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Salem, Massachusetts

  •   State: 
    Essex County
      County FIPS: 
    42°31′10″N 70°53′50″W
      Area total: 
    18.30 sq mi (47.40 km²)
      Area land: 
    8.29 sq mi (21.48 km²)
      Area water: 
    10.01 sq mi (25.92 km²)
    26 ft (8 m)
    1626; Settled 1626; Incorporated 1629 City 1836
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    5,362.91 residents per square mile of area (2,070.66/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Salem is a historic coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, located on the North Shore of Greater Boston. The peninsula that would become Salem was known as Naumkeag (alternate spellings Naemkeck, Nahumkek, Neumkeage) by the native people who lived there at the time of contact in the early 1600s. continuous settlement by Europeans began in 1626 with English colonists. Salem would become one of the most significant seaports trading commodities in early American history. Some of Salem's police cars are adorned with witch logos, a public elementary school is known as Witchcraft Heights, and the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches. Gallows Hill is believed to have once been the site of many public hangings, including of persons convicted as witches. It is now a park and used as a playing field for various sports. It features historic residential neighborhoods in the Federal Street District and the Charter Street Historic District. The city's population was 44,480 at the 2020 census. The name of the settlement was changed to Salem, the hellenized name of Shalem (), the royal city of Melchizedek, which is identified with Jerusalem. It was not until 1686, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter was recalled by the King in the creation of the Dominion of New England that Wenepoykin's heirs pressed their claim to the land of Salem, for which they were paid twenty pounds. In 1628, Endecott ordered that the Great House be moved from Cape Ann, reassembling it on Washington Street north of Church Street.


The peninsula that would become Salem was known as Naumkeag (alternate spellings Naemkeck, Nahumkek, Neumkeage) by the native people who lived there at the time of contact in the early 1600s. English settlers met little resistance on their arrival in Salem. Salem was involved in the Atlantic slave trade, surpassing Boston in terms of the town's engagement with the triangular trade. In 1768, Samuel Hall established Salem's first print shop and founded The Essex Gazette, the first newspaper to emerge in Massachusetts. The Salem Witch Trials began in 1692, and 19 people were executed because they were accused of witchcraft. The most widely known aspect of Salem is its history of witchcraft allegations, which started with Abigail Williams and Betty Williams playing "with a glase & an Egg" to learn "what should be" to be done with their sweet harts. The town's name was changed to Salem, the hellenized name of Shalem, the royal city of Melchizedek, which is identified with Jerusalem, in the 17th century. The name Salem was also used by the English and other Europeans to refer to the indigenous NaumKEag people, who were referred to as the "Naumkeag" by the Europeans. The word "Salem" is now used for the town of Salem, Massachusetts, and for the city of Boston, which was once known as Salem, Rhode Island, and later as Boston.

Air Station and the National Guard

Coast Guard Air Station Salem was established on February 15, 1935. Search and rescue, hunting for derelicts, and medical evacuations were the station's primary areas of responsibility. The station's surviving facilities are part of Salem's Winter Island Marine Park. In 2011, the City of Salem completed plans for the 30-acre (12 ha) Winter Island Park. The Renewable Energy Task Force, along with the Energy and Sustainability Manager, Paul Marquis, have recommended the construction of a 1.5-megawatt power turbine at the tip of Winter Island. In 1637, the first muster was held on Salem Common, where for the first time a regiment of militia drilled for the common defense of a multi-community area, thus laying the foundation for what became the Army National Guard. The Samuel McIntire Historic District is one of the largest concentrations of 17th and 18th century Federal structures in the U.S. It includes such structures as the Peirce-Nichols House, Hamilton Hall or the Witch House or Jonathan Corwin House or Witch Witch House (c.1642) It is also located in the district's workshop and house of the first architects in the United States, Sam McIntire, who was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1805. The district is also the birthplace of the Boston-based architect, Samuel L. McIntire (1805-1872), who was one of America's first architects. The city of Salem paid $45,000 in federal money to rehabilitate just the barracks.

