According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.4 km² (13.7 mi²). 34.7 km² (13.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.7 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.98% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 8,620 people, 3,513 households, and 2,027 families residing in the city. The population density is 248.4/km² (643.3/mi²). There are 3,777 housing units at an average density of 108.8 persons/km² (281.9 persons/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 90.17% White, 0.32% African American, 6.30% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.43% from other races, and 2.23% from two or more races. 1.37% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 3,513 households out of which 28.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% are married couples living together, 11.7% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 42.3% are non-families. 35.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 16.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.24 and the average family size is 2.91.
In the city the population is spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 15.4% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $30,853, and the median income for a family is $40,549. Males have a median income of $30,122 versus $20,926 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,330. 12.7% of the population and 7.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 9.9% are under the age of 18 and 10.0% are 65 or older.
See also: Ashland (town), Wisconsin