Selma, North Carolina

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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
CharteredFebruary 11, 1873
Named forSelma, Alabama
 • TypeCouncil–Manager
 • MayorCheryl Oliver
 • Total4.85 sq mi (12.56 km2)
 • Land4.85 sq mi (12.56 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
174 ft (53 m)
 • Total6,073
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,379/sq mi (532.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)919
FIPS code37-60320[2]
GNIS feature ID1022539[3]

Selma is a town in Johnston County, North Carolina, United States. In 2010, the population was 6,073,[4] and as of 2018 the estimated population was 6,913.[1] 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 in central Johnston County at 35°32′13″N 78°17′5″W / 35.53694°N 78.28472°W / 35.53694; -78.28472 (35.536982, -78.284642).[5] It is bordered to the southwest by Smithfield, the county seat, and to the northwest by Wilson's Mills.

Interstate 95 runs along the southern edge of the town, with access from Exit 97 (U.S. Route 70) and Exit 98 (Pine Level–Selma Road). I-95 leads northeast 44 miles (71 km) to Rocky Mount and southwest 51 miles (82 km) to Fayetteville. U.S. Route 301 (Pollock Street) runs through the center of Selma, leading northeast 25 miles (40 km) to Wilson and southwest 4 miles (6 km) to the center of Smithfield. US 70 runs along the southwest edge of Selma, leading northwest 31 miles (50 km) to Raleigh and southeast 21 miles (34 km) to Goldsboro. North Carolina Highway 96 leads north from the center of Selma 21 miles (34 km) to Zebulon.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town of Selma has a total area of 4.9 square miles (12.6 km2), all of it land.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20186,913[1]13.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census[2] 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%).[7]

Law and government[edit]

Selma operates under a council-manager government. The town council consists of the mayor and four council members. All four council members are elected at-large.

  • Cheryl Oliver, Mayor[8]
  • Tommy Holmes, Council Member
  • Jackie Lacy, Council Member and Mayor Pro-tem
  • Mark Petersen, Council Member
  • Ann Williams, Council Member

The council sets policy and the manager oversees day-to-day operations. The town manager is Steven Hicks.[9]



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[edit]

Passenger rail service[edit]

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[edit]

Public transit[edit]

The Johnston County Area Transit System (JCATS)[10] is a coordinated transit system that provides transportation services in Selma and throughout Johnston County.


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 is 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.[11][12][13][14]


Selma is home to two schools within the Johnston County School District:[15]

  • Selma Elementary School
  • Selma Middle School



Performing arts[edit]

  • American Music Jubilee/Rudy Theatre
  • Ice House



Selma is part of the Raleigh-Durham-Fayettville Designated Market Area. The following stations have broadcast facilities in the city:


There are several newspapers and periodicals serving the city:

Radio stations[edit]

Selma is part of the Raleigh-Durham Arbitron radio market. The following stations transmit from the city:

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Selma town, North Carolina". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/30/10 through 9/03/10. National Park Service. 2010-09-10.
  13. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 12/27/11 through 12/30/11. National Park Service. 2012-01-06.
  14. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 12/26/12 through 12/28/12. National Park Service. 2013-01-04.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Weitekamp, Margaret A. Right Stuff, Wrong Sex: America's First Women in Space Program

External links[edit]