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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 103.0 km² (39.8 mi²). 102.6 km² (39.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.35% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 85,806 people, 34,116 households, and 21,493 families residing in the city. The population density is 836.4/km² (2,166.3/mi²). There are 35,346 housing units at an average density of 344.5/km² (892.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 87.51% White, 3.57% African American, 0.30% Native American, 5.63% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.16% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 34,116 households out of which 32.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% are married couples living together, 8.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% are non-families. 29.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.43 and the average family size is 3.06.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $49,090, and the median income for a family is $60,754. Males have a median income of $40,380 versus $30,136 for females. The per capita income for the city is $24,811. 7.8% of the population and 4.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 8.8% are under the age of 18 and 10.2% are 65 or older.
The primary industries in Rochester are medical services, computer design and programming, light manufacturing (mostly computers and electronics), and a substantial hotel/motel and restaurant trade that serves visitors to the Mayo Clinic.
The city is served by Rochester International Airport.