Covington County, Mississippi

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Covington County, Mississippi
Covington County Courthouse.jpg
Covington County Courthouse
Map of Mississippi highlighting Covington County
Location in the state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location in the U.S.
Founded 1819
Named for Leonard Covington
Seat Collins
Largest city Collins
Area
 • Total 414.94 sq mi (1,075 km2)
 • Land 413.79 sq mi (1,072 km2)
 • Water 1.15 sq mi (3 km2), 0.28%
Population
 • (2010) 19,568
 • Density 47/sq mi (18/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Covington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,568.[1] Its county seat is Collins.[2] The county is named for U.S. Army officer and Congressman Leonard Covington.[3]

History[edit]

Covington County was established on January 5, 1819, less than two years after Mississippi earned statehood into the Union. The county was one of the first counties established out of the vast non-agricultural lands in the more eastern part of the state. Covington was originally cut out of Lawrence and Wayne Counties, and encompassed what is now Jefferson Davis, Covington, and Jones Counties.

In 1823, part of Covington County became Bainbridge County, most likely named after William Bainbridge, who became an American naval hero during the War of 1812. The next year, in 1824, the Mississippi legislature did away with Bainbridge County, giving its lands back to Covington County.

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 414.94 square miles (1,074.7 km2), of which 413.79 square miles (1,071.7 km2) (or 99.72%) is land and 1.15 square miles (3.0 km2) (or 0.28%) is water.[4]

Major highways[edit]

Covington County is crossed both north-to-south and east-to-west by four-laned state highways. Highway 49, which runs north-south through all three municipalities and is commonly known as Mississippi's Main Street, connects the state's three largest cities—Jackson, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg—to Covington County as well as cities such as Wiggins, Magee, Clinton, and Yazoo City. Highway 49 brings to Covington County thousands each day.

Highway 84 cuts across Covington County east to west, and runs through the City of Collins. Highway 84 connects the mid-size cities of Laurel, Brookhaven, and Natchez to Covington County.

Minor highways[edit]

A network of two-laned highways runs through Covington County, connecting big cities and small communities alike. Main Street Collins is Highway 184, formerly Highway 84. Main Street Seminary is Highway 590. Others include:

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,230
1830 2,551 14.4%
1840 2,717 6.5%
1850 3,338 22.9%
1860 4,408 32.1%
1870 4,753 7.8%
1880 5,993 26.1%
1890 8,299 38.5%
1900 13,076 57.6%
1910 16,909 29.3%
1920 14,869 −12.1%
1930 15,028 1.1%
1940 17,030 13.3%
1950 16,036 −5.8%
1960 13,637 −15.0%
1970 14,002 2.7%
1980 15,927 13.7%
1990 16,527 3.8%
2000 19,407 17.4%
2010 19,568 0.8%
Est. 2012 19,607 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[1]

2010 Census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 19,568 people residing in the county. 63.0% were White, 34.9% Black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 1.0 of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 1.9 were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

By age category, Covington County residents are dispersed as follows: 29.1% are under the age of twenty; 23.8% are between the ages of twenty and forty; 32% are between the ages of forty-one and sixty-five; and 15.1% are over age sixty-five. The average age is 37.6 years. By gender, 48.6% are men and 51.4% are women.

There are 8,496 housing units in the county. Of these, 47.1% are inhabited by husband/wife families; 5% by a man with no wife present; 18.1% by a woman with no husband present; and 29.7% by non-families. The average household size is 2.60, and the average family size is 3.14.

2000 Census[edit]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 19,407 people, 7,126 households, and 5,280 families residing in the county. The population density was 47 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 8,083 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 63.42% White, 35.61% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,126 households out of which 36.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.50% were married couples living together, 17.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.90% were non-families. 23.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.16.

As of the census[6] of 2000 the largest ancestry groups are English 56.2%, African 36% and Scots-Irish 7.1%.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.80% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,669, and the median income for a family was $31,264. Males had a median income of $26,611 versus $18,371 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,506. About 18.70% of families and 23.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.60% of those under age 18 and 20.30% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 57.8% (5,405) 41.5% (3,878) 0.7% (65)
2008 58.4% (5,523) 40.7% (3,852) 0.9% (86)
2004 61.1% (5,044) 38.3% (3,158) 0.6% (50)
2000 60.8% (4,180) 38.1% (2,623) 1.1% (78)
1996 51.1% (3,219) 41.7% (2,628) 7.2% (458)
1992 50.4% (3,525) 39.7% (2,775) 9.9% (696)

National Politics[edit]

On the Presidential level, Covington County is solidly Republican and has been for more than two decades. A Democrat has not won Covington County since 1976, when native Southerner Jimmy Carter bested Gerald Ford by fewer than 300 votes. In the Congress, Covington County falls within the boundaries of Mississippi's Third Congressional District, which is represented by Republican Gregg Harper.

State Politics[edit]

On the state level, Covington County is solidly Republican. Not since 1995 has Covington County voted for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee. In the most recent 2011 election, Covington Countians voted for the Republican nominee in seven of the eight statewide contests. In the State House of Representatives, the majority of Covington County is represented by Joseph L. "Joe" Warren, one of the longest-serving Democrats in the Mississippi House. Representing smaller portions of Covington County are Blaine "Bo" Eaton and Bob Evans, both Democrats. In the State Senate, the county is represented by Joey Fillingane, a Republican.

Local politics[edit]

On the local level, Covington County is still heavily Democratic. Of the six county-wide elected positions, all are held by Democrats. This is also the case for the five-member Board of Supervisors.

Tourism[edit]

Okatoma River[edit]

The Okatoma River carves a winding path north to south through Covington County, running through all three towns and eventually empties into the Bouie River just south of the county line. Several thousand tourists come each year from all over the Southeast to canoe and kayak a portion of the river from Seminary to Sanford. Okatoma Outdoor Post and Seminary Canoe Rental both provide canoe and kayak rentals, as well as lodging on the river. The river has consistently been ranked among the best rafting sites in the South.

Mitchell Farms[edit]

Located just east of Collins, Mitchell Farms is one of the top ArgiTourism destinations in South Mississippi. Families and school groups alike travel to Collins each year to visit the tour the farm, as well as to enjoy the Pumpkin Patch, rustic cabins and farm buildings, corn maze, sunflower field, and many other family-oriented activities. Mississippi's Peanut Festival—complete with a Harvest King and Queen competition, 5K Run/Walk, food vendors, and children's activiites—is held annually in October, attracting several thousand.

Grand Paradise Water Park[edit]

Collins' Grand Paradise is a seven-acre water park, one of the largest in Mississippi. Hundreds flock to Grand Paradise every day during the summer months. Attractions include the Lazy River, Cannon Bowl, Pipeline, and more. Food, lockers, a changing area, and gift shop are available.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

Notable natives[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 94. 
  4. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Coordinates: 31°38′N 89°33′W / 31.63°N 89.55°W / 31.63; -89.55