Winston-Salem, city (1990 pop. 143,485), seat of Forsyth co., central N.C., in the Piedmont; inc. 1913. It is one of North Carolina's largest cities and foremost industrial centers. Historically a major tobacco manufacturer, Winston-Salem diversifed in the 1990s; its economy now relies heavily on banking, medicine, and higher education. The city also food processing and factories that manufacture electrical equipment, building materials, aluminum and paper products, steel, furniture, automotive equipment, and textiles and apparel.
The village of Bethabara, the first Moravian settlement in North Carolina, was established nearby in 1753. In 1766 the Moravians built their central town, Salem, a few miles away, and most of the industries and residents of Bethabara moved there. Winston was established in 1849 as the county seat. The two communities were united in 1913.
Moravian culture has been sustained through long-range efforts to restore the 18th-century village of Old Salem (some 40 buildings dating from 1767–1811 survive). Also of interest is historic Bethabara park. Winston-Salem is the seat of Wake Forest Univ., Winston-Salem State Univ., Salem College, North Carolina School of the Arts, Carolina Christian College, and Salem Academy (est. 1772), a preparatory school for girls.