Decatur County Courthouse in Decaturville
Location within the U.S. state of Tennessee
Tennessee's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Stephen Decatur|
|• Total||345 sq mi (890 km2)|
|• Land||334 sq mi (870 km2)|
|• Water||11 sq mi (30 km2) 3.2%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||35/sq mi (14/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Decatur County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,757. Its county seat is Decaturville.
This county is named after naval hero Stephen Decatur, Jr., who gained national recognition in the First Barbary War, the Second Barbary War, and the War of 1812 by his leadership and achievements at sea. The county was created in November 1845 from the part of Perry County west of the Tennessee River in response to a petition by citizens on the west side of the river who lacked easy access to the county seat on the east side.
In 2015, the Decatur County clerk of court and the entire staff of that office resigned, to express conscientious objection to the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which would oblige the office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 345 square miles (890 km2), of which 334 square miles (870 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (3.2%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,731 people, 4,908 households, and 3,415 families residing in the county. The population density was 35 people per square mile (14/km2).
There were 6,448 housing units at an average density of 19 per square mile (7/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.12% White, 3.47% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.20% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,908 households, out of which 27.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 27.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.70% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 26.30% from 45 to 64, and 18.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,741, and the median income for a family was $34,919. Males had a median income of $25,945 versus $20,155 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,285. About 13.80% of families and 16.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.90% of those under age 18 and 22.20% of those age 65 or over.
Decatur County – like all of rural Tennessee – is a Republican stronghold. The last Democrat to carry this county was Al Gore in 2000, and even before the collapse of traditional rural Democratic support after Bill Clinton the county had a sizeable Unionist population that caused it to vote Republican several times during the “System of 1896”.