Holmes County is a county in the U.S. state of Mississippi; its western border is formed by the Yazoo River and the eastern border by the Big Black River. The western part of the county is within the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta. As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,198. Its county seat is Lexington. The county is named in honor of David Holmes, territorial governor and the first governor of the state of Mississippi. A favorite son, Edmond Favor Noel, was an attorney and state politician, elected as governor of Mississippi, serving from 1908-1912.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 765 square miles (1,980 km²), of which 757 square miles (1,960 km²) is land and 7.9 square miles (20 km²) (1.0%) is water.
From 1940 until 1970, the county had major declines in population as many blacks left the state in the Great Migration. Whites have also left as economic opportunities were limited in the rural county. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 19,198 people residing in the county, less than half than at the peak of population in 1940. 83.4% were Black or African American, 15.6% White, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% of some other race and 0.6% of two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,609 people, 7,314 households, and 5,229 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 8,439 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 78.66% Black or African American, 20.47% White, 0.12% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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