According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 750 km² (289 mi²). 588 km² (227 mi²) of it is land and 162 km² (63 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 21.61% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 34,897 people, 12,907 households, and 9,099 families residing in the county. The population density is 59/km² (154/mi²). There are 14,289 housing units at an average density of 24/km² (63/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 56.93% White, 40.05% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. 1.23% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 12,907 households out of which 33.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.40% are married couples living together, 16.30% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% are non-families. 25.40% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.40% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.52 and the average family size is 3.01.
In the county, the population is spread out with 24.90% under the age of 18, 11.30% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 93.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $30,444, and the median income for a family is $36,402. Males have a median income of $30,072 versus $21,652 for females. The per capita income for the county is $14,815. 18.40% of the population and 15.50% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 25.50% are under the age of 18 and 17.90% are 65 or older.