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Quitman County, Mississippi facts for kids

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Not to be confused with Quitman, Mississippi.
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Quitman County
Quitman County Courthouse
Quitman County Courthouse
Map of Mississippi highlighting Quitman 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 1877
Named for John A. Quitman
Seat Marks
Largest town Lambert
 • Total 406 sq mi (1,050 km2)
 • Land 405 sq mi (1,050 km2)
 • Water 1.4 sq mi (4 km2)  0.3%%
 • Total 8,223
 • Density 20/sq mi (8/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Quitman County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,223, making it the fifth-least populous county in Mississippi. Its county seat is Marks. The county is named after John A. Quitman, Governor of Mississippi from 1835 to 1836 and from 1850 to 1851.

Quitman County is located in the Mississippi Delta region of Mississippi.


The county was developed for cotton cultivation. Much of the bottomlands behind the riverfront were not developed until the late 19th century, and population continued to increase as the frontier was cleared and cultivated. The county reached its peak population in 1940. Agricultural mechanization reduced the need for farm labor, and workers were recruited to northern and midwestern industrial cities. Thousands of African Americans left in the Great Migration, many going upriver to St. Louis and Chicago.

Poor People's Campaign

Martin Luther King originally wanted the Poor People's Campaign to start in Quitman County because of the intense and visible economic disparity there. On March 18, 1968, King visited the town of Marks, Mississippi. He watched a teacher feeding black schoolchildren their lunch, consisting only of a slice of apple and some crackers, and was moved to tears.

After King's death, the Southern part of the Campaign began in Quitman County. Participants rode a train of mules to Washington, D.C. to protest about economic conditions. According to wagonmaster Willie Bolden, white citizens of Marks harassed the mule train on its way out of town. Bolden stated that they "would drive by blowing their horns, purposely trying to spook the mules and us." More recently, Quitman County residents have made an effort to promote tourism based on the county's role in the Poor People's Campaign.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 406 square miles (1,050 km2), of which 405 square miles (1,050 km2) is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Mississippi by land area and third-smallest by total area.

Major highways

  • Circle sign 3.svg Mississippi Highway 3
  • Circle sign 6.svg Mississippi Highway 6

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Coldwater River National Wildlife Refuge (part)


Reflecting the decreased need for farm labor after mechanization and the development of industrial farms, the population has declined by more than two thirds since its peak in 1940.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,407
1890 3,286 133.5%
1900 5,435 65.4%
1910 11,593 113.3%
1920 19,861 71.3%
1930 25,304 27.4%
1940 27,191 7.5%
1950 25,885 −4.8%
1960 21,019 −18.8%
1970 15,888 −24.4%
1980 12,636 −20.5%
1990 10,490 −17.0%
2000 10,117 −3.6%
2010 8,223 −18.7%
Est. 2015 7,486 −9.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,223 people residing in the county. 69.6% were Black or African American, 29.0% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,117 people, 3,565 households, and 2,506 families residing in the county. The population density was 25 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 3,923 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 30.47% White, 68.62% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2000, there were 3,565 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.60% were married couples living together, 26.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the county, the population was spread out with 32.00% under the age of 18, 9.60% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 19.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 86.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $20,636, and the median income for a family was $25,394. Males had a median income of $23,571 versus $16,993 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,817. About 28.60% of families and 33.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.10% of those under age 18 and 30.60% of those age 65 or over.

Quitman County has the fifth-lowest per capita income in Mississippi and the 51st lowest in the United States.




Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

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