Lamar County, Mississippi

Lamar county is a southern county in Mississippi. It is the 11th most populated county out of the 82 counties in Mississippi. It was organized in 1904, and its county seat is Purvis. The county is named after a post-civil war statesman,  Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar. It is part of the  Hattiesburg metropolitan area, and most of the county is rural except for the northern quarter. Lamar has four main urban centers: Purvis, Sumrall, Arnold Lin, Baxterville, Oak grave, and West Hattiesburg.

The county had a population of 55,658 according to the 2020 census and with 26,919 males and 28,739 females. The majority of the residents are white, accounting for over 85% of the population, while black accounts for 12% of the county and the rest of the races account for less than a percentage each. Most of the non-white residents in the county live in urban West Hattiesburg. Lamar County is a growing county with a large wealth and is likely to develop new industries and welcome many more jobs to its growing cities, towns, and urban areas.

Lamar county has a median income of  $61,649, higher than the neighboring Tate and Lee counties. This is a stark contrast to the fact that Lamar county has the third highest per capita income in Mississippi. 13% of the county residents live in poverty. The unemployment rate is only 7.2%. Nonetheless, most residents are young, with only 1,971 senior citizens in the county.

Lamar county covers 500.492 mi (1,296.3 km2), with 99.32% of the county being land and only 0.32 covered by water. Lamar’s water bodies include Hickory Hills Lake, Henning ton lake, and Red Creek (Mississippi). Most of the county is utilized for agriculture (beef and dairy farming) and forestry activities though there is limited fishing in the water bodies,
The county is well connected to the rest of the state and nation through the major interstate 59,  highways 11 and 98, and Mississippi highways 13, 42, and 44. The county has several tourist attractions, such as the Longleaf Trace, Updown Trampoline Park, Safari Tails Adventures, and Optimist Park. The country is rich culturally, with several landmark features, festivals, and cultural events. Politically the people are conservative, having voted 60% for a Republican president.

The county is divided into two school districts:

  • Hattiesburg Public School District
  • Lamar County School District

Additionally, the country hosts the prestigious Pearl River Community College, which promotes the education of residents and out-of-county residents. Many social amenities in the community, such as libraries and community centers, help serve residents in different areas.

Lamar county is led by the Lamar Board of Supervisors, which is in charge of policy-making and administration of the county. It is the county supervisor board that sets county priorities and funds projects and other businesses of the county. The board is elected after every four years from each of the 5 geographical districts in the county. All the elected supervisors in the county must be residents of the district they are chosen, be qualified electors, and have no felony records.

The Board of supervisors has power over county roads, ferries, bridges, county law enforcement, collections, fines, and levying taxes. Some of the county officials are appointed by the board. Closely working with the board of supervisors is the county department that executes the board’s decision and serves the residents of Lamar county.

Lamar county has several departments such as the fire department, the sheriff’s office, the Chancery Clerk, county attorney, Emergency management, circuit clerk, planning, parks and recreation, Health and Human resource, and many more. The department is properly financed and always ready to serve the public. The county offices and county building housing this department are located in Purvis.

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