometime after World War I. In 1861, Salem was chosen as the permanent site of the Oregon state fair by theOregon State Agricultural Association. In 1903, the first cherry festival in Salem was held in 1903 and was an annual event.

Geography and climate

Salem is located in the north-central Willamette Valley, in Marion and Polk counties. The 45th Parallel (roughly the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator) passes through Salem's city limits. Salem contains the volcanic Salem Hills in the south and is sandwiched by the 1,000 ft (300 m) Eola Hills directly to the west and the 600 ft (180 m) Waldo Hills to the east. The state capital is about 47 mi (76 km) south of Portland, but actually has a lower average temperature than that of Portland (54.4°F or 12.4 °C), due in part to the lower daily minima. The coast range and the Cascades including Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and on the clearest of days, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams in Washington can be viewed from throughout the city. Almost all of the annual precipitation falls between October and April, with a dry season from May through September. The coldest afternoon of the year usually falls to 32 °F (0 °C) on the freezing point, whereas the coldest recorded maximum temperature was 16 °C (9 °F) in three separate months and years. Salem's mean annual temperature is 54.1 °f (12.3 °C); its annual precipitation is 40.08 inches (1,018 mm), with an average 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) of snow included. Over a quarter of years receive no snowfall.


As of the census of 2010, there were 154,637 people, 57,290 households, and 36,261 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 79.0% White, 1.5% African American, 2.7% Asian, 0.9% Pacific Islander, 10.1% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. The city's median income was $38,881, and the median income for a family was $46,409. Non-Hispanic Whites were 70.7 per cent of the population in 2010, compared to 88.6 per cent in 1990. The per capita income for the city in 2010 was $19,141. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.15. The median age was 34.5 years, with 25.4% under the age of 18, 11.4 per cent from 18 to 24, 30.1 per cent between 25 and 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.4per cent who were 65 or older. The gender makeup was 49.9 per cent male and 50.1per cent female. In 2010, the city had a median income of $34,746 versus $26,789 for females. About 10.5 percent of the residents were below the poverty line, including 20.2% of those under 18 and 7.1 percent of those 65 or over.


Salem is governed using the councilmanager government model. The city council consists of eight members who are elected from single member wards. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The current mayor is Chuck Bennett, a Democrat first elected in 2016. The following are Salem's city councilors: Virginia Stapleton, Tom Anderson, Trevor Phillips, Jackie Leung, Chris Hoy, Vanessa Nordyke, Jim Lewis, and Jackie Leung.


Salem is the headquarters of the Oregon Department of Corrections and home to four state correctional facilities. The city also serves as a hub for the area farming communities and is a major agricultural food processing center. It lies along the I-5 corridor and is within an hour's drive of Oregon's largest city, Portland. In a bid to diversify its economic base, Salem attracted a number of computer-related manufacturing plants in the 1990s. In November 2003, the Sumitomo Mitsubishi Silicon Group (SUMCO) announced it would be closing its two silicon wafer plants at the end of 2004, eliminating 620 jobs, and moving production to other plants. Numerous projects are underway to increase the supply of housing in the downtown core. These projects will provide upscale, low- and high-rise condominium and office space. According to Salem's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the area are: Oregon Fruit Products, Inc., Oregon State Penitentiary, NORPAC Foods, and Kettle Foods, Inc. The state government is Salem's largest employer, but the city is also home to several other large farming and food processing companies, such as Oregon-Pacific and Oregon-Fruit Products. It is the home of the U.S. Air Force base in Salem, which is the state's second-largest employer, after the Oregon Air Force Base in Eugene. It also hosts the Oregon State Prison, the only maximum-security prison in the state.

People and culture

Salem has 18 recognized neighborhood associations, which are independent groups that receive administrative support from the city. The largest event in Salem is the Oregon State Fair at the end of August through Labor Day. Salem's downtown contains the Willamette Heritage Center, Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Elsinore Theatre, and Riverfront Park. The two leading candidates for the tallest building in Salem are Salem First United Methodist Church and the Capitol Center. The Capitol Center (originally the First National Bank Building, then the Livesley Building) was built in 1927 by former Salem mayor Thomas A. Livesley. In 1988, Livesley's family home became the official residence of the state and family of the Governor of Oregon. The Oregon Symphony, based in Portland, presents approximately ten classical and pops concerts each year in Salem. The Salem Concert Band is a community band made up of amateur and professional musicians that performs several professional musicians each year. The city's annual World Beat Festival features international crafts, music, dance, food, and folklore from every continent, and in recent years has held a Dragon Boat race similar to the ones held during the nearby Rose Festival in Portland. In the summer, Chef's Nite Out is a wine and food benefit held for Marion-Polk Food Share. Oregon Wine & Food Festival takes place at that state's fairgrounds in January. The personal house and garden of landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver, known as Gaiety Hollow, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Their firm designed the gardens of Historic Deepwood Estate.

