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Haywood County, Tennessee facts for kids

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Haywood County
Haywood County Courthouse
Haywood County Courthouse
Map of Tennessee highlighting Haywood County
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Map of the United States highlighting Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Tennessee
Founded 1823
Named for John Haywood
Seat Brownsville
Largest city Brownsville
 • Total 534 sq mi (1,380 km2)
 • Land 533 sq mi (1,380 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2 km2)  0.2%%
 • Total 17,864 Decrease
 • Density 35/sq mi (14/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 8th
Website Haywood County

Haywood County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee, in the region known as West Tennessee. As of the 2020 census, the population was 17,864. Its county seat and largest city is Brownsville. It is one of only two remaining counties in Tennessee, along with Shelby County, with a majority African-American population.


Haywood county scenic
Scenic view in Haywood County (2004)

Haywood County was created from part of Madison County in 1823–24, and was named for Tennessee judge and historian John Haywood. The state legislature designated Brownsville as the county seat. Haywood County was later reduced in size, when both Lauderdale and Crockett counties were created from its territory.

For much of the county's history, agriculture, especially growing cotton, was the basis of the local economy. Before the Civil War, this was accomplished by a plantation system based on the use of slave labor. After Emancipation in 1865, the plantations were largely broken up, and tenant farming and sharecropping became the way that people controlled their labor.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 534 square miles (1,380 km2), of which 533 square miles (1,380 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Haywood County is situated on the southeastern edge of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area with a high earthquake risk.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 5,334
1840 13,870 160.0%
1850 17,259 24.4%
1860 19,232 11.4%
1870 25,094 30.5%
1880 26,053 3.8%
1890 23,558 −9.6%
1900 25,189 6.9%
1910 25,910 2.9%
1920 25,386 −2.0%
1930 26,063 2.7%
1940 27,699 6.3%
1950 26,212 −5.4%
1960 23,393 −10.8%
1970 19,596 −16.2%
1980 20,318 3.7%
1990 19,437 −4.3%
2000 19,797 1.9%
2010 18,787 −5.1%
2020 17,864 −4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2014
USA Haywood County, Tennessee.csv age pyramid
Age pyramid Haywood County

2020 census

Haywood County racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 7,554 42.29%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 8,993 50.34%
Native American 33 0.18%
Asian 26 0.15%
Pacific Islander 6 0.03%
Other/Mixed 414 2.32%
Hispanic or Latino 838 4.69%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 17,864 people, 7,181 households, and 4,727 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,787 people living in the county. 50.4% were Black or African American, 45.9% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 2.5% of some other race and 0.9% of two or more races. 3.8% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).


Nutbush Trinity Cem Graves
Trinity Cemetery in Nutbush provides a final resting place for more than 50 Civil War soldiers. (2007)



Unincorporated communities


The largest industry in Haywood County is agriculture. Haywood County grows more cotton that any other county in Tennessee and produced 189,000 bales in 2003 on 103,000 acres (420 km2). Soybeans were the county's #2 crop, followed by corn. Agriculture and agri-related businesses contributed more than $130,000 million to the Haywood County economy in 2004. By 2017, grains, oilseeds, drybeans, drypeas and tobacco drew the most income, but Haywood country still grew the most cotton in the state.

In 2009, under the leadership of Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Haywood County Mayor Franklin Smith, a 3,836-acre (1,552 ha) tract in southwestern Haywood County near Stanton was designated for a state-supported industrial "megasite," intended for a large-scale industrial or business development such as an automobile assembly plant. In September 2009, Tennessee's State Building Commission authorized spending of $40 million for purchase of the land. On September 27, 2021, it was announced that Ford and SK Innovation would construct a complex at the megasite called "Blue Oval City" to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries. The facility, which is expected to be operational in 2025, will cost approximately $5.6 billion, making it the most expensive single investment in state history, and employ approximately 5,700.

Notable residents

One of Haywood County's most notable residents was Sleepy John Estes, a blues guitarist songwriter and vocalist. Born in 1899 or 1904 in Ripley, Tennessee, he lived most of his life in Brownsville. He died on June 5, 1977, in Brownsville. Sleepy John is buried at Elam Baptist Church Cemetery in Durhamville, Lauderdale County.

Other notable county residents include:

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