According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the county has a total area of 399.08 square miles (1,033.6 km2), of which 391.44 square miles (1,013.8 km2) (or 98.09%) is land and 7.64 square miles (19.8 km2) (or 1.91%) is water.
There were 27,040 households out of which 33.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.70% were non-families. 28.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 32.30% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 11.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 105.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $42,924, and the median income for a family was $53,416. Males had a median income of $33,769 versus $25,189 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,739. About 5.80% of families and 8.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.50% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.
Former U.S. Senator and current PresidentBarack Obama (D-Illinois) received more votes, a total of 4,642, than any candidate from either party in Cole County during the 2008 presidential primary. Cole County was one of only six counties (including the independent city of St. Louis) that backed Obama in Missouri.
History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage counties, Missouri : from the earliest time to the present, including a department devoted to the preservation of sundry personal, business,professional and the private records; besides a valuable fund of notes, original observations, etc. etc. (1889) online