A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

West Salem, Wisconsin

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About West Salem
The village of West Salem is located in La Crosse County (Wisconsin).

According to the 2010 US Census, West Salem has a population of 4,799 people, making it La Crosse's 5th  and Wisconsin's 183rd most populous community.

Our Pages for West Salem ...

-profile   General information about West Salem
-nearby   What's in the neighborhood around West Salem
-bycounty   Nearest communities to West Salem (By-County)
-census   Census information for West Salem
-tidbits   Tidbits and trivia about West Salem
-genealogy   Our Genealogy Helper for West Salem
-cemeteries   Cemeteries in the area of West Salem
-localpapers   Newspapers published in the immediate area of West Salem
-newspapers   Newspapers published in a broader area around West Salem
-summary   Summarized information
-map   Interactive map centered on West Salem
-tripmap   TripAdvisor Tourism pages
-misc   Miscellaneous information
-wishlist   Things we would like to know about West Salem
-glossary   This page...

Glossary and Definitions ...

Census Area for West Salem
The Area value provided by the US Census Bureau reflects their statistical (or sampling) requirements and it can be different than the geographic boundaries of West Salem. For example, if there is a cluster of people living just outside of the village's official boundary, the Census-defined area might be expanded to include that group.

At the time of the 2010 Census, the US Census gave a land area of 3.42 square miles [8.9 km²] and a water area of 0.02 square miles [0.1 km²], giving West Salem a total area of 3.44 square miles [8.9 km²].

It should be noted that the area given by the Census Bureau can change from one Census to the next. For example, the 2000 Census specified an area of 2.39 square miles [6.2 km²] for West Salem compared to the 3.44 square miles [8.9 km²] given in 2010.
Census Housing Unit
The US Census considers a Housing Unit to be a place where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter.

Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

At the time of the 2010 Census, West Salem had 1,869 Housing Units.
Decennial Census
The US Constitution requires that a count of the country's population be conducted every 10 years. The Census is conducted on those years ending in '0' (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010). This is known as a 'Decennial' Census. The process of taking a Census is called an 'Enumeration'.

The count includes citizens, non-citizen legal residents, long-term non-citizen visitors and illegal immigrants.

The purpose of the Census is to provide information about the demographic and social characteristics of the people of the United States. The results of the Census goes to the federal, state and local governments to support their planning and administrative activities.

The first Census was conducted in 1790. The most recent Census was conducted in 2010. The next Decennial Census will be conducted in 2020.

By comparison, the Canadian Census is conducted once every 5 years and is called a 'Quinquennial' Census.
FIPS Codes
In the past, the federal government created a set of codes that are used to uniquely identify States, Counties and Populated Places (such as a village like West Salem). These codes form the Federal Information Processing Standard. (specifically FIPS Document 55-3).

The State Code consists of two digits, the County Code consists of three digits and the Place Code consists of five digits. The County and Place Codes must be used together with the State Code to be truly unique.

For example, the following codes apply to the village of West Salem:

- State Code:  55 (Wisconsin)

- State / County Code:  55 / 063 (La Crosse County)

- State / Place Code:  55 / 86275

The FIPS Codes have been replaced by an ANSI standard and the GNIS Feature ID. Although obsolete, the FIPS Codes are still in use by some organizations.

For more information about the FIPS Codes, please visit our Misc Page for West Salem.
GNIS Codes
The function of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is to establish uniform names for geographic features (eg- communities, mountains, lakes, rivers, streams, etc). The BGN was created to address the problems caused by spelling and naming variations. BGN–accepted names are kept in a database called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), which is operated and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

A unique and permanent identifier has been assigned for each feature in the GNIS database. These names and identifiers are definitive.

West Salem has been given the GNIS Feature ID of '1584416'. Click here to see the GNIS Record for West Salem.
Although there are regional variations, a village that is incorporated (such as West Salem) is generally one with a charter from the State, defined boundaries and is governed by elected officials. By contrast, unincorporated communities usually exist by tradition, frequently with nebulous boundaries and without a recognized government.