There were 914 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.1% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 21.7% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 29.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 82.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,500, and the median income for a family was $43,935. Males had a median income of $30,444 versus $19,830 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,395. About 4.5% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.8% of those under age 18 and 13.1% of those age 65 or over.
Slayton is the home of Murray County Central School district. It is one of only two school districts left in the county (the other is Fulda Schools). The school has an average of 60 students a grade, below average even for the area. Lake Wilson schools closed before the turn of the century and joined with Slayton. Other towns in the area that have students attending MCC are: Currie, Chandler, Iona, Lake Wilson, Avoca, and more. Steve Jones is the superintendent and principal of the high school. Sally Berg is the principal of the elementary school.