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Bolivar County, Mississippi facts for kids

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Bolivar County
Map of Mississippi highlighting Bolivar County
Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Map of the United States highlighting Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Mississippi
Founded 1836
Named for Simón Bolívar
Seat Rosedale and Cleveland
Largest city Cleveland
 • Total 906 sq mi (2,350 km2)
 • Land 877 sq mi (2,270 km2)
 • Water 29 sq mi (80 km2)  3.2%%
 • Total 34,145
 • Density 39/sq mi (15/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Bolivar County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,145. Its county seats are Rosedale and Cleveland. The county is named in honor of Simón Bolívar, early 19th-century leader of the liberation of several South American colonies from Spain.

The Cleveland, MS Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Bolivar County. It is located in the Mississippi Delta, or Yazoo Basin, of Mississippi. This area was first developed for cotton plantations. Large industrial operations have reduced the number of farm workers needed. Today soybeans are also a commodity crop.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 877 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 29 square miles (75 km2) (3.2%) is water. It is the second-largest county in Mississippi by land area and fourth-largest by total area.

Major highways

  • I-69.svg Future Interstate 69
  • US 61.svg U.S. Route 61
  • Circle sign 1.svg Mississippi Highway 1
  • Circle sign 8.svg Mississippi Highway 8
  • Circle sign 32.svg Mississippi Highway 32

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 1,356
1850 2,577 90.0%
1860 10,471 306.3%
1870 9,732 −7.1%
1880 18,652 91.7%
1890 29,980 60.7%
1900 35,427 18.2%
1910 48,905 38.0%
1920 57,669 17.9%
1930 71,051 23.2%
1940 67,564 −4.9%
1950 63,004 −6.7%
1960 54,464 −13.6%
1970 49,409 −9.3%
1980 45,965 −7.0%
1990 41,875 −8.9%
2000 40,633 −3.0%
2010 34,145 −16.0%
Est. 2015 33,322 −2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 34,145 people residing in the county. 64.5% were Black or African American, 33.5% White, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.9% of some other race and 0.6% of two or more races. 1.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census of 2000, there were 40,633 people, 13,776 households, and 9,725 families residing in the county. The population density was 46 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 14,939 housing units at an average density of [7] per square mile (7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 65.11% Black or African American, 33.24% White, 0.10% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.48% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. 1.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 13,776 households out of which 35.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.20% were married couples living together, 27.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.40% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.36.

In the county, the population was spread out with 29.60% under the age of 18, 14.00% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 19.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 87.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $23,428, and the median income for a family was $27,301. Males had a median income of $27,643 versus $20,774 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,088. About 27.90% of families and 33.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.90% of those under age 18 and 27.90% of those age 65 or over.

Life expectancy

According to the most recent data on U.S. life expectancy, published in 2010 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a male in Bolivar County could expect to live 65.0 years, the second shortest for any county in the United States, following McDowell County, West Virginia. The national average is 76.1 years for a male.

Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Joseph S. Clark, Jr. had visited "pockets of poverty" in the Mississippi Delta 40 years earlier. In Cleveland, they observed barefoot, underfed African-American children in tattered clothing, with vacant expressions and distended bellies. Kennedy stated that he thought he had seen the worst poverty in the nation in West Virginia, but it paled in comparison to the poverty he observed in Cleveland.




Unincorporated places

Ghost towns

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