DeSoto County is a county located in the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 161,252, making it the third-most populous county in Mississippi. Its county seat is Hernando. DeSoto County is part of the Memphis, TN-MS-AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is the second-most populous county in the MSA. The county has lowland areas that were developed in the 19th century for cotton plantations, and hill country in the eastern part of the county.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 497 square miles (1,290 km²), of which 476 square miles (1,230 km²) is land and 21 square miles (54 km²) (4.2%) is water.
As of the 2013 U.S.census estimates, there were 168,240 people residing in the county. 70.3% were non-Hispanic White, 21.5% Black or African American, 1.6% Asian, 2.6% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.0% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). The median income for a family was $66,377 and the mean income was $75,875. DeSoto County has the highest median income in Mississippi and the second highest mean income after Madison County. According to the 2000 census, the largest self-identified ancestry groups in DeSoto County were English 53.1%, Scots-Irish 15.1%, African 11.4%, and Irish 4.5%. Since then the percentage of African-American population in the county has nearly doubled, along with strong overall increases in the total county population.
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