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Wilkinson County, Georgia

Wilkinson County
Ball's Ferry Landing has been designated as a site on the March to the Sea Heritage Trail.
Ball's Ferry Landing has been designated as a site on the March to the Sea Heritage Trail.
Map of Georgia highlighting Wilkinson County
Location within the U.S. state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 32°48′N 83°10′W / 32.80°N 83.17°W / 32.80; -83.17
Country United States
State Georgia
FoundedMay 11, 1803
SeatIrwinton
Largest cityGordon
Area
 • Total452 sq mi (1,170 km2)
 • Land447 sq mi (1,160 km2)
 • Water4.6 sq mi (12 km2)  1.0%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
9,036
 • Density21/sq mi (8/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district8th
Websitewww.wilkinsoncounty.net

Wilkinson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,563.[1] The county seat is Irwinton.[2] The county was created on May 11, 1803 and named for General James Wilkinson (1757-1825).[3]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 452 square miles (1,170 km2), of which 447 square miles (1,160 km2) is land and 4.6 square miles (12 km2) (1.0%) is water.[4] The entirety of Wilkinson County is located in the Lower Oconee River sub-basin of the Altamaha River basin.[5]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18102,154
18206,992224.6%
18306,513−6.9%
18406,8425.1%
18508,29621.3%
18609,37613.0%
18709,3830.1%
188012,06128.5%
189010,871−9.9%
190011,4405.2%
191010,078−11.9%
192011,37612.9%
193010,844−4.7%
194011,0251.7%
19509,781−11.3%
19609,250−5.4%
19709,3931.5%
198010,36810.4%
199010,228−1.4%
200010,220−0.1%
20109,563−6.4%
Est. 20189,036[6]−5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

2000 census

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 10,220 people, 3,827 households, and 2,805 families residing in the county. The population density was 23 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 4,449 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 57.96% White, 40.70% Black or African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.40% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,827 households out of which 33.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.60% were married couples living together, 18.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.70% were non-families. 24.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the county, the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 22.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,723, and the median income for a family was $39,349. Males had a median income of $31,814 versus $21,461 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,658. About 14.60% of families and 17.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.90% of those under age 18 and 18.00% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,563 people, 3,666 households, and 2,638 families residing in the county.[12] The population density was 21.4 inhabitants per square mile (8.3/km2). There were 4,487 housing units at an average density of 10.0 per square mile (3.9/km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 58.5% white, 38.4% black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 1.3% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.2% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, and 14.7% were American.[14]

Of the 3,666 households, 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.9% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.0% were non-families, and 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.06. The median age was 41.1 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $37,902 and the median income for a family was $49,138. Males had a median income of $39,009 versus $25,935 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,929. About 17.9% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.1% of those under age 18 and 21.9% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Education

Wilkinson County Primary/Elementary School[16]

Wilkinson County Middle/High School[16]

Wilkinson County is home of the 9-time state high school basketball class A champions.

Communities

Politics

Wilkinson County voted for every Democratic presidential nominee from 1828 to 1960; note that 1828 was the first year in which Georgia held a popular vote for presidential electors and also the first year in which the Democratic Party ran a presidential candidate. However, there was at least one example of Republican success in the county during Reconstruction: in the 1868 gubernatorial election, which was held in April, the Republican ticket swept the county, with Rufus Bullock receiving 59% of the vote; the Republican candidate for county ordinary won by just 1.7%.[17] Decades later, Harry Truman only won the county by one vote in the 1948 presidential election.

In 1964, Wilkinson County voted overwhelmingly for Barry Goldwater, the first Republican presidential nominee to win the county. It also delivered large victories to segregationist American Independent Party candidate George Wallace and Republican Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972 respectively. In the presidential elections of both 1976 and 1980, former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, won the county easily.

In 1984, Democrat Walter Mondale won the county by a 9% margin, which was only the second presidential result in the county within 30% since 1912. This was also the first time since 1848, when Whig Zachary Taylor narrowly won Georgia, that the county voted for a presidential candidate who did not win the state. In the following three presidential elections, Wilkinson continued to give Democratic candidates between 53% and 59% of the vote.

In 2000, Al Gore won Wilkinson County by a margin of 1.3%, or 84 votes, receiving 50.4% to George W. Bush's 48.1%. The county then voted for all three Republican nominees from 2004 to 2012, each time by a margin of less than 1.5%. In 2016, it voted for Donald Trump by a margin of just over 10%. Wilkinson was thus one of many Black Belt counties in Georgia that demonstrated a significant swing in favor of Republican presidential candidates from 2012 to 2016. Similarly, the county swung from a 0.25% victory for the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee[18] to an 11.63% victory for the 2018 Republican gubernatorial nominee.[19]

