As of the census of 2000, there were 5,081 people, 2,043 households, and 1,229 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,710.3 people per square mile (1,816.5/km²). There were 2,103 housing units at an average density of 1,949.6/sq mi (751.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 82.94% White, 1.57% African American, 0.63% Native American, 4.00% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 6.18% from other races, and 4.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.99% of the population.
There were 2,043 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.1% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $55,230, and the median income for a family was $61,167. Males had a median income of $48,750 versus $32,721 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $28,360. About 6.5% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Soquel is located in the 11th Senate District, represented by Democrat Joe Simitian, and in the 27th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Bill Monning. Federally, Soquel is located in California's 17th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +17 and is represented by Democrat Sam Farr.
The name Soquel has a somewhat unknown history. One local tale of its name comes from a story in which a bartender yells, "Soak Hell" at a patron. Another says the name comes from a local Native American tribe was called the Soquel Indians. The Mexican land grant Rancho Soquel was given Martina Castro in 1833.
The town of Soquel is notorious for its flooding. The lowlands in and around the Soquel Creek have flooded many times during Soquel's history. The most recent flood happened in January 1982, and nearly topped its banks in 1986. Uncleared log jams down stream in the city of Capitola have been blamed for the flooding. Capitola City Planner Richard Steele implemented a debris removal program after the near flooding in 1986.