Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
List of counties in Missouri

List of counties in Missouri

Discussion
Ask a question about 'List of counties in Missouri'
Start a new discussion about 'List of counties in Missouri'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
There are 114 counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 and one independent city in the U.S. state of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

. Following the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 and the admittance of Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 into the United States in 1812, five counties were formed out of the Missouri Territory
Missouri Territory
The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Missouri.-History:...

 at the first general assembly. Most subsequent counties were apportioned from these five original counties. Six more counties were added through the 1836 Platte Purchase
Platte Purchase
The Platte Purchase was a land acquisition in 1836 by the United States government from Native American tribes all of which was east bank lands along the Missouri River that added to the northwest corner of the state of Missouri. The area acquired is almost as large as the states of Delaware and...

, the acquired lands of which formed the northwest tip of the state and consisted of Andrew
Andrew County, Missouri
-External links:* from University of Missouri Division of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books...

, Atchison
Atchison County, Missouri
Atchison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 5,685. Its county seat is Rock Port. The county was organized in 1845 and named for David Rice Atchison, U.S...

, Buchanan
Buchanan County, Missouri
Buchanan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 89,201. Its county seat is Saint Joseph. When originally formed in 1838, the county was named Roberts County, after settler Hiram Roberts; it was renamed in 1839 for James Buchanan, then a U.S....

 Holt
Holt County, Missouri
Holt County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. The county is in the northwest part of the state. As of 2010, the population was 4,912. Its county seat is Oregon. The county was organized in 1841 and is named after the Missouri state legislator Dr...

, Nodaway
Nodaway County, Missouri
Nodaway County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. The county was organized in 1845 and named for the Nodaway River.As of 2010, the population was 23,370...

, and Platte
Platte County, Missouri
As of the census of 2000, there were 73,781 people, 29,278 households, and 20,231 families residing in the county. The population density was 176 people per square mile . There were 30,902 housing units at an average density of 74 per square mile...

 counties.

In Missouri, the county level of government level comes between those of the city and the state. Its primary responsibilities include maintaining roads, providing security, prosecuting criminals, and collecting taxes. Elected officials at this level include a sheriff
Sheriffs in the United States
In the United States, a sheriff is a county official and is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county. Historically, the sheriff was also commander of the militia in that county. Distinctive to law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected. The political election of...

, prosecuting attorney, and assessor
Assessor (property)
An assessor is a specialist who calculates the value of property. The value calculated by the assessor is then used as the basis for determining the amounts to be paid or assessed for tax or insurance purposes....

.

Most of the counties in Missouri are named after politicians. One such county, Cass
Cass County, Missouri
Cass County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 99,478. Its county seat is Harrisonville. The county was organized in 1835 as "Van Buren County", renamed in 1848 after Michigan U.S...

, was originally named Van Buren County after President Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

, and was changed to its present name in support of Van Buren's Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 opponent Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass was an American military officer and politician. During his long political career, Cass served as a governor of the Michigan Territory, an American ambassador, a U.S. Senator representing Michigan, and co-founder as well as first Masonic Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan...

 during the presidential election of 1848
United States presidential election, 1848
The United States presidential election of 1848 was an open race. President James K. Polk, having achieved all of his major objectives in one term and suffering from declining health that would take his life less than four months after leaving office, kept his promise not to seek re-election.The...

. Other counties are named after war heroes, natural resources, explorers, and former U.S. territories
Historic regions of the United States
This is a list of historic regions of the United States.-Colonial era :-The Thirteen Colonies:* Connecticut Colony* Delaware Colony* Province of Georgia* Province of Maryland...

.

The city of St. Louis is an independent city, and is not within the limits of a county. Its residents voted to secede from Saint Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 in 1876. Throughout the United States, St. Louis is one of three independent cities outside the state of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 (the other two are Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and Carson City, Nevada
Carson City, Nevada
The Consolidated Municipality of Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada. The words Consolidated Municipality refer to a series of changes in 1969 which abolished Ormsby County and merged all the settlements contained within its borders into Carson City. Since that time Carson City has...

).

Population figures are based on the 2010 United States Census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

. According to that census, the population of Missouri is 5,988,927, an increase of 7.0% from 2000. The average population of Missouri’s counties is 52,078 ; Saint Louis County
St. Louis County, Missouri
St. Louis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all...

 is the most populous (998,954), and Worth County is the least (2,171). The average land area is 599 sq mi (1,551.4 km²). The largest county is Texas County
Texas County, Missouri
Texas County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 26,008. It's county seat is Houston. The county was organized in 1843 as Ashley County, changing its name in 1845 to Texas, after the Republic of Texas. The 2010 U.S...

 (1,179 sq mi, 3,054 km2) and the smallest is St. Louis city
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 (61.9 sq mi, 160 km2).

