According to Countryaah, Bolivar County is located in the Mississippi Delta region in the northwest corner of Mississippi. As of 2019, the population was estimated to be 34,106 people according to the US Census Bureau. This relatively small population is spread across an area of 892 square miles which gives it an average population density of 38 people per square mile.
The majority of Bolivar County’s population is located within its two largest towns: Cleveland (population 12,104) and Shaw (population 2,819). These two towns account for nearly half of the county’s total population and are home to a variety of services and amenities such as healthcare facilities, schools, libraries, museums, shopping centers, restaurants and more. Other smaller towns in Bolivar County include Mound Bayou (population 1,541), Rosedale (population 971) and Gunnison (population 908).
Bolivar County has experienced moderate growth over the past decade with its population growing by 6% between 2010 and 2019. The median age in Bolivar County is 32 years old which is lower than both the state median age (37 years old) and national median age (38 years old). In terms of race and ethnicity, about 65% of residents identify as Black or African American while 22% identify as white or non-Hispanic and 13% identify as another race or ethnicity.
In terms of income levels in Bolivar County, the median household income was estimated to be $33,039 in 2019 which is significantly lower than both the state median household income ($46,923) and national median household income ($68,703). The poverty rate in Bolivar County was estimated to be 33% which is much higher than both the state poverty rate (14%) and national poverty rate (13%).
Bolivar County can be characterized as a rural area with a small but steadily growing population that consists primarily of Black or African American individuals with below average incomes but significantly higher poverty levels compared to both state and national averages.
History of Bolivar County, Mississippi
Bolivar County, Mississippi has a long and rich history that is deeply rooted in the legacy of African-American culture and heritage. The area was first inhabited by Native Americans before it was colonized by the French and Spanish in the late 1700s. During this time, the area became known as the Yazoo Delta region due to its location on the Yazoo River, which served as an important transportation route for settlers coming into Mississippi.
In 1836, Bolivar County was officially established and named after Simón Bolívar, a Venezuelan military leader who fought for Latin American independence from Spain. The county grew rapidly in the years that followed as it attracted many settlers from other parts of Mississippi and beyond. By 1840 there were over 2,000 people living in Bolivar County with a majority of them being African-American slaves that had been brought to work on local plantations.
The Civil War had a major impact on Bolivar County with many battles taking place in the area between Confederate and Union forces. After the war ended, African-Americans were granted emancipation and many of them stayed in Bolivar County where they began to establish their own communities and churches such as Mound Bayou which is still standing today.
In addition to African-Americans, other immigrants also began to settle in Bolivar County including Chinese workers who were hired to help build railroads throughout Mississippi. This influx of diverse cultures helped shape what is now known as “Delta culture” which can be seen through its food, music, art and other aspects of life throughout the county today.
Throughout most of its history, Bolivar County has been an agricultural community with cotton being one of its main crops alongside corn and soybeans. In recent years, however there has been a shift away from farming towards more industrial activities such as manufacturing which has helped create jobs for local residents while also bringing new businesses into town like Walmart which opened up its first store in Cleveland back in 1999.
Today, Bolivar County continues to honor its past while also looking towards a brighter future with an estimated population of 34,106 people spread across 892 square miles according to US Census Bureau estimates from 2019. Despite facing some economic challenges due to poverty levels that are much higher than both state (14%) and national (13%) averages, there is still hope for growth through increased investment into local businesses so that everyone can benefit from all that this unique region has to offer.
Major cities and towns in Bolivar County, Mississippi
Bolivar County, Mississippi is home to several major cities and towns that have played an integral role in the county’s history. The county seat is Cleveland, which was established in 1833 and is known for its charming downtown area and a wide variety of local businesses. Other notable towns in the area include Mound Bayou, which is the oldest surviving African-American settlement in the United States and has a rich cultural heritage; Shaw, which was founded in 1878 and is known for its many historic buildings; Rosedale, which was established in 1874 and has a vibrant agricultural scene; Merigold, which was founded in 1890 and serves as an important trade hub; Gunnison, which was originally called “Gunn’s Station” after the family who settled there in 1870; and Drew, which has a long history of cotton production.
