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Encyclopedia > Winston Salem, North Carolina

Winston-Salem is a city located in Forsyth County, North Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 185,776. It is the county seat of Forsyth County6.

The Old Salem district and related Historic Bethabera site are the city's oldest historical attractions. Also of historical interest is Reynolda Village (which includes Reynolda Gardens and the Reynolda House Museum of American Art). Other sites of interest include the Horne Creek Historic Farm, Tanglewood Park, the SciWorks educational facility (formerly the Nature Science Center) and SECCA, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art).

Winston-Salem is home to several major universities and colleges; Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina School of the Arts and Salem Academy and College. Winston-Salem is also the location of the corporate headquarters of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco corporation and the Krispy Kreme corporation. The Wachovia Corporation was also based in Winston-Salem until it moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2001.

In December 2004, the city landed a deal with Dell, Inc. to build a computer assembly plant nearby in southeastern Forsyth County, near the junction of Interstate 40 and US Route 311. The city provided Dell with $37.2 million dollars in incentive packages to attract Dell. The incentive package has received some criticism, including that of state representative Paul Luebk, who said that he thinks "North Carolina dramatically overpaid Dell to come here." [1] (http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031779834649)



The origin of the town of Salem dates back to January 1753, when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian church, selected a settlement site which he called "Muddy Creek du Wachau" (Wachovia, named after the Austrian estate of Count Nicholas Lewis von Zinzendorf). The land (just short of 99,000 acres) was subsequently purchased from John Carteret, 1st Earl Granville.

On November 17, 1753, the first settlers arrived at what would later become the town of Bethabara. This town, despite its rapid growth, was not designed to be the primary settlement on the tract. Instead, the guidance of the Lord was sought for selection of a new town by drawing lots among sites which were suitable. The town established on the chosen site was given the name of Salem (for "peace").


In 1849 the town of Winston was founded, named after a local hero of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Winston, who was well-known in the town of Salem. Shortly thereafter both Winston and Salem were incorporated into the newly formed Forsyth County, It thrived as an industrial town, producing tobacco products, furniture and textiles. In 1851 Winston was designated the county seat, and, with plans to connect the cities of Winston and Salem, the county courthouse square was placed just one mile north of Salem's square.


In 1889, the United States Postal Service combined the mail offices for the two towns, and the towns were officially joined as "Winston-Salem" in 1913.


Location of Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Winston-Salem is located at 36°6'10" North, 80°15'38" West (36.102764, -80.260491)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 283.9 km˛ (109.6 mi˛). 281.9 km˛ (108.8 mi˛) of it is land and 2.0 km˛ (0.8 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 0.71% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 185,776 people, 76,247 households, and 46,205 families residing in the city. The population density is 659.0/km˛ (1,706.7/mi˛). There are 82,593 housing units at an average density of 293.0/km˛ (758.8/mi˛). The racial makeup of the city is 55.57% White, 37.10% African American, 0.31% Native American, 1.13% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.29% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 8.64% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 76,247 households out of which 28.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% are married couples living together, 16.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% are non-families. 33.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.32 and the average family size is 2.95.

In the city the population is spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $37,006, and the median income for a family is $46,595. Males have a median income of $32,398 versus $26,335 for females. The per capita income for the city is $22,468. 15.2% of the population and 11.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.0% of those under the age of 18 and 11.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Winston-Salem is served by Greensboro, North Carolina's Piedmont Triad International Airport. The airport also serves High Point, North Carolina.

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