Salem is a city in Salem County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 5,146, reflecting a decrease of 711 (-12.1%) from the 5,857 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 1,026 (-14.9%) from the 6,883 counted in the 1990 Census, an overall drop of more than 25% over the two decades. It is the county seat of Salem County, the state's most rural county. The name "Salem", in both the city and county, is derived from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning "peace".
The town and colony of Salem was laid out in 1675 by John Fenwick and the community was given permission to choose officers in October 1693. It was incorporated on February 21, 1798, as one of the initial group of 104 townships established by the New Jersey Legislature. On February 25, 1858, it was reincorporated as Salem City.