A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Salem, West Virginia
(Harrison County)

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other WV

Census Data for Salem ...

Population ...

The most recent Census Estimate<1> was for 2019 and it gave Salem a population of 1,525 people.

The last Decennial Census<2> was in 2010, which gave Salem a population of 1,586 people.

The city of Salem is located in Harrison County. The 2010 Census gave Harrison County; a population of 69,099 people. This means that Salem had 2.3% of the county's total population, making it Harrison's 6th most populous community.

At the same time, West Virginia had a population of 1,852,994 people, meaning that Salem had 0.09% of the total population of West Virginia - making it the state's 73rd most populous community.

Area ...

The 2010 Census shows that the sampling area for Salem has a total area of 1.34 square miles [3.5 km²].

Harrison County has a land area of 416 square miles [1,077.5 km²]. At 1.34 square miles [3.5 km²], Salem has 0.32% of the county's total land area.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • When the Census Bureau conducts a census for a city like Salem, they draw a boundary around the area in which they are going to conduct their count - this defines the sampling area (usually a polygon). The shape of the sampling area can be quite complex and it's important to keep in mind that the boundaries of the sampling area may or may not match the recognized boundaries of the city.
    • Things like population, area and housing for Salem reflect the sampling area. Since the shape of the sampling area and the actual boundaries of Salem might be different, it's best to check with the U.S. Census Bureau to resolve any difference between the two.
    • Not only does the sampling area define boundaries, it also has a GPS location (latitude & longitude) that indicates a point within the sampling area (usually the center of the polygon, known as the centroid). At the time of the 2010 Census, the sampling area was located at:
    • Lat:   39° 17' 5"   (or 39.28°)
    • Lon:   -80° 33' 52"   (or -80.56°)
    • More information on this topic and the changes between the 2000 Census and the 2010 Census can be found in the section for our Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Housing Units ...

At the time of the 2010 Census, Salem had 834 Housing Units<3> and with its population of 1,586 people, this averages 1.9 people per Housing Unit.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • The 2010 Census shows Salem had a land area of 1.34 square miles [3.5 km²]. This translates to 623 Housing Units per square mile [240.7 housing units/km²].
    • From the Census of 2000: Salem had 858 Housing Units, a population of 2,006 people and a land area of 1.38 square miles [3.6 km²]. This gives a density of 2.34 people per Housing Unit and 620 Housing Units per square mile [239.6 housing units/km²].
    • Note: Repeating the caution above (under Population Density), be aware that when comparing Housing Units between the 2010 and the 2000 Census, there were changes in the sampling area for Salem and you need to be careful when comparing between the censuses. More information about the nature of these the changes can be found in the section called Census-to-Census Observations ... (see below).

Harrison County ...

The community of Salem is located in Harrison County<4>.

The county had a population of 69,099 people at the 2010 Census. With it's population of 1,586 people, Salem represented 2.3% of the county's total.

In addition, where the city of Salem has a population density of 1,185 people per square mile [457.7 people/km²], Harrison County averages 166.1 people per square mile [64.1 people/km²].

For more information, please visit our Census Page for Harrison County.

Census-to-Census Observations ...

Introduction ...

When the Census Bureau takes a census count (or enumeration) for Salem, they start by specifying the boundaries of the area to be counted. This area (or sampling area) is a polygon and its shape can be quite complex - it may or may not match the geographical boundaries of Salem. It's important to note that from one Census to the next, the shape and location of the polygon can change.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • Although we don't have specific information about the shape of the polygon for Salem or how it changed has over time, there is some information that can give us some hints. For example, since the shape of the sampling area is directly related to the shape of the polygon, any change to area probably indicates a new shape for the polygon.
    • If you need precision or details about the methodology of the Census, you should visit the U.S. Census Bureau for a definitive answer.

Location ...

While generally coinciding with the GPS location (latitude/longitude) of Salem, the latitude and longitude given by the Census Bureau actually indicates the GPS location of the polygon for Salem.

