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Selma, North Carolina
Selma, North Carolina.jpg
Official seal of Selma, North Carolina
Official logo of Selma, North Carolina
"A Charming Place to Be"
"The Crossroads of Tradition and Innovation"
Location of Selma, North Carolina
Location of Selma, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°32′13″N 78°17′5″W / 35.53694°N 78.28472°W / 35.53694; -78.28472Coordinates: 35°32′13″N 78°17′5″W / 35.53694°N 78.28472°W / 35.53694; -78.28472
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
County Johnston
Chartered February 11, 1873
Named for Selma, Alabama
 • Type Council–Manager
 • Total 4.80 sq mi (12.43 km2)
 • Land 4.80 sq mi (12.43 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
174 ft (53 m)
 • Total 6,073
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,479.38/sq mi (571.20/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 919
FIPS code 37-60320
GNIS feature ID 1022539

Selma is a town in Johnston County, North Carolina, United States. In 2010, the population was 6,073, and as of 2018 the estimated population was 6,913. Selma is part of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary Combined Statistical Area. The area has a population over 1.7 million residents, though the town of Selma is able to maintain its rural character. The Everitt P. Stevens House, located in Selma, was the site of the last Grand Review of the Confederate Army held on April 6, 1865, after its defeat at the Battle of Bentonville.


Selma is located at 35°32′13″N 78°17′5″W / 35.53694°N 78.28472°W / 35.53694; -78.28472 (35.536982, -78.284642).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 256
1890 527 105.9%
1900 816 54.8%
1910 1,331 63.1%
1920 1,601 20.3%
1930 1,857 16.0%
1940 2,007 8.1%
1950 2,639 31.5%
1960 3,102 17.5%
1970 4,356 40.4%
1980 4,762 9.3%
1990 4,600 −3.4%
2000 5,914 28.6%
2010 6,073 2.7%
2019 (est.) 7,101 16.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,914 people, 2,254 households, and 1,480 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,830.6 people per square mile (706.9/km2). There were 2,515 housing units at an average density of 778.5 per square mile (300.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 47.09% White, 40.33% Black, 0.57% Indian, 0.19% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 9.89% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 19.02% of the population.

There were 2,254 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 27.9% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $23,856 and the median income for a family was $32,430. Males had a median income of $26,886 versus $21,453 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,101. About 23.1% of families and 30.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.9% of those under age 18 and 22.1% of those age 65 or over.


Approximately 36% of people in Selma are affiliated with a religion. The predominant religion in Selma is Christianity, with the largest numbers of adherents being Baptist (15.64%) and Methodist (6.02%). Others include Pentecostal (4.02%), Roman Catholic (2.52%) and Presbyterian (1.46%).



Johnston County Airport (IATA: JNX, ICAO: KJNX, FAA LID: JNX) is a general aviation airport located approximately 7 miles west of Selma in Smithfield.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (IATA: RDU, ICAO: KRDU, FAA LID: RDU) is the region's primary airport, located approximately 40 miles northwest of Selma, between Raleigh and Durham.

Designated routes and highways

Passenger rail service

Amtrak's Palmetto and Carolinian passenger trains stop at the historic Selma Union Depot. They offer service to Charlotte, New York City, Savannah, and intermediate points.

Commercial rail service

  • CSX Transportation
  • Norfolk Southern Railway

Public transit

The Johnston County Area Transit System (JCATS) is a coordinated transit system that provides transportation services in Selma and throughout Johnston County.


Selma-Smithfield CSX Freight-2-
A CSX freight train passes the Selma Union Depot.

On May 1, 1867, lots were sold around a newly established station on the North Carolina Railroad. From those lots, the town was built and considered a railroad town for many decades. Selma was officially chartered as a town on February 11, 1873. The town recently renovated its 1924 passenger depot, which has Amtrak service. The town is also home to the Mitchener Station, which was built in 1855 and thought to be the oldest surviving train station in North Carolina. After Interstate 95 was built in the late 1950s, the town experienced growth due to its location next to the interstate. Today, there are many hotels and restaurants located in the area thanks to the traffic from I-95.

The Downtown Selma Historic District, Noah Edward Edgerton House, Richard B. Harrison School, Nowell-Mayerburg-Oliver House, William E. Smith House, Everitt P. Stevens House, Selma Union Depot, and West Selma Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Performing arts

  • American Music Jubilee/Rudy Theatre
  • Ice House


Selma is home to two schools within the Johnston County School District:

  • Selma Elementary School
  • Selma Middle School

Mitchner University Academy is a private, non-traditional school offering K-12 education.

Notable people

  • Myrtle Cagle, pilot and member of Mercury 13 female astronaut program
  • Seby B. Jones, former mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Drique London (born Madrique Sanders), rapper and hip hop artist
  • Lunsford Richardson, founder of the Vick Chemical Company, maker of cold remedies such as Vick's Cough Drops
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