Jefferson County, Missouri

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Jefferson County, Missouri
Jefferson County MO courthouse-20140524-015.jpg
County courthouse in Hillsboro
Seal of Jefferson County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Jefferson County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the United States highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded 1818
Named for Thomas Jefferson
Seat Hillsboro
Largest city Arnold
 • Total 664 sq mi (1,720 km2)
 • Land 657 sq mi (1,702 km2)
 • Water 7.7 sq mi (20 km2), 1.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 221,396
 • Density 333/sq mi (129/km²)
Congressional districts 2nd, 3rd, 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Jefferson County is a county located in the eastern portion of the state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 218,733,[1] making it the sixth-most populous county in Missouri. Its county seat is Hillsboro.[2] The county was organized in 1818 and named in honor of former President Thomas Jefferson.[3][4]

In 1980 the county contained the mean center of U.S. population. Jefferson County is part of the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area and encompasses many of the city's southern suburbs.

Governor Mel Carnahan was killed near Goldman, Missouri in a plane crash on October 16, 2000.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 664 square miles (1,720 km2), of which 657 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 7.7 square miles (20 km2) (1.2%) is water.[5] The county's eastern border is the Mississippi River, and on the other side is Illinois.

Much of Jefferson County will be in the totality path of the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 1,835
1830 2,592 41.3%
1840 4,296 65.7%
1850 6,928 61.3%
1860 10,344 49.3%
1870 15,380 48.7%
1880 18,736 21.8%
1890 22,484 20.0%
1900 25,712 14.4%
1910 27,878 8.4%
1920 26,555 −4.7%
1930 27,563 3.8%
1940 32,023 16.2%
1950 38,007 18.7%
1960 66,377 74.6%
1970 105,248 58.6%
1980 146,183 38.9%
1990 171,380 17.2%
2000 198,099 15.6%
2010 218,733 10.4%
Est. 2014 222,716 [6] 1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 Census Jefferson County had a population of 218,733. The reported ethnic and racial make up of the population was 95.4% non-Hispanic white, 0.8% African-American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.4% reporting some other race, 1.3% reporting two or more races and 1.6% Hispanic or Latino of any race.[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 198,099 people, 71,499 households, and 54,553 families residing in the county. The population density was 302 inhabitants per square mile (117/km2). There were 75,586 housing units at an average density of 115 per square mile (44/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.48% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Approximately 1.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 71,499 households out of which 38.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.00% were married couples living together, 10.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.70% were non-families. 18.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 8.50% from 18 to 24, 31.80% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 9.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $60,636, and the median income for a family was $66,697. Males had a median income of $37,822 versus $25,440 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,058. About 4.90% of families and 6.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.10% of those under age 18 and 6.30% of those age 65 or over.

There were 146,316 registered voters in 2008.[13] As of Oct. 24, 2012, there were 148,011.[14]


Public schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]


ITT Technical Institute - Arnold

Jefferson College - Hillsboro A public, two-year community college.



Historically, the Democratic Party has controlled politics at the local level in Jefferson County. Democrats hold all but two of the elected positions in the county. However, Republicans have made gains in recent years; they hold five of seven seats on the county council.

Jefferson County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Terry Roesch Democratic
Circuit Clerk Michael Reuter Republican
County Clerk Wes Wagner Democratic
Collector Beth Mahn Democratic
Ken Waller Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Forrest Wegge Democratic
Public Administrator Steve Farmer Republican
Recorder Debbie Dunnegan Republican
Sheriff Oliver Glenn Boyer Democratic
Treasurer Linda Nees Democratic


Past Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 34.42% 35,947 63.87% 66,697 1.71% 1,781
2004 49.23% 45,891 49.25% 45,909 1.52% 1,424
2000 47.05% 36,060 49.33% 37,808 3.62% 2,775
1996 43.90% 28,986 52.96% 34,970 3.14% 2,077

Jefferson County is divided into seven legislative districts in the Missouri House of Representatives; four of which are held by Democrats and three of which are held by Republicans. Prior to the 2010 midterm elections, all seven seats were held by Democrats.

Missouri House of Representatives - District 90 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John C. McCaherty 4,980 49.09
Democratic Sam Komo 4,727 46.59
Independent Charles Smith, Jr. 438 4.32
Missouri House of Representatives - District 101 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Timothy G. Meadows 5,968 56.33
Republican Charles Huey 4,626 43.67
Missouri House of Representatives - District 102 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Paul Wieland 5,928 50.34
Democratic Jeff Roorda 4,964 42.16
Constitution Richard Blowers 883 7.50
  • District 103 Ron Casey (D-Crystal City). Consists of all of the cities of Crystal City, Festus, Herculaneum, Horine, and Pevely.
Missouri House of Representatives - District 103 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ron Casey 6,228 51.94
Republican Bob Engelbach 5,763 48.06
Missouri House of Representatives - District 104 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Joseph Fallert, Jr. 4,164 100.00
  • District 105 Paul Curtman (R-Pacific). Consists of the communities of Byrnes Mill, Cedar Hill, and Cedar Hill Lakes.
Missouri House of Representatives - District 105 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Paul Curtman 4,836 56.34
Democratic Michael Frame 3,748 43.66
Missouri House of Representatives - District 110 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ben Harris 3,670 56.05
Republican Carrie Cabral 2,878 43.95

Jefferson County is also divided into two districts in the Missouri Senate.