Even as it has become more favorable to Republicans at the state and federal level, Wilkinson's county government continues to be dominated by Democrats, to the extent that the Democratic primary is often tantamount to election. In 2016, Democrats won all six county executive offices without Republican opposition, as well as the three school board seats up for election that year. While the Republican district attorney for the district that includes Wilkinson was also unopposed, he received only 65.6% of ballots cast, compared to at least 72.4% for each unopposed Democratic countywide official.[20] In 2018, Democratic incumbents were reelected unopposed to two of the county's five commission seats unopposed and to a third seat by a 25% margin, as well as winning the race for commission chair unopposed. The Democratic candidate in the open first commission district lost, but by just 2.7%. Both school board members up that year were unopposed Democratic incumbents.[19]

Similarly, the overwhelming majority of primary voters in Wilkinson have chosen Democratic ballots even in recent years, presidential primaries excepted. In 2014, 2,022 of 2,174 primary voters (93.0%) chose Democratic ballots. In 2016, 1,726 of 2,033 primary voters (84.9%) did so, and in 2018, 1,186 of the 1,862 primary voters (63.7%) did so, even in the context of a competitive statewide Republican primary for governor.[21] Three incumbent county commissioners faced opponents in their 2018 primaries; the incumbent county commission chair lost, and the District 2 incumbent won by just one vote.[22]

Presidential elections results
Previous presidential elections results[23]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 54.4% 2,333 44.2% 1,894 1.4% 60
2012 50.4% 2,246 49.0% 2,181 0.7% 29
2008 50.2% 2,349 49.1% 2,298 0.7% 31
2004 50.0% 2,261 49.5% 2,235 0.5% 22
2000 48.1% 1,800 50.4% 1,884 1.5% 56
1996 34.1% 1,332 58.3% 2,278 7.7% 299
1992 30.3% 1,232 56.1% 2,286 13.6% 554
1988 45.3% 1,546 53.7% 1,831 1.1% 36
1984 45.5% 1,756 54.5% 2,102
1980 31.6% 1,116 67.0% 2,365 1.5% 51
1976 24.0% 837 76.0% 2,652
1972 74.5% 2,196 25.5% 751
1968 20.2% 685 24.5% 829 55.3% 1,870
1964 69.3% 2,172 30.7% 963
1960 32.3% 631 67.7% 1,324
1956 23.2% 393 76.8% 1,299
1952 18.8% 378 81.2% 1,629
1948 45.5% 500 45.6% 501 8.9% 98
1944 26.2% 271 73.8% 763
1940 14.0% 147 86.0% 906 0.1% 1
1936 14.4% 118 85.0% 695 0.6% 5
1932 0.0% 0 100.0% 726
1928 31.8% 227 68.2% 487
1924 15.9% 56 80.5% 284 3.7% 13
1920 12.6% 37 87.4% 256
1916 4.8% 20 88.5% 371 6.7% 28
1912 2.6% 10 94.3% 365 3.1% 12

Government

Current county officials:[24][25][26]

Category Specific office Name Party Year of last election
Executive or judicial office Clerk of Superior Court Cinda Sloan Bright D 2016
Executive or judicial office Coroner William “Billy” Matthews D 2016
Executive or judicial office Probate/Magistrate Judge Vivian Lawrence Cummings D 2016
Executive or judicial office Sheriff Richard Chatman D 2016
Executive or judicial office County Surveyor Donald D. Brooks D 2016
Executive or judicial office Tax Commissioner Vanessa Fountain D 2016
Board of Commissioners Chairman Michael Gotell D 2018
Board of Commissioners District 1 Glenn Kester R 2018
Board of Commissioners District 2 James Hagins D 2018
Board of Commissioners District 3 Vacant (Was D) 2018
Board of Commissioners District 4 John Williams D 2018
Board of Education Chairman Roger Smith D 2016
Board of Education District 1 George W. Young D 2018
Board of Education District 2 Kimberly S. Watkins D 2018
Board of Education District 3 Leroy Strange D 2016
Board of Education District 4 Charles Pitts D 2016

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 254. ISBN 0-915430-00-2.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Interactive Mapping Experience". Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  14. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  15. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  16. ^ a b [1]
  17. ^ Mason, J.A. (May 1, 1868). "Georgia Elections: Wilkinson County". The Georgia Weekly Telegraph. p. 3. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Wilkinson - Election Results". ClarityElections. Georgia Secretary of State. November 10, 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Wilkinson - Election Results". ClarityElections. Georgia Secretary of State. November 13, 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Wilkinson - Election Results". ClarityElections. Georgia Secretary of State. November 15, 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Voter History Files". Georgia Secretary of State. Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Wilkinson - Election Night Reporting". ClarityElections. Georgia Secretary of State. May 25, 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  23. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  24. ^ "Commissioners". Wilkinson County. Wilkinson County Commission. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  25. ^ "Board Members". Wilkinson County Schools. Wilkinson County Board of Education. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  26. ^ "Qualifying Candidates". Georgia Secretary of State. Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved 30 September 2019.