Sussex County
Sussex County Courthouse
Map of Virginia highlighting Sussex County
Location within the U.S. state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 36°56′N 77°16′W / 36.93°N 77.26°W / 36.93; -77.26
Country United States
State Virginia
Founded1754
Named forSussex, England
SeatSussex
Largest townJarratt
Area
 • Total493 sq mi (1,280 km2)
 • Land490 sq mi (1,300 km2)
 • Water2.6 sq mi (7 km2)  0.5%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total10,829
 • Density22/sq mi (8.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district4th
Websitewww.sussexcountyva.gov

Sussex County is a rural county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 10,829.[1] Its county seat is Sussex.[2] It was formed in 1754 from Surry County. The county is named after the county of Sussex, England.[3]

Sussex County is included in the Greater Richmond Region.

History

Native Americans may have settled near Cactus Hill along the Nottoway River in what became Sussex county as long as 10,000 years ago.[4] The Nottoway people, speaking an Iroquoian language, were later part of the Powhatan Confederacy.

When colonists arrived from England in 1607, some traveled along the Nottoway River, but when they established the first counties, James City County included both sides of the James River all the way to the North Carolina line. The south side of the James River became Surry County in 1652. Virginia's General Assembly formed Sussex County from the southwestern end of Surry County in 1754.

Sussex County has maintained a predominantly agricultural economy, as well as its historic heritage for over four centuries. It includes the Sussex County Courthouse Historic District and the Waverly Downtown Historic District, the Nottoway Archeological Site and six historic homes on the National Register.

The largest forest fire in Virginia's recorded history occurred on April 5, 1943, destroying more than 12,000 acres in just six hours, while most firefighters were paying their respects at the funeral of Ella Darden Gray, matriarch of one of the county's leading families, and whose son Garland Gray would become a key figure in the Massive Resistance crisis concerning desegregating Virginia's public schools about a decade later.[5]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 493 square miles (1,280 km2), of which 490 square miles (1,300 km2) is land and 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2) (0.5%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
179010,549
180011,0624.9%
181011,3622.7%
182011,8844.6%
183012,7207.0%
184011,229−11.7%
18509,820−12.5%
186010,1753.6%
18707,885−22.5%
188010,06227.6%
189011,10010.3%
190012,0828.8%
191013,66413.1%
192012,834−6.1%
193012,100−5.7%
194012,4853.2%
195012,7852.4%
196012,411−2.9%
197011,464−7.6%
198010,874−5.1%
199010,248−5.8%
200012,50422.0%
201012,087−3.3%
202010,829−10.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010[11] 2020[12]

2020 census

Sussex County, Virginia - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[11] Pop 2020[12] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 4,663 4,381 38.58% 40.46%
Black or African American alone (NH) 6,996 5,766 57.88% 53.25%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 19 14 0.16% 0.13%
Asian alone (NH) 46 11 0.38% 0.10%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 0 7 0.00% 0.06%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 9 25 0.07% 0.23%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 86 319 0.71% 2.95%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 268 306 2.22% 2.83%
Total 12,087 10,829 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 12,087 people living in the county, of which 58.1% were Black or African American, 39.3% White, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 1.3% of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 2.2% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 12,504 people, 4,126 households, and 2,809 families living in the county. The population density was 26 people per square mile (10/km2). There were 4,653 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 62.13% Black or African American, 36.39% White, 0.13% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. 0.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,126 households, out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.00% were married couples living together, 18.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.90% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.60% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 34.40% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 135.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 142.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,007, and the median income for a family was $36,739. Males had a median income of $29,307 versus $22,001 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,670. About 12.80% of families and 16.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.30% of those under age 18 and 19.20% of those age 65 or over.

Two prisons were built in Sussex County in the 1990s. Including the prisons, Sussex County was the fastest growing county in the United States. Excluding the prisons, the county population declined.[14]

Education

Sussex County Public Schools operates public schools.

