As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 22,497 people, 9,132 households, and 6,401 families residing in the county. Thepopulation density was 89 people per square mile (34/km²). There were 12,848 housing units at an average density of 51 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.44% White, 1.43% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 2.77%Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 5.33% from other races, and 2.39% from two or more races. 20.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,132 households out of which 27.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.00% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.90% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.90. As of the 2010 census, there were about 5.9 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[10]

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 23.20% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 19.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,702, and the median income for a family was $34,915. Males had a median income of $31,597 versus $20,289 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,560. About 15.50% of families and 19.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.00% of those under age 18 and 10.20% of those age 65 or over.