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4 Cities and towns
5 External links
The county was formed in 1784 from Duplin County. It was named for John Sampson, who was the first register of deeds of Duplin County and the first mayor of Wilmington, North Carolina.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,454 km² (947 mi²). 2,449 km² (945 mi²) of it is land and 5 km² (2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.21% water.
The county is divided into nineteen townships: Belvoir, Dismal, Franklin, Halls, Herring, Honeycutt, Lisbon, Little Coharie, McDaniels, Mingo, Newton Grove, North Clinton, Piney Grove, Plain View, South Clinton, South River, Taylors Bridge, Turkey, and Westbrook.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 60,161 people, 22,273 households, and 16,214 families residing in the county. The population density is 25/km² (64/mi²). There are 25,142 housing units at an average density of 10/km² (27/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 59.76% White, 29.95% Black or African American, 1.81% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 6.95% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 10.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 22,273 households out of which 33.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.60% are married couples living together, 14.30% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.20% are non-families. 23.70% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.20% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.64 and the average family size is 3.09.
In the county the population is spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 9.40% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.80% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 98.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 95.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $31,793, and the median income for a family is $38,072. Males have a median income of $26,806 versus $20,657 for females. The per capita income for the county is $14,976. 17.60% of the population and 13.50% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 21.50% are under the age of 18 and 21.50% are 65 or older.