As of the census of 2000, there are 17,367 people, 7,678 households, and 4,798 families residing in the city. The population density is 519.8/km² (1,346.4/mi²). There are 8,469 housing units at an average density of 253.5/km² (656.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 92.54% White, 5.57% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 1.08% from two or more races. 0.97% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 7,678 households out of which 24.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% are married couples living together, 13.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% are non-families. 34.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 17.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.18 and the average family size is 2.78.
In the city the population is spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 41 years. For every 100 females there are 82.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 75.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $27,389, and the median income for a family is $34,266. Males have a median income of $28,420 versus $20,967 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,311. 16.2% of the population and 13.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 25.8% are under the age of 18 and 12.4% are 65 or older.