Missouri Senate - District 3 - Jefferson County (2008)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kevin Engler 10,861 54.73
Democratic Dennis Riche 8,984 45.27
Missouri Senate - District 22 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ryan McKenna 27,380 52.57
Republican Greg Zotta 24,701 47.43


Jefferson County is in multiple congressional districts. Prior to the 2012 election it was included in Missouri's 3rd Congressional District and is currently represented by Russ Carnahan (D-St. Louis) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Following redistricting, Jefferson County was carved up into multiple districts and will be represented by three U.S. Representatives in January 2013.

U.S. House of Representatives - District 3 - Jefferson County (2010)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ed Martin 37,659 56.99
Democratic Russ Carnahan* 24,237 36.68
Libertarian Steven R. Hedrick 2,460 3.72
Constitution Nicholas J. Ivanovich 1,725 2.61

Political Culture[edit]

Past Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2008 47.91% 50,804 50.42% 53,467 1.67% 1,779
2004 49.99% 46,624 49.38% 46,057 0.63% 583
2000 47.62% 36,766 50.02% 38,616 2.36% 1,822
1996 36.12% 23,877 48.52% 32,073 15.36% 10,152

A predominantly suburban county, Jefferson County is fairly independent-leaning at the federal level but does have a tendency to tilt Democratic. Presidential elections in Jefferson County are almost always extremely close; George W. Bush just narrowly carried the county in 2004 by less than 600 votes and by just over a half of a percentage point. Al Gore and Barack Obama also just narrowly carried the county in 2000 and 2008, respectively. Bill Clinton, however, did manage to carry Jefferson County by double digits both times in 1992 and 1996. However, in 2012 the county swung hard to Mitt Romney, who carried it with 55 percent of the vote.

Typical of the suburban culture in most counties throughout the country, voters in Jefferson County tend to be rather centrist on social issues but more liberal on economic issues. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Jefferson County with 72.56 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it narrowly passed Jefferson County with 51.85 percent voting for the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Jefferson County with 79.90 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.

2008 Missouri Presidential Primary[edit]


U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) won Jefferson County with 33.54 percent of the vote. Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Massachusetts finished in a not-so-distant second place with 30.45 percent of the vote while former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) came in third place with 30.19 percent in Jefferson County. Libertarian-leaning U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) finished a distant fourth place with 3.94 percent of the vote in Jefferson County.

Huckabee slightly led Missouri throughout much of the evening until the precincts began reporting from St. Louis where McCain won and put him over the top of Huckabee. In the end, McCain received 32.95 percent of the vote to Huckabee’s 31.53 percent—a 1.42 percent difference. McCain received all of Missouri’s 58 delegates as the Republican Party utilizes the winner-takes-all system.


Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-New York) won Jefferson County over now President Barack Obama (D-Illinois) by an almost two-to-one margin with 61.32 percent of the vote while Obama received 35.02 percent of the vote. Although he withdrew from the race, former U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-North Carolina) still received 2.74 percent of the vote in Jefferson County. Jefferson County gave Clinton one of her strongest showings in a predominantly suburban county in the entire country.

Clinton had a large initial lead in Missouri at the beginning of the evening as the rural precincts began to report, leading several news organizations to call the state for her; however, Obama rallied from behind as the heavily African American precincts from St. Louis began to report and eventually put him over the top. In the end, Obama received 49.32 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 47.90 percent—a 1.42 percent difference. Both candidates split Missouri’s 72 delegates as the Democratic Party utilizes proportional representation.

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton received more votes, a total of 19,075, than any candidate from either party in Jefferson County during the 2008 Missouri Presidential Primaries. She also received more votes than the total number of votes cast in the entire Republican Primary in Jefferson County.


  • Big River Saddle Club
  • Brown's Ford
  • Cedar Hill
  • Fletcher House
  • High Ridge Civic Center
  • Rockford Beach
  • Jefferson Winter Park
  • Minnie Ha Ha Park
  • Morse Mill
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Sunridge
  • NW Jefferson County Sports Complex




Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 179. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 168. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ 2010 census report for Jefferson County, Missouri
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Registered Voters in Missouri 2008". 
  14. ^ Retrieved on Jul. 9, 2013

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°16′N 90°32′W / 38.26°N 90.54°W / 38.26; -90.54