Cleveland is the largest city in Bolivar County with an estimated population of 12,334 people according to US Census Bureau estimates from 2019. It serves as both the county seat and business hub with many local stores as well as larger chains like Walmart located within city limits. The downtown area features several historic buildings such as the Bolivar County Courthouse that dates back to 1888 as well as several churches including St. Paul’s Catholic Church that was built in 1906. In addition to retail shops there are also numerous restaurants around town serving up classic southern dishes like fried catfish or gumbo while providing excellent customer service.
Mound Bayou is another important city located within Bolivar County that has been home to African-Americans since its founding by former slaves Isaiah T. Montgomery and Benjamin Green back in 1887. This unique community offers visitors a glimpse into what life was like for African-Americans during Reconstruction with many historical sites such as the Taborian Hospital where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr once visited during his civil rights campaign still standing today. The city also features many attractions including museums dedicated to preserving local culture such as The Museum of Mississippi History & Culture or Delta State University where students can learn about everything from literature to musicology while enjoying all that Mound Bayou has to offer.
Shaw is another popular destination located within Bolivar County with a population of approximately 2,876 people according to US Census Bureau estimates from 2019. This small town offers visitors plenty of entertainment options ranging from outdoor recreation like fishing at nearby lakes or hunting on local farms to shopping at some of Shaw’s antique stores or boutique shops along Main Street or dining out at one of its excellent restaurants featuring everything from traditional southern cuisine to international flavors sure to please any palate.
Rosedale is another important town located within Bolivar County with an estimated population of 1,908 people according to US Census Bureau estimates from 2019 making it one of the smallest cities on this list but no less significant when it comes to agriculture with cotton being one of its main crops alongside corn and soybeans grown primarily by local farmers throughout much of Rosedale’s history helping make this small town an important part of Bolivar County’s agricultural legacy
Merigold also plays an integral role within Bolivar County not only because it serves as an important trade hub but also because it provides visitors with plenty of recreational activities such as visiting nearby lakes for fishing or taking part in any number of festivals held throughout the year including their annual Watermelon Festival held every June celebrating Merigold’s unique watermelon crop grown throughout much of this region helping make this small town a great place for anyone looking for some fun outdoor activities while exploring all that Bolivar county has to offer
Finally, Gunnison rounds out our list with an estimated population of 1,287 people according to census bureau estimates from 2019 originally called “Gunn’s Station after James Gunn who settled here back in 1870 this quaint little town offers visitors plenty to explore whether you’re looking to visit historic sites like old courthouse built 1888 take a stroll down the main street take advantage any number parks spread throughout community Gunnison sure have something everyone enjoys while exploring all that beautiful Boliver County has offer.
Population in Bolivar County, Mississippi
According to existingcountries.com, Bolivar County is located in the Mississippi Delta region and is bordered by Coahoma, Sunflower, Washington, and Humphreys counties. The population of Bolivar County was estimated to be 48,622 people in 2019. The largest cities in the county are Cleveland and Shaw with populations of 12,334 and 1,937 respectively. According to the 2010 census, African Americans make up a large majority of the population at 78.3%, while whites account for 21.2%. The median household income for Bolivar County was $27,999 in 2018 which is lower than both the state ($41,754) and national ($61,937) averages. The poverty rate for the county was 28.7% compared to 22% for Mississippi as a whole.
The educational attainment level in Bolivar County is relatively low with only 8.2% of adults having obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 24.3% statewide and 33% nationally. This has impacted job opportunities as most jobs available are low-wage service sectors jobs such as retail sales or food preparation which often do not provide benefits or job security. Additionally, there are limited job opportunities due to an overall lack of economic growth and investment in the area which has led to unemployment rates that exceed both state (5%) and national (3.5%) averages at 6%.