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Macon County, Alabama facts for kids

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Macon County
Macon County Courthouse
Map of Alabama highlighting Macon County
Location within the U.S. state of Alabama
Map of the United States highlighting Alabama
Alabama's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Alabama
Founded December 18, 1832
Named for Nathaniel Macon
Seat Tuskegee
Largest city Tuskegee
Area
 • Total 613 sq mi (1,590 km2)
 • Land 609 sq mi (1,580 km2)
 • Water 4.3 sq mi (11 km2)  0.7%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 19,532
 • Density 31.863/sq mi (12.302/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd
  • County Number 46 on Alabama Licence Plates

Macon County is a county located in the east central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2020 census, the population was 19,532. Its county seat is Tuskegee. Its name is in honor of Nathaniel Macon, a member of the United States Senate from North Carolina.

Developed for cotton plantation agriculture in the nineteenth century, the county is considered within the Black Belt of the South. It has had a majority-black population since before the American Civil War.

Since 1964, no non-Democrat on a presidential level has ever gotten more than 33% of the vote.

History

For thousands of years, this area was inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. The historic tribes encountered by European explorers were the Creek people, descendants of the Mississippian culture.

Macon County was established by European Americans on December 18, 1832, from land ceded by the Creek, following the US Congress' passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Creek were removed to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. The new settlers brought slaves with them from eastern areas of the South, or purchased them in slave markets, such as at New Orleans. They developed the county for large cotton plantations.

In the first half of the twentieth century, thousands of blacks migrated out of the county to industrial cities in the North and Midwest for job opportunities, and the chance to escape legal segregation. Those who remained have struggled for employment in the mostly rural county, and population has declined by about one third since 1950.

Before 1983, Macon County was primarily known as the home of historic Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, and its noted founder and first president, Dr. Booker T. Washington. The quiet hamlet began to awaken in 1983 when parimutuel gambling arrived in the form of VictoryLand greyhound racing.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 613 square miles (1,590 km2), of which 609 square miles (1,580 km2) is land and 4.3 square miles (11 km2) (0.7%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-85 (AL).svg Interstate 85
  • US 29.svg U.S. Highway 29
  • US 80.svg U.S. Highway 80
  • Alabama 14.svg State Route 14
  • Alabama 49.svg State Route 49
  • Alabama 81.svg State Route 81
  • Alabama 138.svg State Route 138
  • Alabama 186.svg State Route 186
  • Alabama 199.svg State Route 199
  • Alabama 229.svg State Route 229

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 11,247
1850 26,898 139.2%
1860 26,802 −0.4%
1870 17,727 −33.9%
1880 17,371 −2.0%
1890 18,439 6.1%
1900 23,126 25.4%
1910 26,049 12.6%
1920 23,561 −9.6%
1930 27,103 15.0%
1940 27,654 2.0%
1950 30,561 10.5%
1960 26,717 −12.6%
1970 24,841 −7.0%
1980 26,829 8.0%
1990 24,928 −7.1%
2000 24,105 −3.3%
2010 21,452 −11.0%
2020 19,532 −9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 19,532 people living in the county, an 8.9% decrease from 2010. 80.4 were Black or African American, 17.3% White, 0.6% Asian, 0.3% American Indian or Alaska Native, <0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 1.4% of two or more races. 1.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 21,452 people living in the county. 82.6% were Black or African American, 15.5% White, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% of some other race and 1.1% of two or more races. 1.1% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census of 2000, there were 24,105 people, 8,950 households, and 5,543 families living in the county. The population density was 40 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 10,627 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.64% Black or African American, 13.96% White, 0.16% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 0.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,950 households, out of which 28.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.70% were married couples living together, 25.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.10% were non-families. 33.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.20% under the age of 18, 16.90% from 18 to 24, 22.90% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 85.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $21,180, and the median income for a family was $28,511. Males had a median income of $25,971 versus $21,773 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,714. About 26.80% of families and 32.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.80% of those under age 18 and 26.00% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

City

Towns

Unincorporated communities

Places of interest

Macon County is home to the Tuskegee University, a historically black college; Tuskegee National Forest, Tuskegee Lake, the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Museum, and Moton Field, the training site of the Tuskegee Airmen.

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