According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.6 km² (7.6 mi²). 19.0 km² (7.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.7 km² (0.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 3.56% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 30,940 people, 11,475 households, and 6,701 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,632.0/km² (4,229.5/mi²). There are 12,895 housing units at an average density of 680.2 persons/km² (1,762.7 persons/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 82.03% White, 13.05% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.37% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. 3.14% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 11,475 households out of which 31.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% are married couples living together, 18.4% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 41.6% are non-families. 34.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.37 and the average family size is 3.05.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 13.0% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 98.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $27,292, and the median income for a family is $33,592. Males have a median income of $31,775 versus $22,350 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,495. 23.1% of the population and 17.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 32.6% are under the age of 18 and 12.1% are 65 or older.
See also: Elmira (town), New York