Bolivar County, Mississippi facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Grover Hotel in Downtown Cleveland Historic District.
Location within the U.S. state of Mississippi
Mississippi's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Simón Bolívar|
|Seat||Rosedale and Cleveland|
|• Total||906 sq mi (2,350 km2)|
|• Land||877 sq mi (2,270 km2)|
|• Water||29 sq mi (80 km2) 3.2%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||37.688/sq mi (14.551/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Bolivar County ( BOL-i-vər) is a county located on the western border of 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, Mississippi, 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-scale agricultural operations have reduced the number of farm workers needed, and the population is half of its peak in 1930. Today, soybeans, corn, and rice are also commodity crops.
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.
- Future Interstate 69
- U.S. Route 61
- Mississippi Highway 1
- Mississippi Highway 8
- Mississippi Highway 32
- Coahoma County (north)
- Sunflower County (east)
- Washington County (south)
- Desha County, Arkansas (west)
National protected area
|U.S. Decennial Census
|Black or African American||19,257||62.15%|
|Hispanic or Latino||794||2.56%|
As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 30,985 people, 12,111 households, and 7,719 families residing in the county.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 34,145 people living 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).
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.
- Cleveland (county seat)
- Rosedale (county seat)
- Mound Bayou
- Shaw (small portion in Sunflower County)
Colleges and universities
- Delta State University (Cleveland)
The county is within the boundaries of two community college districts: Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College. CCC's main campus is in rural Coahoma County outside of Clarksdale, and MDCC's campus is in Moorhead in Sunflower County.
As recently as the 1960s the school board of Bolivar County censored what black children were allowed to learn, and mandated that "Neither foreign languages nor civics shall be taught in Negro schools. Nor shall American history from 1860 to 1875 be taught.”
Public School Districts
- Cleveland School District (Cleveland)
- North Bolivar Consolidated School District (Mound Bayou; previously in Shelby)
- West Bolivar Consolidated School District (Rosedale, Shaw, and Benoit)
Former school districts:
- Benoit School District (Benoit)
- Mound Bayou School District (Mound Bayou)
- Shaw School District (Shaw)
The five school districts, other than the Cleveland School District, are among the 20 smallest of the 152 school districts in the State of Mississippi. In the State of Mississippi, Bolivar County was the only county that had six school districts. Consolidation was urged to save money and facilitate cooperation. In 2012 the Mississippi Senate Education Committee passed a bill asking the State of Mississippi to consolidate the six school districts in Bolivar County to three or two. The Mississippi Senate passed the bill 37–11.
- Bayou Academy (Cleveland)
In Spanish: Condado de Bolivar para niños
Bolivar County, Mississippi Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.