Leake County is a county located in the center of the U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,805. Its county seat is Carthage. The county is named for Walter Leake, the Governor of Mississippi from 1822 to 1825.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 585 square miles (1,520 km), of which 583 square miles (1,510 km) is land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km) (0.4%) is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 23,805 people residing in the county. 49.5% were White, 40.6% Black or African American, 6.0% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 2.8% of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 4.3% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,940 people, 7,611 households, and 5,563 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 8,585 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 56.14% White, 37.42% Black or African American, 4.56% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.14% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. 2.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 7,611 households out of which 34.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.20% were married couples living together, 16.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.13. In the county, the population was spread out with 26.90% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $27,055, and the median income for a family was $32,147. Males had a median income of $27,367 versus $18,307 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,365. About 18.10% of families and 23.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.90% of those under age 18 and 23.90% of those age 65 or over.