Salem is the county seat of Dent County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,950 at the 2010 census, which allows Salem to become a Class 3 city in Missouri; however, the city has chosen to remain a Class 4 city under Missouri Revised Statutes. Salem is located a few miles north of the Ozark Scenic Riverways and close to Montauk State Park, which contains the headwaters of the Current River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.18 square miles (8.24 km), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,950 people, 2,152 households, and 1,248 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,556.6 inhabitants per square mile (601.0/km). There were 2,408 housing units at an average density of 757.2 per square mile (292.4/km). The racial makeup of the city was 95.94% White, 0.53% Black or African American, 1.13% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.08% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.17% of the population.
There were 2,152 households of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.0% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.93.
The median age in the city was 39.5 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.5% were from 25 to 44; 24.1% were from 45 to 64; and 20.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.5% male and 53.5% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,854 people, 2,115 households, and 1,269 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,607.4 people per square mile (620.6/km²). There were 2,368 housing units at an average density of 784.2 per square mile (302.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.05% White, 0.74% African American, 0.54% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.25% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.
There were 2,115 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.0% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city, the population was spread out with 24.4% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 23.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $21,648, and the median income for a family was $29,460. Males had a median income of $27,006 versus $17,285 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,766. About 12.9% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.8% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.