Ozark County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 9,723. The largest city and county seat is Gainesville. The county was organized as Ozark County, named after the Ozark Mountains, on January 29, 1841. It was renamed Decatur County, after Commodore Stephen Decatur, from 1843 to 1845, after which the name Ozark County was restored.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 755 square miles (1,960 km), of which 745 square miles (1,930 km) is land and 10 square miles (26 km) (1.4%) is water. Arkansas is located to the south of Ozark County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,542 people, 3,950 households, and 2,855 families residing in the county. The population density was 13 people per square mile (5/km²). There were 5,114 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.57% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Approximately 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Among the major first ancestries reported in Ozark County were 28.6% American, 15.9% German, 12.1% English, and 11.4% Irish.
There were 3,950 households out of which 26.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.20% were married couples living together, 6.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.70% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.10% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 22.80% from 25 to 44, 28.70% from 45 to 64, and 19.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,508, and the median income for a family was $36,622. Males had a median income of $21,685 versus $17,312 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,302. About 16.10% of families and 21.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.80% of those under age 18 and 17.20% of those age 65 or over.
According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report (2000), Ozark County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion. The most predominant denominations among residents in Ozark County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists (25.79%), Churches of Christ (24.83%), and Pentecostals (17.07%).