Parks and recreation

Salem has a park system with 29.53 miles (47.52 km) of trails, 46 parks, and another 55 open and undeveloped areas. Minto-Brown Island Park is the largest at 1,200 acres (490 ha) Marion Square Park is downtown next to Marion Street Bridge and has a skatepark and basketball court. Waldo Park, which consists of a single Sequoia tree, is one of the smallest city parks in the world. Salem's central location provides access to a wide variety of recreational activities in a variety of climates and geographies year round. The Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean are to the west. The Santiam Canyon area, the Western Cascades and the High Casades are toThe east. Portland and its environs are to. the north, while Eugene and its. environ is to the south. The city is home to two disc golf courses, one in the woods of Woodmansee Park and the other behind Judson Middle School. They are both free and open to the public, and both are located in the city's downtown area. Salem is located on the Willamette River, which runs through the center of the city. It is also home to the Oregon State Capitol, which is on three city blocks and includes Willson and Capitol parks. It also has a number of state parks, including Silver Falls State Park and Willamettes Mission State Park, both of which have hiking, biking, and horse trails.


Salem's public schools are part of the Salem-Keizer School District, which includes almost all of the city limits. The city also has many private elementary and secondary schools such as Blanchet Catholic School and Salem Academy Christian. Chemeketa Community College, Corban University, Tokyo International University of America, and Willamette University are post secondary schools. Portland State University, Eastern Oregon University, Western Oregon University and Oregon State University provide classes and a handful of undergraduate degrees at the community college. Salem is home to several public boarding schools, the Chemawa Indian School (a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-affiliated Native American high school), and the Oregon School for the Deaf. Oregon School For the Blind was formerly in the city and closed in 2009. All of Marion County and all of Polk County are within the chemeketa community college district. Salem has one of the highest murder rates in the state, with more than 20 murders per 100,000 residents in 2010. The state has the second highest murder rate, with 13 murders per 1,000,000 inhabitants. The U.S. murder rate is the highest in the United States, with 12.7 per cent. The United States has the highest homicide rate, followed by California, with 11.9 per cent, and the state of Washington, with 10.8 per cent, The state's murder rate has been at or above the national average for the past 10 years, and is expected to be at least 10 per cent for the next 10 years.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Salem, Marion County, Oregon = 72.2. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 60. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 98. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Salem = 2.9 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 175,535 individuals with a median age of 35.2 age the population grows by 11.58% in Salem, Marion County, Oregon population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 3,589.09 residents per square mile of area (1,385.74/km²). There are average 2.56 people per household in the 56,111 households with an average household income of $43,909 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 10.20% of the available work force and has dropped -3.80% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 22.20%. The number of physicians in Salem per 100,000 population = 180.6.


The annual rainfall in Salem = 48.6 inches and the annual snowfall = 8.8 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 140. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 154. 82 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 32.6 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 65, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Salem, Marion County, Oregon which are owned by the occupant = 54.14%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 31 years with median home cost = $189,880 and home appreciation of -6.38%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $12.22 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,275 per student. There are 19.3 students for each teacher in the school, 423 students for each Librarian and 369 students for each Counselor. 6.57% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 15.41% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 8.89% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Salem's population in Marion County, Oregon of 4,258 residents in 1900 has increased 41,22-fold to 175,535 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 49.36% female residents and 50.64% male residents live in Salem, Marion County, Oregon.

    As of 2020 in Salem, Marion County, Oregon are married and the remaining 46.46% are single population.

  • 24.2 minutes is the average time that residents in Salem require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    72.65% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 15.51% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 3.20% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 3.90% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Salem, Marion County, Oregon, 54.14% are owner-occupied homes, another 39.57% are rented apartments, and the remaining 6.29% are vacant.

  • The 36.19% of the population in Salem, Marion County, Oregon who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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