Lexington is a city in and the county seat of Holmes County, Mississippi, United States. The county was organized in 1833 and the city in 1836. The population was 1,731 at the 2010 census, down from 2,025 at the 2000 census. The estimated population in 2016 was 1,573. It has declined from its high of 3198 in 1950 due to the expansion of industrial-scale agriculture. Because of the difficulties in making a living, many people have left the rural county to seek work elsewhere.
Lexington is in the center of Holmes County on the north side of the valley of Black Creek, a west-flowing tributary of the Yazoo River. Mississippi Highways 12 and 17 pass through the city, sharing four blocks of Carrollton Street north of the city center. Highway 12 leads east 13 miles (21 km) to Durant and northwest 11 miles (18 km) to Tchula, while Highway 17 leads north 30 miles (48 km) to Carrollton and south 18 miles (29 km) to Pickens.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.3 km), of which 9,785 square metres (2.4 acres), or 0.16%, are water.
The table to the right shows two periods of dramatic population declines: from 1910 to 1920, and in the decades after 1960. These are periods of mechanization of agriculture and consolidation of land into large, industrial holdings. Many African Americans left the area in the Great Migration, particularly before passage of civil rights legislation, for better jobs elsewhere and to escape Jim Crow.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,025 people, 725 households, and 503 families residing in the city. The population density was 825.6 people per square mile (319.1/km²). There were 802 housing units at an average density of 327.0 per square mile (126.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 31.36% White, 67.26% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.64% Asian, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.98% of the population.
There were 725 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 26.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.34.
In the city, the population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $22,163, and the median income for a family was $29,732. Males had a median income of $25,750 versus $17,328 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,614. About 32.7% of families and 37.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 54.5% of those under age 18 and 28.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 Census, the racial composition of the city was: