On April 21, 2001, Hoisington suffered a large scale disaster, when an F4 tornado ripped through the city, coming from the southwest corner and traveling almost straight into the middle of the city. However, the city's population and commerce recovered quickly. If compared to the enhanced Fujita Scale this tornado would have been an EF-5, the strongest on the scale. This storm was featured on an episode of The Weather Channels "Storm Stories".
The tornado struck during the high school prom, and many of the prom goers weren't even aware the tornado had hit--a fact that was made famous by the radio show This American Life in Episode #186 "Prom" (originally aired on June 8, 2001).
There were 1,252 households of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18, 51.0% were married couples living together, 8.3% had female householders with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. Of all households, 34.3% were made up of individuals and 17.7% 65 years of age or older living alone. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.96.
The population was 24.8% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 85.6 males. The ratio for ages 18 and over was 100 females to 83.3 males.
The census reported the median household income in the city was $28,022, and the median family income was $32,431. The median income for males was $26,306 versus $21,827 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,234. Approximately 12.3% of families and 15.4% of the population fell below the poverty line, including 25.7% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.