Wilkinson County, Mississippi

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Wilkinson County, Mississippi
Wikinson County Mississippi Courthouse.jpg
Wikinson County courthouse in Woodville
Map of Mississippi highlighting Wilkinson County
Location in the state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location in the U.S.
Founded 1802
Named for James Wilkinson
Seat Woodville
Largest town Centreville
Area
 • Total 687.66 sq mi (1,781 km2)
 • Land 676.70 sq mi (1,753 km2)
 • Water 10.95 sq mi (28 km2), 1.59%
Population
 • (2010) 9,878
 • Density 16/sq mi (6/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Wilkinson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,878.[1] Its county seat is Woodville.[2] The county is named for James Wilkinson, a Revolutionary War military leader and first Governor of the Louisiana Territory.

History[edit]

In the nineteenth century, this county was developed by European-American settlers as cotton plantations along the Mississippi River, which forms the western border of the county. Much of the bottomlands and interior were undeveloped frontier until after the American Civil War. The intensive cultivation depended on the labor of enslaved African Americans; in the early nineteenth century, many were transported here from the Upper South in a major forced migration. The population quickly became majority black.

The West Feliciana Railroad was later built to help get the cotton commodity crop to market. Some planters got wealthy during the antebellum years and built fine mansions in the county seat of Woodville, Mississippi. After the American Civil War, freedmen and planters negotiated new working arrangements, and sharecropping was widespread.

A long agricultural depression affected the economy. The peak of population in the county was reached in 1900, after which many blacks left in the Great Migration, to escape the racial segregation and disfranchisement suffered here since passage of Jim Crow laws and the state's new constitution in 1890.

In the early 20th century the boll weevil infestation destroyed much of the cotton crops, and mechanization caused a further loss of agricultural jobs. Timber has been harvested and processed as a new commodity crop. The population of the rural county has continued to decline. Towns have started to develop heritage tourism to attract more visitors.

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 687.66 square miles (1,781.0 km2), of which 676.70 square miles (1,752.6 km2) (or 98.41%) is land and 10.95 square miles (28.4 km2) (or 1.59%) is water. [3]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Wilkinson County's Woodville Republican, begun in 1823, is (as of 2012) the oldest newspaper and the oldest business in continuous operation in Mississippi. The sign, facing Depot Street, is on the exterior west wall of the newspaper offices in Woodville.

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 5,068
1820 9,718 91.8%
1830 11,686 20.3%
1840 14,193 21.5%
1850 16,914 19.2%
1860 15,933 −5.8%
1870 12,705 −20.3%
1880 17,815 40.2%
1890 17,592 −1.3%
1900 21,453 21.9%
1910 18,075 −15.7%
1920 15,319 −15.2%
1930 13,957 −8.9%
1940 15,955 14.3%
1950 14,116 −11.5%
1960 13,235 −6.2%
1970 11,099 −16.1%
1980 10,021 −9.7%
1990 9,678 −3.4%
2000 10,312 6.6%
2010 9,878 −4.2%
Est. 2012 9,432 −4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
2012 Estimate[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,878 people residing in the county. 70.8% were Black or African American, 28.7% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% of some other race and 0.3% of two or more races. 0.4% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 10,312 people, 3,578 households, and 2,511 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 5,106 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.21% Black or African American, 31.22% White, 0.10% Native American, 0.03% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.38% from two or more races. 0.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,578 households out of which 32.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.40% were married couples living together, 24.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% 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 3.16.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 10.70% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 20.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 108.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $18,929, and the median income for a family was $23,447. Males had a median income of $24,509 versus $16,088 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,868. About 33.10% of families and 37.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 48.90% of those under age 18 and 33.40% of those age 65 or over.

Wilkinson County has the sixth lowest per capita income in Mississippi and the 52nd lowest in the United States.

Communities[edit]

Education[edit]

Wilkinson County High School

Wilkinson County School District serves the county.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Coordinates: 31°10′N 91°19′W / 31.16°N 91.32°W / 31.16; -91.32