  • Continue Reading ...
    • For the 2010 Census, the location was given as:
    • Lat:   39.284940°   (or 39°17'5" N)
    • Lon:   -80.564480°   (or -80°33'52" W)
    • For the 2000 Census, the location given was:
    • Lat:   39.283411°   (or 39°17'0" N)
    • Lon:   -80.562731°   (or -80°33'45" W)
    • The difference indicates that the U.S. Census Bureau moved the location of the polygon for the 2010 Census 744 feet to the northwest<5> of the location that was used in the 2000 Census.
    • The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) have assigned a unique GNIS identifier (#2390648) to Salem. This identifier also marks a GPS point on the map, and that point lies within the boundaries of Salem. The GNIS point has been mapped to the latitude/longitude:
    • Lat:   39.285036°   (or 39°17'6" N)
    • Lon:   -80.564019°   (or -80°33'50" W)
    • The GPS location given for the 2010 Census lies 134.7 feet to the west<6> of the point given by the GNIS for Salem. For more information about this and the relationship of the various Federal Codes, please visit our Misc Page for Salem.

Miscellaneous Information for Salem ...

The Federal government has assigned various identifying codes to each community, county and state. At one time or another, the US Census Bureau has used one (or more) of the following identifiers when referring to either Harrison County or the city of Salem:

  • The GNIS Codes ...
    • The current system of identification is called the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). The following GNIS codes relate to Salem:
    • GNIS ID for Salem: 2390648
    • GNIS ID for Harrison County: 1718426
    • GNIS ID for State of West Virginia: 1779805
  • Misc. Census Codes ...
    • Salem is located in Census Region #3 (the South Region) and Division #5 (the South Atlantic Division).
  • The US Postal Service ZIP Code ...
    • While some people have used a ZIP code to identify a community, the purpose of the ZIP code was to make mail delivery more efficient by grouping addresses together. Although the ZIP Code doesn't specifically identify a city like Salem, it does identify addresses that are in (or near) Salem. It's important to remember that the boundaries of a ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned or overlapped with other ZIP Codes.
    • The ZIP code for Salem:26426<7>
  • Census ZCTA Codes ...
    • The US Census Bureau created statistical entities that they call ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) and these ZCTAs are frequently confused with the ZIP codes that come from the US Postal Service (USPS).
    • ZCTAs were first created for the 2000 Census and at that time, they were based upon the USPS ZIP codes. While largely covering the same areas, the boundaries of a ZCTA do not necessarily match the boundaries of a postal ZIP code with the same number. For example, while a postal ZIP code can cross a county or state line, a Census ZCTA can not. They should be treated as separate entities with no correlation between them.

For more information about the various Federal identification codes, please visit our Misc Page for Salem.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Index of Cities, Towns and Villages for West Virginia

About Harrison County

About West Virginia

Off-the-Road Links ...

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Salem. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for Harrison County:

The official website for State of West Virginia:

The official website of the U.S. Census Bureau

The official website of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN)

The official website of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Footnotes ...

<1>Every year, the US Census Bureau creates a population estimate for the preceeding year. Keep in mind that this value is an estimate and not an actual count. The most recent Census estimate is for the year 2019.
<2>Every 10 years (eg- 1990, 2000, 2010), the US Census Bureau conducts a Constitutionally-mandated count (or enumeration) of people living within the United States. This count is called a Decennial Census. The last Decennial Census was the 2010 Census, with the next one planned for 2020.
<3>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places 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).
<4>If you're interested in how the shape of West Virginia's counties, including Harrison, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<5>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the 2010 Census location is 41 degrees and a distance of 744 feet.
<6>The calculated bearing (or angle) to the GNIS point is 105 degrees and a distance of 134.7 feet.
<7>When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Salem or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).






Sitemap Privacy
of Use



Copyright 2020
All Rights Reserved

Please keep in mind that we can not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information on this website, so use with care. We encourage you to double-check the information that is critical to you.

If you've found an error or have additional information that you would like to share, please don't hesitate to write. Click here to contact us.

This page was last modified: 14 Sep 2021