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4 Cities and towns
5 External links
The county was formed in 1833 from parts of Buncombe County and Burke County. It was named for Bartlett Yancey, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1813 to 1817, and presided over the North Carolina Senate from 1817 to 1827.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 811 km² (313 mi²). 809 km² (312 mi²) of it is land and 2 km² (1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.21% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 17,774 people, 7,472 households, and 5,372 families residing in the county. The population density is 22/km² (57/mi²). There are 9,729 housing units at an average density of 12/km² (31/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 97.99% White, 0.57% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. 2.69% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 7,472 households out of which 27.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.20% are married couples living together, 7.80% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% are non-families. 25.40% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.50% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.36 and the average family size is 2.81.
In the county the population is spread out with 21.20% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 27.10% from 45 to 64, and 18.20% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42 years. For every 100 females there are 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $29,674, and the median income for a family is $35,879. Males have a median income of $26,800 versus $20,885 for females. The per capita income for the county is $16,335. 15.80% of the population and 10.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 22.10% are under the age of 18 and 16.30% are 65 or older.