According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.4 km² (14.4 mi²). 37.3 km² (14.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.21% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 8,877 people, 3,415 households, and 2,151 families residing in the city. The population density is 237.9/km² (615.8/mi²). There are 3,940 housing units at an average density of 105.6/km² (273.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 66.16% White, 0.74% African American, 2.77% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 23.24% from other races, and 4.79% from two or more races. 54.50% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 3,415 households out of which 31.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% are married couples living together, 14.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% are non-families. 29.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 3.02.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 16.9% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 106.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 106.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $22,530, and the median income for a family is $33,013. Males have a median income of $31,517 versus $23,071 for females. The per capita income for the city is $13,250. 32.3% of the population and 24.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 44.4% are under the age of 18 and 23.6% are 65 or older.
Socorro is home to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT), as well as the New Mexico State Fire Academy.