Holmes County, Mississippi

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Holmes County, Mississippi
Holmes County Courthouse.jpg
Holmes County Courthouse
Map of Mississippi highlighting Holmes County
Location in the state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location in the U.S.
Founded 1833
Named for David Holmes
Seat Lexington
Largest city Durant
Area
 • Total 764.18 sq mi (1,979 km2)
 • Land 756.00 sq mi (1,958 km2)
 • Water 8.18 sq mi (21 km2), 1.07%
Population
 • (2010) 19,198
 • Density 28/sq mi (11/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Holmes County is a county in the U.S. state of Mississippi. The western portion of the county is located within the Mississippi Delta. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,198.[1] Its county seat is Lexington.[2] It is named in honor of David Holmes, the first governor of Mississippi.[3]

Holmes County has the lowest life expectancy of any county in the United States, either for men or women.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 764.18 square miles (1,979.2 km2), of which 756.00 square miles (1,958.0 km2) (or 98.93%) is land and 8.18 square miles (21.2 km2) (or 1.07%) is water.[5]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Mechanization in agriculture resulted in the loss of many jobs. From 1940 until 1980, the county had major declines in population as many blacks left the state in the Great Migration, seeking to escape the oppression of Jim Crow and disfranchisement, and looking for better opportunities for jobs and education. A total of 5 million African Americans left the South from 1940 through 1970. In this period, many went to California and the West Coast, where the buildup of the defense industry during World War II provided new jobs.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 9,452
1850 13,928 47.4%
1860 17,791 27.7%
1870 19,370 8.9%
1880 27,164 40.2%
1890 30,970 14.0%
1900 36,828 18.9%
1910 39,088 6.1%
1920 34,513 −11.7%
1930 38,534 11.7%
1940 39,710 3.1%
1950 33,301 −16.1%
1960 27,096 −18.6%
1970 23,120 −14.7%
1980 22,970 −0.6%
1990 21,604 −5.9%
2000 21,609 0.0%
2010 19,198 −11.2%
Est. 2012 18,796 −2.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 19,198 people residing in the county. 83.4% were Black or African American, 15.6% White, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% of some other race and 0.6% of two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 21,609 people, 7,314 households, and 5,229 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 8,439 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 20.47% White, 78.66% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to the census[7] of 2000, the largest ancestry groups in Holmes County were African 78.66%, English 11.4%, and Scots-Irish 5%

There were 2,314 households out of which 11.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.10% were married couples living together, 21.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.50% were non-families. 16.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.48.

In the county the population was spread out with 32.10% under the age of 18, 12.40% from 18 to 24, 24.80% from 25 to 44, 18.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 87.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $17,235, and the median income for a family was $21,757. Males had a median income of $23,720 versus $17,883 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,683. About 35.90% of families and 41.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 52.30% of those under age 18 and 36.40% of those age 65 or over.

Holmes County has the third lowest per capita income in Mississippi and the 41st lowest in the United States.

Politics[edit]

Presidential election results
Year GOP DEM Others
2008 18.0% 1,714 81.4% 7,765 0.7% 64
2004 23.4% 1,961 75.9% 6,366 0.7% 56
2000 26.1% 1,937 73.4% 5,447 0.5% 38
1996 24.0% 1,536 73.6% 4,720 2.4% 155
1992 28.2% 1,694 68.0% 4,092 3.8% 228
1988 33.7% 2,737 65.8% 5,350 0.5% 39
1984 35.4% 3,102 64.4% 5,641 0.1% 10
1980 32.3% 2,693 65.5% 5,463 2.2% 180
1976 33.8% 2,438 64.1% 4,616 2.1% 149
1972 47.2% 3,158 51.7% 3,459 1.0% 69
1968 7.0% 520 52.4% 3,881 40.6% 3,008
1964 96.6% 3,115 3.4% 110 0.0% 0
1960 17.7% 455 24.5% 628 57.8% 1,484

Since the late 20th century, following implementation of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 which passage was gained by the civil rights movement, racial discrimination was reduced in voting practices. Since that time, the majority of Holmes' African-American voters, who dominate the county, have voted strongly for Democratic candidates in Presidential and Congressional elections. The last Republican presidential candidate to win a majority in the county was Barry Goldwater in 1964, at a time when nearly all African Americans in the county and state were still disfranchised by the state's constitution and discriminatory voter registration practices. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama won 81% of the county's vote.

During and following the Reconstruction era in the 19th century, African Americans had initially supported the Republican Party, which achieved emancipation of slaves and granting full citizenship and constitutional rights. Following their disfranchisement in 1895 by the state legislature passing a new constitution, blacks were without the vote for decades and excluded from politics in Mississippi and other states of the South. Perry Wilbon Howard (born in Ebenezer in 1877) was an African-American attorney and civil rights activist; a member of the Republican Party, he was appointed to a national position in the administration of Herbert Hoover. By the early 1960s, the national Republican Party had shifted to appeal to white conservatives in the South, at a time when blacks were still disfranchised there.

Holmes is part of Mississippi's 2nd congressional district, which is represented by Democrat Bennie Thompson.

Communities[edit]

Cities

Towns

Unincorporated communities

Education[edit]

Visiting in front of the courthouse on Saturday afternoon, Lexington, Mississippi, 1939

Pillow Academy in unincorporated Leflore County, near Greenwood, enrolls some students from Holmes County.[9] It originally was a segregation academy.[10]

Media[edit]

The county newspaper is the Holmes County Herald.

Links[edit]

Holmes County Official webpage

See also[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. 159. 
  4. ^ "Life expectancy in U.S. trails top nations". CNN. 16 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Contact Us." Central Holmes Christian School. Retrieved on March 23, 2013. "130 Robert E. Lee Street Lexington, MS 39095"
  9. ^ "Profile of Pillow Academy 2010-2011." Pillow Academy. Retrieved on March 25, 2012.
  10. ^ Lynch, Adam (18 November 2009). "Ceara’s Season". Jackson Free Press. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°07′N 90°05′W / 33.12°N 90.09°W / 33.12; -90.09