Mississippi County is a county located in the Bootheel of the U.S. state of Missouri, with its eastern border formed by the Mississippi River. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,358. The largest city and county seat is Charleston. The county was officially organized on February 14, 1845, and was named after the Mississippi River.
Mississippi County is located in what was formerly known as "Tywappity Bottom," a vast floodplain area bordered by the Scott County Hills on the north, St. James Bayou on the south, the Mississippi River on the east, and Little River on the west.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 429 square miles (1,110 km²), of which 412 square miles (1,070 km²) is land and 17 square miles (44 km²) (4.0%) is water.
The rural county was at its peak of population in 1940. With changes in agriculture and mechanization requiring fewer workers, the number of jobs have declined, as has county population.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,427 people, 5,383 households, and 3,671 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 5,840 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 77.93% White, 20.53% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Approximately 0.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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