Though now considered Midwestern, Boone County was settled primarily from the Upper South states of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. The settlers brought slaves and slaveholding with them, and quickly started cultivating crops similar to those in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky: hemp and tobacco. Boone was one of several counties settled by Southerners to the north and south of the Missouri River. Because of its culture and traditions, the area became known as Little Dixie, and Boone County was at its heart. In 1860 slaves made up 25 percent or more of the county's population, and Little Dixie was strongly pro-Confederate during the American Civil War.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 691.31 square miles (1,790.5 km2), of which 685.43 square miles (1,775.3 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 5.88 square miles (15.2 km2) (or 0.85%) is water. The Missouri River makes up the southern border of the county.
There were 53,094 households out of which 30.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.50% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.90% were non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the county the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 19.90% from 18 to 24, 29.90% from 25 to 44, 18.80% from 45 to 64, and 8.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $37,485, and the median income for a family was $51,210. Males had a median income of $33,304 versus $25,990 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,844. About 7.60% of families and 14.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.10% of those under age 18 and 5.90% of those age 65 or over.
History of Boone County, Missouri: Written and comp. from the most authentic official and private sources; including a history of its townships, towns, and villages. Together with ... biographical sketches and portraits of prominent citizens (1882) online