The island is is also home to the Cape Canaveral space centre and a large wildlife reserve.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 121.9 km² (47.0 mi²). 45.7 km² (17.6 mi²) of it is land and 76.1 km² (29.4 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 62.49% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 36,090 people, 14,955 households, and 10,049 families residing in the town. The population density is 789.5/km² (2,044.6/mi²). There are 15,813 housing units at an average density of 345.9/km² (895.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the town is 90.22% White, 5.31% African American, 0.41% Native American, 1.65% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races. 3.83% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 14,955 households out of which 27.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% are married couples living together, 10.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% are non-families. 26.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.36 and the average family size is 2.86.
In the town the population is spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 43 years. For every 100 females there are 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $43,532, and the median income for a family is $52,388. Males have a median income of $41,393 versus $25,787 for females. The per capita income for the town is $23,961. 9.4% of the population and 7.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 13.8% are under the age of 18 and 7.0% are 65 or older.