Salem is a city in Salem County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 5,146, reflecting a decrease of 711 (−12.1%) from the 5,857 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 1,026 (−14.9%) from the 6,883 counted in the 1990 Census, an overall drop of more than 25% over the two decades. It is the county seat of Salem County, the state's most rural county. The name "Salem", in both the city and county, is derived from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning "peace". The town and colony of Salem was laid out in 1675 by John Fenwick and the community was given permission to choose officers in October 1693. It was incorporated on February 21, 1798, as part of the initial group of 104 townships established by the New Jersey Legislature. On February 25, 1858, it was reincorporated as Salem City.
Salem is located along the Salem River. According to the United States Census Bureau, Salem city had a total area of 2.815 square miles (7.291 km²), including 2.343 square miles (6.070 km²) of land and 0.472 square mile (1.221 km²) of water (16.75%).
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,146 people, 2,157 households, and 1,264 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,195.9 per square mile (847.8/km²). There were 2,633 housing units at an average density of 1,123.6 per square mile (433.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 31.21% (1,606) White, 62.13% (3,197) Black or African American, 0.41% (21) Native American, 0.39% (20) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 1.85% (95) from other races, and 4.02% (207) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.68% (344) of the population.
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