Introduction to Salem, Virginia

Salem, Virginia is 7 miles W of Roanoke, Virginia (center to center) and 131 miles NW of Raleigh, North Carolina. The people of the city are in the Roanoke metropolitan area. Salem has a population of 24,747.

Salem History

European explorers Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam first arrived in this area in 1671. At that time, it was a village of the Totero people. Batts and Fallam named this area Totero Town. It developed into a small settlement that served travelers on the Great Wilderness Road. The town of Salem was established in 1802 but got its charter in 1806. The most widespread belief behind the naming of the town is that it was named in honor of a prominent citizen, William Bryan, who came from Salem, New Jersey.

Salem and nearby Attractions

  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Natural Bridge of Virginia
  • Salem Museum and Historical Society
  • Roanoke Valley Greenways
  • Mill Mountain Zoo
  • Science Museum of Western Virginia & Hopkins Planetarium

Things To Do In Salem

Salem offers facilities for a variety of recreational activities. The city has several parks which provide a host of amenities including playgrounds, sport courts and fields, and picnic pavilions. The Department of Parks and Recreation regularly organizes special events, recreation programs, and tournaments. The Salem Museum has a significant collection of local artifacts such as Native American items, relics from the Civil War, and other historically important items.

Salem Transportation

Roanoke Regional/Woodrum Field Airport provides air transportation.

Salem Higher Education

National Business College, Roanoke College, and Virginia Western Community College are nearby.


Total Population 25,165
Male Share of the Population 47.4%
Female Share of the Population 52.6%
Senior Citizens 17.2%
Employed Population 16+ 12,362
Age of the Population 41


% of people married 47.3%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 28.4%
Median Earnings25+ $35,269
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,639
Median Earnings With High School Degree $29,804


Median Family Income $62,903
% Above Poverty Level 88.8%
% Below Poverty Level 11.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 18 minutes
% Working from Home 3.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 4.3%
% Using Public Transportation 1.1%


People Living Alone 31.8%
Median Gross Rent $836
Median House Value $173,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 20.1%
US/American 0%
English 14.7%
Irish 12.6%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Salem Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 7 miles W of Roanoke, Virginia (center to center)
Nearest Large City 131 miles NW of Raleigh, North Carolina
Metro Area Roanoke
Standard Zip Codes 24153
Phone Area Codes 540
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 37.28
Longitude -80.08

Salem Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 6.7 miles
Jan Temp 27 to 45 F
Apr Temp 44 to 68 F
Jul Temp 65 to 88 F
Oct Temp 45 to 69 F
Annual Precip 42.4 inches
Distance 22.8 miles
Jan Temp 26 to 45 F
Apr Temp 42 to 68 F
Jul Temp 64 to 87 F
Oct Temp 44 to 68 F
Annual Precip 46.6 inches
Station UNION 3 SSE
Distance 31.1 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 40 F
Apr Temp 36 to 63 F
Jul Temp 58 to 84 F
Oct Temp 37 to 66 F
Annual Precip 36.1 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Blacksburg 43,530 $74,886
Boones Mill 158 $58,750
New Castle 166 $63,750
Roanoke 98,736 $50,786
Troutville 551 $55,417
Vinton 8,162 $52,149

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Salem Public Libraries

Salem Public Library
28 E. MAIN ST.
Salem, Virginia
(540) 375-3089
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Salem Hospitals

(540) 776-4100
Emergency Service: Yes

Salem VA Medical Center
1970 Roanoke Boulevard
(540) 982-2463 or (888) 982-2463
Emergency Service:

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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Salem High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,228 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.2

A Magnet School.
Serves 536 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.2

Salem Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Additional Details
Salem Colleges
Salem colleges and trade schools.
Salem Graduate Schools
Salem Graduate and Business Schools
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Career and College Resources

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Info for Salem Government Officials

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