Hancock County is the southernmost county of the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 43,929. Its county seat is Bay St. Louis. The county is named for Founding Father John Hancock.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 553 square miles (1,430 km), of which 474 square miles (1,230 km) is land and 79 square miles (200 km) (14%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 42,967 people, 16,897 households, and 11,827 families residing in the county. The population density was 90 people per square mile (35/km²). There were 21,072 housing units at an average density of 44 per square mile (17/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.19% White, 6.83% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. 1.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 16,897 households out of which 31.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.90% were married couples living together, 11.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 24.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.10% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,202, and the median income for a family was $40,307. Males had a median income of $32,229 versus $22,066 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,748. About 11.20% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.90% of those under age 18 and 10.30% of those age 65 or over.
Hancock County has the eighth highest per capita income in the State of Mississippi.