Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
|Named for||George Washington|
|o Total||761 sq mi (1,970 km2)|
|o Land||725 sq mi (1,880 km2)|
|o Water||36 sq mi (90 km2) 4.8%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||67/sq mi (26/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 51,137. Its county seat is Greenville. The county is named in honor of the first President of the United States, George Washington.
Located in the Mississippi Delta, Washington County was first developed for cotton cultivation in the antebellum years. Most plantations were developed to have access to the rivers, which were the major transportation routes. Cotton was based on the labor of enslaved African Americans. Greenville was designated as the county seat, and its leading planters and professional men became influential in state affairs.
In the period from 1877 to 1950, Washington County had 12 documented lynchings of African Americans. Most occurred around the turn of the 20th century, as part of white imposition of Jim Crow conditions and suppression of black voting.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 51,137 people living in the county. 71.3% were Black or African American, 27.0% White, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% of some other race and 0.6% of two or more races. 1.0% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,977 people, 22,158 households, and 15,931 families living in the county. The population density was 87 people per square mile (34/km²). There were 24,381 housing units at an average density of 34 per square mile (13/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 69.57% Black or African American, 33.97% White, 0.09% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. 0.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Washington County by 2005 was 67.2% African-American in population. Latinos constituted 1.1% of the population in the county while non-Hispanic whites made up 31.7% of the population.
As of the census of 2000, there were 22,158 households out of which 36.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.60% were married couples living together, 26.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.35.
In the county, the population was spread out with 31.50% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 20.50% from 45 to 64, and 11.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 87.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $25,757, and the median income for a family was $30,324. Males had a median income of $28,266 versus $20,223 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,430. About 24.90% of families and 29.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.40% of those under age 18 and 24.60% of those age 65 or over.
Washington County's demographics are rooted in the region's mid-nineteenth-century ascendance in cotton production and, accordingly, importation of people as slaves. According to the historian Sven Beckert, the county had "more than ten slaves for every white inhabitant" in 1840, and "every white family in the county held on average more than eighty slaves" by 1850.