Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,203 km² (1,237 mi²). 3,188 km² (1,231 mi²) of it is land and 15 km² (6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.48% water.
Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 23,185 people, 8,259 households, and 5,756 families residing in the county. The population density is 7/km² (19/mi²). There are 10,730 housing units at an average density of 3/km² (9/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 68.57% White, 27.93% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.17% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 7.50% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 8,259 households out of which 28.70% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.90% are married couples living together, 14.20% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% are non-families. 27.90% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.10% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 2.97.
In the county, the population is spread out with 23.20% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 114.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 115.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $28,119, and the median income for a family is $35,033. Males have a median income of $29,143 versus $19,885 for females. The per capita income for the county is $14,525. 21.00% of the population and 15.60% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 28.30% are under the age of 18 and 18.20% are 65 or older.