According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 75.8 km² (29.3 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,323 people, 2,415 households, and 1,919 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 96.6/km² (250.1/mi²). There were 2,517 housing units at an average density of 33.2/km² (86.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 85.69% White, 0.52% African American, 2.84% Native American, 1.35% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 6.45% from other races, and 2.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.50% of the population.
There were 2,415 households out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.4% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.5% were non-families. 15.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 27.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 102.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $64,649, and the median income for a family was $68,388. Males had a median income of $50,440 versus $35,199 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $24,071. About 5.8% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Valley Center is located in the 36th Senate District, represented by Republican Dennis Hollingsworth, and in the 66th and 74th Assembly District, represented by Republicans Kevin Jeffries and Martin Garrick respectively. Federally, Valley Center is located in California's 49th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +10 and is represented by Republican Darrell Issa.
Valley Center is a community in transition from a small rural town to a suburban "bedroom" community. This transition has been underway for several years. This has resulted in some agriculture, such as large fruit orchards, giving way to housing development. The growth of Valley Center has been slowed by lower densities including a minimum of 2 acres (8,100 m2) being required for most parcels. However, with San Diego County's GP2020 plan, currently being discussed, the densities in a few areas of Valley Center will be changed from a minimum of 2 acres (8,100 m2) per parcel to much higher densities. This would allow the population to expand, particularly in the town's central area. Even with current growth it is reasonable to characterize the town as "semi-rural".
Some changes in the community can be attributed to the expansion of Indian casinos in the area. There are currently two major casinos in the vicinity of Valley Center - Harrah's Rincon and Valley View; both were opened in 2001-02, bringing traffic and jobs to what used to be an out-of-the-way agricultural town. High traffic necessitated highway improvements, partially paid by casino contributions.
Despite these changes, there are still no chain department stores in the community; residents do their shopping in smaller "mom and pop" stores or drive to Escondido.
Once a year, parts of the city are closed down for an event known as Western Days. This event is traditionally held over the Memorial Day weekend and consists of a community parade, a gathering at the Valley Center Community Center and a rodeo. Another event of particular interest is the Lavender Harvest Festival at Key Creek Lavender Farm. This USDA Certified Organic Lavender Farm opens its doors to the public during the height of the bloom season. Features include an on site essential oil distillery, a lavender labyrinth and a farm store/gift shop.
Traditionally, the town and the surrounding areas have largely been dedicated to agricultural uses. Various commercial crops include oranges, lemons, and avocados. More recently farmers have taken up other crops, including ornamental floral products such as lavender. Additionally, there is a thriving animal farming industry including egg-producing hens, llamas, and a large milk dairy. Miscellaneous Valley Center agricultural links: