As of the census of 2000, there were 46,090 people, 17,591 households, and 12,964 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,350.6 people per square mile (521.4/km²). There were 18,041 housing units at an average density of 528.6 per square mile (204.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.90% White, 1.72% African American, 0.11% Native American, 2.84% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population.
There were 17,591 households out of which 36.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $69,341, and the median income for a family was $80,606. Males had a median income of $60,587 versus $36,113 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,948. About 1.8% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.
In 1788, Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham purchased 2.6 million acres (11,000 km²) of land in the wilderness of Western New York. William Walker of Canandaigua purchased 36 square miles (93 km2) of the land and hired his brother Caleb and his cousin Glover Perrin (1762-1830) to survey and divide the land into 66 equal lots. The area was known as Township 12, Range 4, in the governmental unit of Northfield.
In 1793, Glover Perrin, his family, and his six siblings and their families, became the first permanent white settlers in the area. They settled in the flat and well-watered areas, specifically in the hamlet of Egypt (along the current Route 31) and Perinton Center (the intersection of Turk Hill and Ayrault roads). Early commercial ventures included mills, blacksmith shops, taverns, and inns.
By the late 1820s, the village of Fairport, located within the town on the Erie Canal, was becoming a booming canal town. Fairport, however, was not incorporated as a village until 1867.
From the 1850s to the 1950s, Perinton's history was primarily Fairport's history. The village was an active canal port and also a booming industrial town, echoing a trend that was occurring nationwide. As a result of the availability of cheap and easy transportation, which by the 1850s included the railroad as well as the canal, companies such as the DeLand Chemical Company, the Cobb Preserving Company, Taylor's Oil of Life, and eventually the American Can Company, grew and thrived. Services, including a fire department, a public library, street lighting, and parks, enhanced the life of the town and village. Residential areas, with homes built in a variety of architectural styles, were built around the bustling village center.
The town of Perinton, outside of Fairport, remained essentially rural until the 1950s. Today farms still exist in Perinton, but are surrounded by suburban subdivisions, office and industrial parks, and an impressive number of parks and open spaces. The village of Fairport still maintains the ambience of a canal town and capitalizes on the recreational aspects of that canal.
Most residents of the town of Perinton reside within both the Fairport Central School District and the Fairport postal district; due to this it is common for Perinton residents to describe their place of residence as "Fairport" even if they live outside of the village.
The town of Perinton was named one of the nation's 100 best places to live in 2008 by RelocateAmerica.com.
Richardson's Tavern was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.