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Taney County, Missouri
Seal of Taney County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Taney County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the USA highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded January 4, 1837
Seat Forsyth
Largest City Branson
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

652 sq mi (1,689 km²)
632 sq mi (1,637 km²)
19 sq mi (49 km²), 2.9%
 - (2015)
 - Density

82/sq mi (32/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Named for: Roger B. Taney

Taney County is a county located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 51,675. Its county seat is Forsyth. The county was officially organized on January 4, 1837, and named in honor of Roger Brooke Taney, the fifth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, most remembered for later delivering the infamous majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford.

Taney County includes the popular tourist destination city of Branson. It is included in the Branson, MO Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Springfield-Branson, MO Combined Statistical Area. With a wide range of live music shows, restaurants and shopping locations, Taney County is also the home of Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes.


The first Taney County Courthouse was built on the mouth of Bull Creek at the confluence of the White River by early pioneers in 1837. Its use as a courthouse ended after Forsyth became the county seat; it was destroyed in a tornado in 1963.

The county's second courthouse, in Forsyth, was destroyed in a Civil War battle on July 22, 1861. The rebuilt courthouse was destroyed by fire on December 19, 1885. A third courthouse was built; it was removed in 1952 to permit the building of Bull Shoals Lake. The fourth, and present, courthouse was occupied on August 1, 1952. In 1989, an addition was started and completed in 1991.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 652 square miles (1,690 km2), of which 632 square miles (1,640 km2) is land and 19 square miles (49 km2) (2.9%) is water.

The county is drained by White River and its affluents.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 65.svg U.S. Route 65
  • US 160.svg U.S. Route 160
  • MO-76.svg Route 76
  • MO-86.svg Route 86
  • MO-125.svg Route 125
  • MO-165.svg Route 165
  • MO-176.svg Route 176
  • MO-248.svg Route 248
  • MO-265.svg Route 265
  • MO-376.svg Route 376
  • MO-465.svg Route 465

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 3,264
1850 4,373 34.0%
1860 3,576 −18.2%
1870 4,347 21.6%
1880 5,599 28.8%
1890 7,973 42.4%
1900 10,812 35.6%
1910 9,287 −14.1%
1920 8,878 −4.4%
1930 8,867 −0.1%
1940 10,323 16.4%
1950 9,863 −4.5%
1960 10,238 3.8%
1970 13,023 27.2%
1980 20,467 57.2%
1990 25,561 24.9%
2000 39,703 55.3%
2010 51,675 30.2%
Est. 2016 54,735 5.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 39,703 people, 16,158 households, and 11,052 families residing in the county. The population density was 24/km² (63/mi²). There were 19,688 housing units at an average density of 12/km² (31/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.22% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.87% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.74% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. Approximately 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Taney County were 20.8% German, 18.9% American, 12.4% Irish, and 12.3% English.

There were 16,158 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.60% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.40% under the age of 18, 10.20% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 16.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,771, and the median income for a family was $47,664. Males had a median income of $25,431 versus $19,655 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,663. About 9.40% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.


According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Taney County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Taney County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (32.88%), Roman Catholics (12.36%), and Presbyterians (9.13%).




Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities


In 2009, Taney County officials voted to begin charging inmates $45 a day to stay at the jail. One critic referred to the charge as a "poor person's tax."

The 2010 film "Winter's Bone" was filmed entirely in Taney County and Christian County. Many locals were cast in significant roles in the film.

The NAIA Men's Basketball Championships are hosted every March at College of the Ozarks.

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