Film, literature, and television in Salem

The silent movie Java Head was filmed on location in Salem in 1922. Sabrina The Teenage Witch filmed an episode in Salem and her black cat familiar was also named Salem. The 2012 Rob Zombie movie The Lords of Salem was set and filmed in Salem. Some interior and street scenes for 2013's American Hustle were filmed on Federal St. in Salem outside the Essex Superior Court House and Old Granite Courthouse. The television series Motherland: Fort Salem is based in this place but in an alternate reality or history. The comedy film Hubie Halloween starring Adam Sandler was filmed in Salem in 2019. The town is home to the Salem Museum of Art, which is open to the public for guided tours. The city's history dates back to the 17th century and is considered one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was the site of the Salem witch trials in the 19th century. It is also the setting for the film The Salem Witch Trials, which took place in the 1920s and 1930s. The Salem Museum's collection includes more than 1,000 photographs of the town's history, including some from the Salem Witch trials. The museum also has a large collection of historic buildings, including the Salem Inn, which was built in the 18th century as a home for the local community. The oldest building in the town is the Salem Hotel, built in 1881. The site is still used as a tourist attraction today and is known as the "Salem Inn".


Salem is located at 42°311N 70°5355W (42.516845, 70.898503). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.1 square miles (47 km²), of which 8.1 sq mi (21 km²) is land. Salem lies on Massachusetts Bay between Salem Harbor, which divides the city from much of neighboring Marblehead to the southeast, and Beverly Harbor. Between the two harbors lies Salem Neck and Winter Island, which are divided from each other by Cat Cove, Smith Pool (located between the two land causeways to Winter Island), and Juniper Cove. The Forest River flows through the south end of town, along with Strong Water Brook, which feeds Spring Pond at the town's southwest corner. The town has several parks, as well as conservation land along the Forest River and Camp Lion, which lies east of Spring Pond. The Salem Neck neighborhood lies northeast of downtown, and North Salem lies to the west of it, on the other side of the North River. South Salem is south of the South River, lying mostly along the banks of Salem Harbor southward. Salem is bordered by Beverly to the north, Danvers to the northwest, Peabody to thewest, Lynn to the south, Swampscott to theoutheast, and Marblehead. The city is divided by its natural features into several small neighborhoods. Salem's water rights extend along a channel into MassachusettsBay between the water rights of Marblehead and Beverly.


Salem is located on the Danvers River and Beverly Harbor. The nearest general aviation airport is Beverly Municipal Airport, and the nearest commercial airline service for national and international flights is at Boston's Logan International Airport. The Nathaniel Bowditch is a 92-foot (28 m) high-speed catamaran that travels from Salem to Boston in 50 minutes from May to October and had its maiden voyage on June 22, 2006. The City of Salem launched a microtransit network called the Salem Skipper in December 2020. It allows riders to share the same vehicle for approximately the same price as a MBTA Bus ticket. The city has a station on the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail. There is no highway access within the city; the nearest highway access to Route 128 is along Route 114 in neighboring Peabody. For the 2012 season Boston Harbor Cruises took over the running of the Salem Ferry with seven-day service and a Monday to Friday 7 a.m. commuter ferry to Boston. The ferry ride between Hingham and Salem takes one hour. With traffic, especially around Halloween, the drive between Salem and Hingham could be three hours or more. The latest data from 2015, with around 11,000 riders, shows the city has eight electric car charge stations where drivers can charge their electric cars for up to six hours. The program started in January 2013 and will be free of charge for two years, allowing people to charge their cars and other electric vehicles.


North Shore Medical Center (NSMC) is the second largest community hospital system in Massachusetts. It includes NSMC Salem Hospital and NSMC Union Hospital, as well as outpatient care and urgent care. The hospital had 19,467 admissions in the latest year for which data are available. It performed 4,409 annual inpatient and 7,955 outpatient surgeries. Its emergency department had 90,149 visits in 2012. The helipad is a helicopter transportation hub, with multiple daily flights to hospitals all over Boston. In 1873, Captain John Bertram gave a gift of $25,000 in cash, plus a brick mansion on Charter Street to create Salem Hospital. After Bertram died in March 1882, his widow donated their home, a mansion built in the High Style Italianate with brick and brownstone for materials at 370 Essex Street, and this became the Salem Public Library. In addition, theJohn Bertram House is now a home for the elderly. The Salem NSMC is a general medical and surgical hospital, which has 395 beds. It is located in Salem and is the founder of Salem Hospital, which was later renamed North Shore Medical center (NSMC) The hospital is located on Highland Avenue in Salem, Massachusetts, and has a total of 395 beds, including emergency/trauma departments, advanced cardiac surgery, and a birthplace. It was founded in 1873 and is now the first of its kind in the state. In 2012, the hospital had more than 19,000 admissions, including more than 4,400 inpatient admissions.

