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Covington County, Mississippi facts for kids

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Covington County
Covington County Courthouse
Covington County Courthouse
Map of Mississippi highlighting Covington 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 1819
Named for Leonard Covington
Seat Collins
Largest city Collins
 • Total 415 sq mi (1,070 km2)
 • Land 414 sq mi (1,070 km2)
 • Water 1.1 sq mi (3 km2)  0.3%
 • Total 19,568
 • Estimate 
 • Density 47.15/sq mi (18.205/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Covington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,568. Its county seat is Collins. The county is named for U.S. Army officer and Congressman Leonard Covington.


Covington County was established on January 5, 1819, less than two years after Mississippi earned statehood into the Union. The county was one of the first counties established out of the vast non-agricultural lands in the more eastern part of the state. Covington was originally cut out of Lawrence and Wayne Counties, and encompassed what is now Jefferson Davis, Covington, and Jones Counties.

In 1823, part of Covington County became Bainbridge County, most likely named after William Bainbridge, who became an American naval hero during the War of 1812. The next year, in 1824, the Mississippi legislature did away with Bainbridge County, giving its lands back to Covington County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 415 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 414 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Adjacent counties


Major highways

  • US 49.svg U.S. Highway 49
  • US 84.svg U.S. Highway 84

Covington County is crossed both north-to-south and east-to-west by four-laned state highways. Highway 49, which runs north–south through all three municipalities and is commonly known as Mississippi's Main Street, connects the state's three largest cities—Jackson, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg—to Covington County as well as cities such as Wiggins, Magee, Clinton, and Yazoo City. Highway 49 brings to Covington County thousands each day.

Highway 84 cuts across Covington County east to west, and runs through the City of Collins. Highway 84 connects the mid-size cities of Laurel, Brookhaven, and Natchez to Covington County.

Minor highways

A network of two-laned highways runs through Covington County, connecting big cities and small communities alike. Main Street Collins is Highway 184, formerly Highway 84. Main Street Seminary is Highway 590. Others include:

  • Mississippi Highway 35 (Mt. Olive, Mize, Raleigh)
  • Mississippi Highway 37 (Collins to Taylorsville)
  • Mississippi Highway 184 (Collins)
  • Mississippi Highway 588 (Collins to Ellisville)
  • Mississippi Highway 598 (Sanford)
  • Mississippi Highway 589 (Seminary, Sumrall, Purvis)
  • Mississippi Highway 590 (Seminary to Ellisville)
  • Mississippi Highway 532 (Mt. Olive to Hopewell)
  • Mississippi Highway 535 (Seminary to Collins)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,230
1830 2,551 14.4%
1840 2,717 6.5%
1850 3,338 22.9%
1860 4,408 32.1%
1870 4,753 7.8%
1880 5,993 26.1%
1890 8,299 38.5%
1900 13,076 57.6%
1910 16,909 29.3%
1920 14,869 −12.1%
1930 15,028 1.1%
1940 17,030 13.3%
1950 16,036 −5.8%
1960 13,637 −15.0%
1970 14,002 2.7%
1980 15,927 13.7%
1990 16,527 3.8%
2000 19,407 17.4%
2010 19,568 0.8%
2018 (est.) 18,853 −3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 Census

Covington County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 11,047 60.23%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 6,384 34.81%
Native American 20 0.11%
Asian 83 0.45%
Pacific Islander 4 0.02%
Other/Mixed 384 2.09%
Hispanic or Latino 418 2.28%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 18,340 people, 6,759 households, and 4,965 families residing in the county.

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 19,568 people living in the county. 63.0% were White, 34.9% Black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 1.0 of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 1.9 were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

By age category, Covington County residents were dispersed as follows: 29.1% were under the age of twenty; 23.8% were between the ages of twenty and forty; 32% were between the ages of forty-one and sixty-five; and 15.1% were over age sixty-five. The average age was 37.6 years. By gender, 48.6% were men and 51.4% were women.

There were 8,496 housing units in the county. Of these, 47.1% were inhabited by husband/wife families; 5% by a man with no wife present; 18.1% by a woman with no husband present; and 29.7% by non-families. The average household size was 2.60, and the average family size was 3.14.

Visitor attractions

Okatoma River

The Okatoma River, also called Okatoma Creek, carves a winding path north to south through Covington County, running through three towns and eventually emptying into the Bouie River just south of the county line.

People from all over the Southeast travel to the county to canoe and kayak a portion of the river, from Seminary to Sanford. Okatoma Outdoor Post and Seminary Canoe Rental both provide canoe and kayak rentals, as well as lodging on the river. The Okatoma has consistently been ranked among the best rafting sites in the South.

Mitchell Farms

Located just east of Collins, Mitchell Farms is one of the top agri-tourism destinations in south Mississippi. Families and school groups alike travel to Collins each year to tour the farm and enjoy the pumpkin patch, rustic cabins and farm buildings, corn maze, sunflower field, and other family-oriented features.

Mississippi's Peanut Festival — complete with a harvest king and queen competition, 5K run/walk, food vendors, and children's activities — is held annually in October, attracting several thousand.

Grand Paradise Water Park

Collins' Grand Paradise is a seven-acre water park, one of the largest in Mississippi. Attractions include the Lazy River, Cannon Bowl, Pipeline, and more. Food concessions, lockers, a changing area, and a gift shop are available.




Unincorporated communities

  • Dry Creek
  • Eminence
  • Hopewell
  • Leaf River
  • Lone Star
  • Lux
  • Okahay
  • Ora
  • Rock Hill
  • Salem
  • Sanford
  • Sunset
  • Williamsburg

Public education

The Covington County School District maintains a total of nine schools, plus an alternative school and a Vocational Education center.

Notable people

  • Dana Andrews, actor and former president of the Screen Actors Guild (born on a farmstead outside Collins, but raised in Texas)
  • Ernest Duff (1931-2016), businessman, lawyer and Mormon bishop
  • Steve McNair, former NFL quarterback
  • Martin Sennett Conner, Governor of Mississippi, 1932–36
  • Gerald McRaney, actor
  • Dale Houston, singer
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