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4 Cities and towns
5 External links
The county was formed in 1771 from Orange County. It was named for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, who served as Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1766 to 1768 and opposed harsh colonial policies.
In 1907 parts of Chatham County and Moore County were combined to form Lee County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,836 km² (709 mi²). 1,769 km² (683 mi²) of it is land and 68 km² (26 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 3.69% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 49,329 people, 19,741 households, and 13,858 families residing in the county. The population density is 28/km² (72/mi²). There are 21,358 housing units at an average density of 12/km² (31/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 74.94% White, 17.07% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.81% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 9.62% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 19,741 households out of which 28.80% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.30% are married couples living together, 10.00% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.80% are non-families. 24.50% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.00% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.47 and the average family size is 2.91.
In the county the population is spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 24.60% from 45 to 64, and 15.30% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $42,851, and the median income for a family is $50,909. Males have a median income of $32,980 versus $26,044 for females. The per capita income for the county is $23,355. 9.70% of the population and 7.10% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 12.70% are under the age of 18 and 12.00% are 65 or older.