The first city in Broward County dating back to the 1880s. Starting as a settlement called Modello, it was incorporated in November, 1904. Most of the 35 residents were of Danish ancestry, and they changed the name of the town to Dania.
In 2001, the city annexed several unincorporated areas of Broward County increasing the population by about 3,600.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 20,061 people, 9,012 households, and 4,866 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,271.9/km² (3,294.2/mi²). There were 10,847 housing units at an average density of 687.7/km² (1,781.2/mi²).
There were 9,012 households out of which 21.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.0% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $34,125, and the median income for a family was $37,405. Males had a median income of $35,081 versus $26,535 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,795. About 14.6% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.6% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.