Blackwater Regional Library is the regional library system that provides services to the citizens of Sussex.

High school

Middle school

Elementary schools

Charter/tech

Private schools

Government and infrastructure

The Virginia Department of Corrections operates the Sussex I State Prison and the Sussex II State Prison in unincorporated Sussex County, near Waverly.[15][16][17] The Sussex I center housed the male death row. On August 3, 1998, the male death row moved to Sussex I from the Mecklenburg Correctional Center.[18]

Politics

United States presidential election results for Sussex County, Virginia[19]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,219 43.61% 2,827 55.56% 42 0.83%
2016 2,055 40.74% 2,879 57.08% 110 2.18%
2012 2,021 37.15% 3,358 61.73% 61 1.12%
2008 2,026 37.78% 3,301 61.55% 36 0.67%
2004 1,890 43.50% 2,420 55.70% 35 0.81%
2000 1,745 44.67% 2,006 51.36% 155 3.97%
1996 1,378 36.34% 2,089 55.09% 325 8.57%
1992 1,527 35.90% 2,193 51.56% 533 12.53%
1988 1,822 46.77% 1,958 50.26% 116 2.98%
1984 2,183 46.14% 2,408 50.90% 140 2.96%
1980 1,664 38.94% 2,447 57.27% 162 3.79%
1976 1,360 33.22% 2,497 60.99% 237 5.79%
1972 2,120 54.99% 1,645 42.67% 90 2.33%
1968 1,105 29.12% 1,541 40.62% 1,148 30.26%
1964 1,537 55.39% 1,234 44.47% 4 0.14%
1960 713 35.78% 1,253 62.87% 27 1.35%
1956 785 39.31% 851 42.61% 361 18.08%
1952 888 47.97% 956 51.65% 7 0.38%
1948 244 20.00% 614 50.33% 362 29.67%
1944 201 20.51% 773 78.88% 6 0.61%
1940 164 18.16% 737 81.62% 2 0.22%
1936 126 12.52% 880 87.48% 0 0.00%
1932 122 14.79% 688 83.39% 15 1.82%
1928 385 41.31% 547 58.69% 0 0.00%
1924 132 17.67% 607 81.26% 8 1.07%
1920 166 23.15% 548 76.43% 3 0.42%
1916 96 16.35% 486 82.79% 5 0.85%
1912 59 10.52% 435 77.54% 67 11.94%


Communities

Towns

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

See also

References

  1. ^ "Sussex County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Sussex County FAQ." Retrieved on December 10, 2013.
  4. ^ Gary M. Williams, Sussex County, Virginia: A Heritage Recalled by the Land (Petersburg, Virginia: The Dietz Press 2014) p. 2
  5. ^ Gary M. Williams, Sussex County, Virginia: A Heritage Recalled by the Land (Petersburg, Virginia: The Dietz Press 2014) pp. 235-236
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Sussex County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  12. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Sussex County, Virginia". United States Census Bureau.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  14. ^ Sommerstein, David. "Urban, Rural Areas Battle For Census Prison Populace." NPR. February 15, 2010. Retrieved on January 3, 2012. "In the early 2000s, southern Virginia's Sussex County was the fastest-growing county in the nation, according to the census. But the county had opened two prisons in the late 1990s — and if their residents weren't included, the county's population had actually declined, the Washington Post reported."
  15. ^ "Sussex I State Prison." Virginia Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  16. ^ "Sussex II State Prison." Virginia Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 3, 2013.
  17. ^ "DOC Appoints New Warden at Sussex I State Prison." Virginia Department of Corrections. March 9, 2006. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  18. ^ "Virginia Death Row/Execution Facts." My FOX DC. Tuesday November 10, 2009. Retrieved on August 22, 2010.
  19. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved December 9, 2020.

Coordinates: 36°56′N 77°16′W / 36.93°N 77.26°W / 36.93; -77.26