Jefferson County, Mississippi

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Jefferson County
Historic Christ Church, Church Hill, Mississippi.
Map of Mississippi highlighting Jefferson County
Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 31°44′N 91°02′W / 31.73°N 91.03°W / 31.73; -91.03
Country United States
State Mississippi
Founded1799
Named forThomas Jefferson
SeatFayette
Largest cityFayette
Area
 • Total527 sq mi (1,360 km2)
 • Land520 sq mi (1,300 km2)
 • Water7.3 sq mi (19 km2)  1.4%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total7,726
 • Estimate 
(2018)
7,106
 • Density15/sq mi (5.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district2nd
Websitewww.jeffersoncountyms.com

Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi; its western border is formed by the Mississippi River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,726,[1] making it the third-least populous county in Mississippi. Its county seat is Fayette.[2] The county is named for U.S. President Thomas Jefferson.[3]

Originally developed as cotton plantations in the antebellum era, the rural county has struggled with a declining economy and reduced population since the mechanization of agriculture and urbanization of other areas. In 2018 its estimated population of 7,106 was roughly one-third of the population peak in 1900. Within the United States, in 2009 rural Jefferson County had the highest percentage of African-Americans of any county. It was the fourth-poorest county in the nation.[4]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 527 square miles (1,360 km2), of which 520 square miles (1,300 km2) is land and 7.3 square miles (19 km2) (1.4%) is water.[5]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18002,940
18104,00136.1%
18206,82270.5%
18309,75543.0%
184011,65019.4%
185013,19313.2%
186015,34916.3%
187013,848−9.8%
188017,31425.0%
189018,9479.4%
190021,29212.4%
191018,221−14.4%
192015,946−12.5%
193014,291−10.4%
194013,969−2.3%
195011,306−19.1%
196010,142−10.3%
19709,295−8.4%
19809,181−1.2%
19908,653−5.8%
20009,74012.6%
20107,726−20.7%
2018 (est.)7,106[6]−8.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

2020 census[edit]

Jefferson County Racial Composition[11]
Race Num. Perc.
White 891 12.27%
Black or African American 6,138 84.55%
Native American 10 0.14%
Asian 14 0.19%
Pacific Islander 5 0.07%
Other/Mixed 128 1.76%
Hispanic or Latino 74 1.02%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 7,260 people, 2,448 households, and 1,488 families residing in the county.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 7,726 people living in the county. 85.7% were Black or African American, 13.7% White, 0.2% Native American and 0.3% of two or more races. 0.4% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 9,740 people, 3,308 households, and 2,338 families living in the county. The population density was 19 people per square mile (7/km2). There were 3,819 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 13.06% White, 86.49% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.02% from other races, and 0.24% from two or more races. 0.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Jefferson County has the highest percentage of black residents of any U.S. county.

There were 3,308 households, out of which 36.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.00% were married couples living together, 28.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the county, the population was much younger than the national average with 28.80% under the age of 18, 12.10% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 19.60% from 45 to 64, and 10.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $18,447, and the median income for a family was $23,188. Males had a median income of $25,726 versus $18,000 for females. The per capita income for the county was $9,709. About 32.50% of families and 36.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.00% of those under age 18 and 34.40% of those age 65 or over.

In 2009, Jefferson County had the lowest per capita income in Mississippi and the 17th lowest in the United States.[4]

Education[edit]

Jefferson County School District operates public schools in all of the county.[13]

Communities[edit]

City[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns or defunct[edit]

Politics[edit]

Jefferson County is overwhelmingly Democratic, and has supported Democratic candidates in presidential elections with at least 80% of the vote since Bill Clinton in 1992, who won 79%. Republicans have not garnered even 25% of the vote in presidential elections since 1972 (when Jefferson was one of only three counties in Mississippi to vote for George McGovern).

The last Republican to win the county was Barry Goldwater. Although Goldwater lost nationally in a landslide, he carried the state of Mississippi (and also Jefferson County) in a landslide, winning over 87% of the vote and carrying every county. Jefferson County supported him with 95% of the vote. Goldwater's lopsided victory was the result of Mississippi's decades-long suppression of the voting rights of African Americans, which only began to be reversed with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[citation needed]

United States presidential election results for Jefferson County, Mississippi[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 531 13.59% 3,327 85.13% 50 1.28%
2016 490 12.69% 3,337 86.45% 33 0.85%
2012 468 10.56% 3,951 89.13% 14 0.32%
2008 551 12.30% 3,883 86.71% 44 0.98%
2004 630 18.16% 2,821 81.32% 18 0.52%
2000 600 17.61% 2,786 81.75% 22 0.65%
1996 489 15.68% 2,531 81.15% 99 3.17%
1992 562 15.96% 2,796 79.39% 164 4.66%
1988 702 20.64% 2,693 79.18% 6 0.18%
1984 856 21.88% 3,049 77.94% 7 0.18%
1980 751 20.17% 2,871 77.09% 102 2.74%
1976 782 22.83% 2,562 74.78% 82 2.39%
1972 1,131 43.37% 1,457 55.87% 20 0.77%
1968 147 4.35% 2,121 62.75% 1,112 32.90%
1964 1,258 94.80% 69 5.20% 0 0.00%
1960 137 12.52% 229 20.93% 728 66.54%
1956 189 19.65% 440 45.74% 333 34.62%
1952 610 53.09% 539 46.91% 0 0.00%
1948 14 1.41% 15 1.51% 967 97.09%
1944 25 3.16% 766 96.84% 0 0.00%
1940 7 0.87% 801 99.13% 0 0.00%
1936 9 1.01% 884 98.88% 1 0.11%
1932 24 3.07% 753 96.29% 5 0.64%
1928 63 7.05% 830 92.95% 0 0.00%
1924 50 9.14% 497 90.86% 0 0.00%
1920 14 3.15% 430 96.63% 1 0.22%
1916 3 0.65% 456 99.13% 1 0.22%
1912 2 0.46% 408 94.66% 21 4.87%

Notable people[edit]

  • Abijah Hunt, merchant who lived in Old Greenville during the Territorial Period, and owned a chain of stores and public cotton gins along the Natchez Trace[15]
  • David Hunt, Antebellum planter who lived on Woodlawn Plantation in Jefferson County, and became one of 12 planter millionaires in the Natchez District before the American Civil War.
  • Zachary Taylor, U.S. president, planter, and soldier who often stayed on his plantation, Cypress Grove in Jefferson County, between 1840 and 1848.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 168.
  4. ^ a b "King: They'll take small victories in struggling Mississippi county." CNN. 25 September 2009, Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Jefferson County, MS" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 31, 2022. Retrieved July 31, 2022. - Text list
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  15. ^ A Guide to the Abijah Hunt Papers, 1800-1821, 1880, The University of Texas at Austin: Briscoe Center for American History

Coordinates: 31°44′N 91°02′W / 31.73°N 91.03°W / 31.73; -91.03