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Wilkinson County, Mississippi facts for kids

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Wilkinson County
Wilkinson County courthouse in Woodville
Wilkinson County courthouse in Woodville
Map of Mississippi highlighting Wilkinson 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 1802
Named for James Wilkinson
Seat Woodville
Largest town Centreville
 • Total 688 sq mi (1,780 km2)
 • Land 678 sq mi (1,760 km2)
 • Water 9.7 sq mi (25 km2)  1.4%
 • Total 9,878
 • Estimate 
 • Density 14.358/sq mi (5.543/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Wilkinson County is a county located in the southwest corner of U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,878. Its county seat is Woodville. Bordered by the Mississippi River on the west, the county is named for James Wilkinson, a Revolutionary War military leader and first governor of the Louisiana Territory after its acquisition by the United States in 1803.


Wilkinson County's Woodville Republican, begun in 1823, is (as of 2012) the oldest newspaper and the oldest business in continuous operation in Mississippi. The sign, facing Depot Street, is on the exterior west wall of the newspaper offices in Woodville.

In the nineteenth century, this county was developed by European-American settlers as cotton plantations along the Mississippi River, which forms the western border of the county. Much of the bottomlands and interior were undeveloped frontier until after the American Civil War. The intensive cultivation depended on the labor of numerous enslaved African Americans; in the early nineteenth century, more than a million were transported here from the Upper South in a major forced migration. The population of this county quickly became majority black as workers were brought in.

The West Feliciana Railroad was later built to help get the cotton commodity crop to market. Some planters got wealthy during the antebellum years and built fine mansions in the county seat of Woodville, Mississippi. After the Civil War, freedmen and planters negotiated new working arrangements, and sharecropping became widespread.

A long agricultural depression affected the economy. The peak of population in the county was reached in 1900, after which many blacks left in the Great Migration to the North and Midwest, to escape the racial segregation and disfranchisement suffered here since passage of the state's new constitution in 1890 and later Jim Crow laws.

In the early 20th century the boll weevil infestation destroyed much of the cotton crops, and mechanization caused a further loss of agricultural jobs. Timber has been harvested and processed as a new commodity crop. The population of the rural county has continued to decline. Towns have started to develop heritage tourism to attract more visitors.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 688 square miles (1,780 km2), of which 678 square miles (1,760 km2) is land and 9.7 square miles (25 km2) (1.4%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 61.svg U.S. Highway 61
  • Circle sign 24.svg Mississippi Highway 24
  • Circle sign 33.svg Mississippi Highway 33

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Homochitto National Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 5,068
1820 9,718 91.8%
1830 11,686 20.3%
1840 14,193 21.5%
1850 16,914 19.2%
1860 15,933 −5.8%
1870 12,705 −20.3%
1880 17,815 40.2%
1890 17,592 −1.3%
1900 21,453 21.9%
1910 18,075 −15.7%
1920 15,319 −15.2%
1930 13,957 −8.9%
1940 15,955 14.3%
1950 14,116 −11.5%
1960 13,235 −6.2%
1970 11,099 −16.1%
1980 10,021 −9.7%
1990 9,678 −3.4%
2000 10,312 6.6%
2010 9,878 −4.2%
2018 (est.) 8,792 −11.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Wilkinson County Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 2,525 29.4%
Black or African American 5,764 67.12%
Native American 16 0.19%
Asian 8 0.09%
Other/Mixed 204 2.38%
Hispanic or Latino 70 0.82%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 8,587 people, 3,170 households, and 1,843 families residing in the county.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,878 people living in the county. 70.8% were Black or African American, 28.7% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% of some other race and 0.3% of two or more races. 0.4% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).



Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns


Wilkinson County High School

Wilkinson County School District serves the county.

Wilkinson County Christian Academy, which was established in 1969 as a segregation academy.

Notable people

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Wilkinson (Misisipi) para niños

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