is a county
located in the Mississippi Delta
region of the U.S. state
. As of 2000, the population was 34,369. Its county seat
The Indianola Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Sunflower County.
Sunflower County was created in 1834. The land mass encampassed most of Sunflower and Leflore Counties as we know them today. The first seat of government was Clayton, located near Fort Pemberton. Later the county seat was moved to McNutt, also in the Leflore County of today. When Sunflower and Leflore Counties were separated in 1871, the new county seat for Sunflower County was moved to Johnsonville. This village was located where the north end of Mound Bayou empties into the Sunflower River. In 1882 the county seat was moved to Eureka, which was later re-named Indianola (Hemphill, Marie M. 1980. Fevers, Floods and Faith--A History of Sunflower County Mississippi, 1844-1976).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total area of 707 square miles
), of which, 694 square miles (1,797 km²) of it is land and 13 square miles (35 km²) of it (1.90%) is water. Sunflower County is the longest county in Mississippi. The traveling distance from the southern boundary at Caile, to its northern boundary at Rome is approximately 56 miles.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 34,369 people, 9,637 households, and 7,314 families residing in the county. The population density
was 50 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 10,338 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 28.88% White
, 69.86% Black
or African American
, 0.09% Native American
, 0.40% Asian
, 0.48% from other races
, and 0.28% from two or more races. 1.30% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 9,637 households out of which 38.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.30% were married couples living together, 28.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.10% were non-families. 21.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.01 and the average family size was 3.50.
In the county the population was spread out with 27.90% under the age of 18, 14.00% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 18.10% from 45 to 64, and 9.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 115.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 120.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $24,970, and the median income for a family was $29,144. Males had a median income of $26,208 versus $19,145 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,365. About 24.60% of families and 30.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.50% of those under age 18 and 24.10% of those age 65 or over.
Sunflower County has the ninth lowest per capita income in Mississippi and the 72nd lowest in the United States.
- Charlie Patton (bluesman, 1891-1934)
- James Eastland (U.S. Senator from Mississippi, 1904-1986)
- Fannie Lou Hamer (civil rights activist, 1917-1977)
- Craig Claiborne (Food Editor, New York Times, 1920-2000)
- B.B. King (bluesman, 1925-present)
- Sam Lacey (retired NBA basketball player, 1948-present)
- Archie Manning (NFL quarterback, 1949-present); father of Peyton Manning, Cooper Manning and Eli Manning
- Roderick Ferguson (Honorary Temptation)
- C. L. Franklin, father of Aretha Franklin
In Popular Culture
Sunflower County is the setting for the Kenny Rogers song Hoodooin' of Miss Fannie Deberry, included on his 1978 album The Gambler.
- Unincorporated places
- Public School Districts
- Private Schools
- Central Delta Academy (Inverness)
- Indianola Academy (Indianola)
- North Sunflower Academy (Drew)