Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
|o Total||580 sq mi (1,500 km2)|
|o Land||578 sq mi (1,500 km2)|
|o Water||1.5 sq mi (4 km2) 0.3%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||37/sq mi (14/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Newton County was formed in 1836, and was named for Sgt. John Newton. Newton County is adjacent to Jasper County, which was named for Sgt. William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero of the Siege of Savannah in 1779. Early in the 1800s, many places were named for these men. At least four other states, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri and Texas, have adjacent Jasper and Newton Counties. At least two states, Illinois and Iowa, have Newton as the county seat of Jasper County. In Arkansas, Jasper is the county seat of Newton County. The frequency of occurrence of these names in juxtaposition shows that the stories of Sgts. Jasper and Newton were widely known, and associated with each other at the time these counties were named.
The Battle of Newton's Station was fought in the county on April 24, 1863 during Grierson's Raid of the American Civil War. In February 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman crosses the county burning the county seat at Decatur and was nearly captured during the Meridian Campaign. Sherman stopped during the return trip from Meridian and slept in the town of Union.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,838 people, 8,221 households, and 6,001 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 9,259 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 65.01% White, 30.37% Black or African American, 3.68% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.33% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 8,221 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 16.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.00% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.20% under the age of 18, 11.20% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,735, and the median income for a family was $34,606. Males had a median income of $27,820 versus $20,757 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,008. About 16.40% of families and 19.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.30% of those under age 18 and 21.70% of those age 65 or over.