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As of the census of 2000, there were 17,414 people, 7,465 households, and 4,299 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,706.5/km˛ (4,415.5/mi˛). There were 8,244 housing units at an average density of 807.9/km˛ (2,090.3/mi˛). The racial makeup of the borough was 61.42% White, 28.22% African American, 0.48% Native American, 3.53% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.24% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.56% of the population.

There were 7,465 households out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.0% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.4% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the borough the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 36.2% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $36,080, and the median income for a family was $40,931. Males had a median income of $34,990 versus $26,514 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,659. About 11.3% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.