Butler County is a county located in the southeast Ozark Foothills Region in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 Census, the county’s population was 42,794. The largest city and county seat is Poplar Bluff. The county was officially organized from Wayne County on February 27, 1849, and is named after former U.S. Representative William O. Butler (D-Kentucky), who was also an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States. The first meeting in the Butler County Courthouse was held on June 18, 1849.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 699 square miles (1,810 km), of which 695 square miles (1,800 km) is land and 4.3 square miles (11 km) (0.6%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 40,867 people, 16,718 households, and 11,318 families residing in the county. The population density was 59 people per square mile (23/km²). There were 18,707 housing units at an average density of 27 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.16% White, 5.22% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Approximately 1.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Butler County were 31.7% American, 13.8% German, 11.6% Irish and 10.5% English.
There were 16,718 households out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.50% were married couples living together, 11.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 8.40% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 16.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $34,422, and the median income for a family was $42,713. Males had a median income of $27,449 versus $19,374 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,282. About 14.00% of families and 18.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.90% of those under age 18 and 16.90% of those age 65 or over.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2010), most residents (58.00%) in Butler County do not adhere to a religion.
Among those who do adhere to a religion (42.00%), the majority of Butler County residents’ religious affiliations are:
The main religious families among all adherents in Butler County are: