Port Salerno, Florida

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Port Salerno, Florida
Location in Martin County and the state of Florida
Location in Martin County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°8′39″N 80°11′30″W / 27.14417°N 80.19167°W / 27.14417; -80.19167Coordinates: 27°8′39″N 80°11′30″W / 27.14417°N 80.19167°W / 27.14417; -80.19167
Country United States
State Florida
County Martin
 • Total4.07 sq mi (10.54 km2)
 • Land3.57 sq mi (9.23 km2)
 • Water0.50 sq mi (1.31 km2)
13 ft (4 m)
 • Total10,401
 • Density2,916.71/sq mi (1,126.29/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)772
FIPS code12-58727[2]
GNIS feature ID0289239[3]

Port Salerno is a census-designated place (CDP) in Martin County, Florida, United States. The population was 10,091 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Port St. Lucie Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Port Salerno is located at 27°8′39″N 80°11′30″W / 27.14417°N 80.19167°W / 27.14417; -80.19167 (27.144090, -80.191765).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), of which 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (9.95%) is water.


In the 1920s, a small settlement was created in the southern shores of St. Lucie river inlet. It was named "Salerno" because of its visual resemblance to the Italian city of Salerno as observed by an early visitor. Early settlers were fisherman who lived along the banks of the Manatee Pocket, a small natural bay in the St. Lucie River. Some decedents of these original settlers remain in the area with some owning family land for over 100 years.

The area increased in population and importance after World War II, with many people from the northeastern United States moving to Florida. In 1960, the name was changed to Port Salerno, in order to differentiate it from that of the Italian city.

The 1967 film Gentle Giant was partially filmed in and around Port Salerno. The only grocery store in town was P.O. Smith's Grocery, which was housed in a small wooden building at the intersection of Snake Rd (later renamed Salerno Rd) and A1A. This grocery store was featured in the production[5] in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida,[6] but had been transformed into a saloon before being filmed. This was because the grocery store had swinging "saloon style" doors.

In the 1970s, the Manatee Hotel was transformed into the Manatee Resort upon purchase by Michael Reynolds, heir to the RJ Reynolds tobacco fortune. Sally Field mentioned the town and resort in an interview with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

In the 1980s, the "Chastain Campus" of the Indian River State College was created. Port Salerno is known for the "World Fishing Tournaments", based on the yacht port.[7]


Port Salerno is an unincorporated town located in Martin County, governed by County Commissioners. Martin County is divided into five districts. Port Salerno is represented by Sarah Heard as part of District 4.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

2020 census[edit]

Port Salerno racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[9]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 7,018 67.47%
Black or African American (NH) 725 6.97%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 20 0.19%
Asian (NH) 67 0.64%
Some Other Race (NH) 30 0.29%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 347 3.34%
Hispanic or Latino 2,194 21.09%
Total 10,401

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 10,401 people, 4,358 households, and 2,723 families residing in the CDP.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 10,141 people, 4,466 households, and 2,862 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,803.2 people per square mile (1,081.6/km2). There were 5,126 housing units at an average density of 1,416.9/sq mi (546.7/km2).

The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.50% White, 6.95% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.16% of the population.

There were 4,466 households, out of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 19.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 24.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $39,839, and the median income for a family was $45,016. Males had a median income of $32,420 versus $25,371 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,948. About 7.0% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.9% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". 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. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ Luckhardt, Alice L. and Greg E., "Historical Vignettes: Salerno: Benjamin W. Mulford's Utopia", Treasure Coast Newspapers, TCPalm.com, Jun. 10, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Munden, Kenneth White, ed. American Film Institute Catalog: Feature Films 1961-1970. Univ. of Calif. Press, 1976, p. 392. ISBN 0-520-20970-2.
  7. ^ Port Salerno World Fishing Tournaments
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2022-02-12.

External links[edit]

Media related to Port Salerno, Florida at Wikimedia Commons