Salem is a city in and the county seat of Marion County, Illinois, United States. The population was 7,485 at the 2010 census. Salem is located at 38°38′N 88°57′W (38.6282, -88.9482).According to the 2010 census, Salem has a total area of 7.097 square miles (18.38 km2), of which 6.94 square miles (17.97 km2) (or 97.79%) is land and 0.157 square miles (0.41 km2) (or 2.21%) is water.Salem was formerly a sundown town. “For decades” Salem “had signs on each main road going into town, telling the blacks, that they were not allowed in town after sundown.”At the 2000 census there were 7,909 people in 3,249 households, including 2,082 families, in the city. The population density was 1,296.5 people per square mile (500.6/km2).
There were 3,473 housing units at an average density of 569.3 per square mile (219.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.13% White, 0.72% African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72%.Of the 3,249 households 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 32.3% of households were one person and 17.2% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.
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