The main campus of Purdue University is located here.
Geography\nWest Lafayette is located at 40°26'31" North, 86°54'45" West (40.441935, -86.912409)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.3 km² (5.5 mi²). 14.3 km² (5.5 mi²) of it is land and 0.18% is water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 28,778 people, 10,462 households, and 3,588 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,016.6/km² (5,219.6/mi²). There are 10,819 housing units at an average density of 758.1/km² (1,962.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 83.34% White, 2.38% African American, 0.16% Native American, 11.34% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. 3.20% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 10,462 households out of which 14.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.6% are married couples living together, 4.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 65.7% are non-families. 32.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.26 and the average family size is 2.89.
The age distribution, heavily influenced by Purdue, is: 10.4% under the age of 18, 54.6% from 18 to 24, 16.9% from 25 to 44, 10.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 22 years. For every 100 females there are 133.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 137.2 males. The unusual sex distribution can also be explained by Purdue's presence; the school has large and well-regarded programs in several male-dominated academic fields, notably engineering.
The median income for a household in the city is $24,869, and the median income for a family is $71,510. Males have a median income of $46,787 versus $30,218 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,337. 38.3% of the population and 9.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 9.5% are under the age of 18 and 3.6% are 65 or older. However, traditional measures of poverty can be highly misleading when applied to communities with a large proportion of students, such as West Lafayette.