is a county
of the U.S. state
. Its name is from the Cherokee Indian
language, which means "edible tree." It is the center of the 'Gadsden, AL
, Metropolitan Statistical Area
' which includes Etowah and Cherokee Counties. As of 2000 the population was 103,459. Its county seat
. In area, it is the smallest county in Alabama.
Etowah was originally the southern part of DeKalb County, Alabama
however Baine County was established on December 7
, named for General David W. Baine of the Confederate
Army, with its county seat
. The county was abolished in 1867, but a year later, Etowah County was created from the same territory.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of 549 square miles
), of which, 535 square miles (1,385 km²) of it is land and 14 square miles (36 km²) of it (2.54%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 103,459 people, 41,615 households, and 29,463 families residing in the county. The population density
was 193 people per square mile (75/km²). There were 45,959 housing units at an average density of 86 per square mile (33/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.87% White
, 14.68% Black
or African American
, 0.33% Native American
, 0.42% Asian
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 0.73% from other races
, and 0.93% from two or more races. 1.70% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 41,615 households out of which 29.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 13.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 27.40% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,170, and the median income for a family was $38,697. Males had a median income of $31,610 versus $21,346 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,783. About 12.30% of families and 15.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.60% of those under age 18 and 13.70% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns