Clay County Courthouse in Fort Gaines
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Henry Clay|
|Largest city||Fort Gaines|
|• Total||217 sq mi (560 km2)|
|• Land||195 sq mi (510 km2)|
|• Water||22 sq mi (60 km2) 10.1%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||16/sq mi (6/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,183, making it the fifth-least populous county in Georgia. The county seat is Fort Gaines.
This area was historically occupied by the Creek Indians until Indian Removal in the 1830s. European Americans pushed them out and developed the land for cotton, bringing in thousands of African slaves to work the land.
The county is named in honor of Henry Clay, famous American statesman, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century. Part of the Black Belt geological formation of Georgia, prior to the American Civil War the county's chief commodity crop was cotton, cultivated and processed by farmers and African-American slaves. After the war, the economy continued to be agricultural, but timber was also harvested.
Clay County's population is one-third what it was in 1910.
The central and southwestern portions of Clay County, from west of Bluffton to northwest of Coleman, are located in the Lower Chattahoochee River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin). The county's northwestern corner, which is bisected by State Route 39 running north from Fort Gaines, is located in the Middle Chattahoochee River-Walter F. George Lake sub-basin of the same ACF River Basin. Just the very southeastern corner of Clay County is located in the Spring Creek sub-basin of the same larger ACF River Basin.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,183 people, 1,331 households, and 869 families living in the county. The population density was 16.3 inhabitants per square mile (6.3/km2). There were 2,102 housing units at an average density of 10.8 per square mile (4.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 60.4% black or African American, 37.6% white, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.8% of the population. In terms of ancestry, and 3.3% were American.
Of the 1,331 households, 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.7% were non-families, and 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.93. The median age was 45.8 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $26,250 and the median income for a family was $31,354. Males had a median income of $29,440 versus $23,816 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,353. About 25.5% of families and 34.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 56.7% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,357 people, 1,347 households, and 928 families living in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 1,925 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 60.47% Black or African American, 38.43% White, 0.12% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, and 0.66% from two or more races. 0.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,347 households out of which 25.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.70% were married couples living together, 23.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.10% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 21.00% from 25 to 44, 25.70% from 45 to 64, and 19.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 83.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $21,448, and the median income for a family was $27,837. Males had a median income of $26,557 versus $17,083 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,819. About 28.10% of families and 31.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.40% of those under age 18 and 23.90% of those age 65 or over.