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As of the census of 2000, there were 46,557 people, 20,248 households, and 11,642 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,963.3 people per square mile (1,144.2/km²). There were 21,572 housing units at an average density of 1,373.0/sq mi (530.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.58% White, 3.56% African American, 0.43% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.79% of the population.

There were 20,248 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.92. In the city the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 11.8% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was $33,986, and the median income for a family was $41,947. Males had a median income of $33,878 versus $23,672 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,434. About 7.3% of families and 9.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

Nighttime picture with sidewalk lights looking across Beutter Park and the St. Joseph River