Waterfront redevelopment

The City of Salem's plans call for a total build-out of the current Blaney Street pier, known as the Salem Wharf project. The city hopes to have completed this waterfront pier by 2014. When finished, the Blaney street pier will be home to small to medium-sized cruise ships, commercial vessels and the Salem Ferry. This project is fully engineered and permitted. In June 2012, the $1.75 million was awarded by the state of Massachusetts and will launch a first phase of dredging and construction of a 100-foot (30 m) extension of the pier. Dredging will allow the city to attract other ferries, excursion vessels and cruise ships of up to 250 feet (76 m) The city of Salem had secured half of the $20 million and still needed to secure about $10 million in state and federal funds to complete this waterfront Pier. In early phase work to be finished for the 2011 season, a contractor was running underground utility cables and erecting an interim terminal building. The building will have an indoor bathrooma first at the ferry landingalong with a waiting room and possibly an outdoor area with awnings. Also new for 2011 is a paved lot with about 140 parking spaces replacing the existing dirt parking lot. In the late fall of 2011, after the ferry season ended, contractors were to start building the first section of the T-shaped, 350-ft (110 m) pier. Work on that phase was scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2012. This is one of the early and key pieces of the Salem Pier, which the city hopesto have completed by 2014 and is the key to eventually bring cruise ships to Salem.

Salem Harbor Power Station

The City of Salem was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Clean Energy Center prior to the closure of the plant. Footprint Power planned to demolish the 63-acre waterfront site that has towering smokestacks, a coal pile, and oil tanks. A city study estimated cleanup costs at more than $50 million. The final plan was to develop a new state-of-the-art natural gas plant on one-third of the original site, reportedly along the Fort Avenue side near the city's ferry landing. "We will restore some 30 to 40 acres of our waterfront to its vibrant and prosperous past," Footprint said in a statement. The company said the transition will not only stabilize our property tax base, but also provide cleaner, more efficient and reliable energy. It is not clear if Footprint has "detailed" talks yet with the City ofSalem. The city is encouraged by discussions so far. The plant closed for good in June 2014 after years of legal battles, protests, and one recent fatal accident. The main opponent that fought in court was the Conservation Law Foundation, a leading environmental advocacy group intent on blocking the plant from being built. In May 2011, the owner of the Salem Harbor Power Station announced it will close down the facility permanently. It was a 60-year-old power plant that was owned by Dominion of Virginia. It closed in May 2014 after the approval of ISO New England, the power company that owned the plant, and the city of Salem.


As of the census of 2010, there were 41,340 people, 19,130 households, and 9,708 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 81.5% White, 4.9% African American, 2.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.7% from other races, and 2. 5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.6%. Non-Hispanic Whites were 75.9 per cent of the population in 2010, compared to 95.9 percent in 1980. The median income for a household in theCity was $44,033, and the median income. for a family was $55,635. The per capita income was $23,857. About 6.3% of families and 9.7%. of the residents were below the poverty line, including 12.2% of those under age 18 and 7.9%. Salem was one of the largest municipalities in the United States in the colonial period. As late as the 1820 census, Salem was ranked in the top ten cities in the country by population, and would not drop out of the top 100 until the 20th century. The city is located on the Massachusetts Turnpike, which runs through the town of Salem. It is the state's second-largest city, after Boston, and has a population of more than 40,000. Salem is home to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts = 36.8. 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 13. 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 10. 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 = 3.2 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 15,455 individuals with a median age of 39.1 age the population grows by 0.95% in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 5,362.91 residents per square mile of area (2,070.66/km²). There are average 2.23 people per household in the 17,711 households with an average household income of $52,376 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 8.50% of the available work force and has dropped -4.20% 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 23.10%. The number of physicians in Salem per 100,000 population = 202.3.


The annual rainfall in Salem = 45.8 inches and the annual snowfall = 40.8 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 117. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 198. 81 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 21.1 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 50, 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, Essex County, Massachusetts which are owned by the occupant = 46.36%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 87 years with median home cost = $239,280 and home appreciation of -6.52%. 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 $11.64 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 $8,749 per student. There are 10.6 students for each teacher in the school, 2216 students for each Librarian and 887 students for each Counselor. 7.28% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 20.67% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 10.21% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Salem's population in Essex County, Massachusetts of 1,218 residents in 1900 has increased 12,69-fold to 15,455 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 53.03% female residents and 46.97% male residents live in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

    As of 2020 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts are married and the remaining 52.50% are single population.

  • 29.9 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.

    71.87% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 9.87% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 8.70% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.78% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, 46.36% are owner-occupied homes, another 48.77% are rented apartments, and the remaining 4.87% are vacant.

  • The 59.56% of the population in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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