The Federal Information Processing Standard
Federal Information Processing Standard
A Federal Information Processing Standard is a publicly announced standardization developed by the United States federal government for use in computer systems by all non-military government agencies and by government contractors, when properly invoked and tailored on a contract...

 (FIPS) is used by the U.S. government to uniquely identify counties, and is provided for each entry. These codes link to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

's "quick facts" for each county. To distinguish from counties in other states, one must use Missouri’s FIPS code, 29. For example, Adair County
Adair County, Missouri
Adair County is a county located in northeast Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 25,607. Its county seat is Kirksville. The county was organized in 1841 and is named in honor of Kentucky Governor John Adair....

's unique nationwide identifier is 29001.

Counties




|}

Former county names

County Etymology Changed to
Allen County Atchison County
Atchison County, Missouri
Atchison County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 5,685. Its county seat is Rock Port. The county was organized in 1845 and named for David Rice Atchison, U.S...

 in 1845
Ashley County William Henry Ashley
William Henry Ashley
William Henry Ashley was a pioneering fur trader, entrepreneur, and politician. Though a native of Virginia, Ashley had already moved to St. Genevieve in what was then called Louisiana, when it was purchased by the United States from France in 1803...

 (1778–1838), early settler
Texas County
Texas County, Missouri
Texas County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the county's population was 26,008. It's county seat is Houston. The county was organized in 1843 as Ashley County, changing its name in 1845 to Texas, after the Republic of Texas. The 2010 U.S...

 in 1845 upon organization
Decatur County Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur, Jr. , was an American naval officer notable for his many naval victories in the early 19th century. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, Worcester county, the son of a U.S. Naval Officer who served during the American Revolution. Shortly after attending college Decatur...

 (1779–1820), American naval
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 officer
Ozark County
Ozark County, Missouri
Ozark County is a county located in South Central Missouri in the United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the county's population was 9,542. A 2008 estimate, however, showed the population to be 9,227. The largest city and county seat is Gainesville. From 1843 to 1845 the county was called...

 in 1845
Highland County Sullivan County
Sullivan County, Missouri
Sullivan County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. In 2010, the population was 6,714. Its county seat is Milan.-History:Sullivan County, Missouri encompasses of high glaciated prairie covered by steep rolling hills and numerous creeks and streams in north central Missouri...

 in 1845 upon organization
Kinderhook County Kinderhook, New York
Kinderhook (village), New York
Kinderhook is a village located in the Town of Kinderhook in Columbia County, New York, United States. The population was 1,211 at the 2010 census.The Village of Kinderhook is located in the south-central part of the town on US 9....

, birthplace of Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

Camden County
Camden County, Missouri
Camden County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2000, the population was 37,051. Its county seat is Camdenton. The county was organized in 1841 as Kinderhook County and renamed in 1843, for Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden, Chancellor of England, and leader of the Whig...

 in 1843
Lillard County James Lillard of Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, who served in the first state legislature of Missouri
Lafayette County in 1825
Niangua County Niangua River
Niangua River
The Niangua River is a tributary of the Osage River in the Ozarks region of southern and central Missouri in the United States. Via the Osage and Missouri rivers it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.-Course:...

, a tributary of the Osage River
Osage River
The Osage River is a tributary of the Missouri River in central Missouri in the United States. The Osage River is one of the larger rivers in Missouri. The river drains a mostly rural area of . The watershed includes an area of east-central Kansas and a large portion of west-central and central...

 – "niangua" comes from the Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 word nehemgar, which means "a river of numerous springs or sources"
Dallas County in 1844 because of the difficulty in pronouncing and spelling Niangua
Seneca County Seneca Nation
Seneca nation
The Seneca are a group of indigenous people native to North America. They were the nation located farthest to the west within the Six Nations or Iroquois League in New York before the American Revolution. While exact population figures are unknown, approximately 15,000 to 25,000 Seneca live in...

, a group of Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 from New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

McDonald County
McDonald County, Missouri
McDonald County is a county located in Southwest Missouri in the United States of America. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 23,083. Its county seat is Pineville...

 in 1847 upon organization
Van Buren County Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

 (1782–1862), eighth President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and also Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 under Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

Cass County
Cass County, Missouri
Cass County is a county located in the U.S. state of Missouri. As of 2010, the population was 99,478. Its county seat is Harrisonville. The county was organized in 1835 as "Van Buren County", renamed in 1848 after Michigan U.S...

 in 1849 in honor of Van Buren's opponent in the presidential election of 1848
United States presidential election, 1848
The United States presidential election of 1848 was an open race. President James K. Polk, having achieved all of his major objectives in one term and suffering from declining health that would take his life less than four months after leaving office, kept his promise not to seek re-election.The...


See also

  • List of cities in Missouri
  • List of U.S. counties by population
  • Missouri census statistical areas
    Missouri census statistical areas
    The United States Census Bureau has defined 3 Combined Statistical Areas , 8 Metropolitan Statistical Areas , and 20 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the State of Missouri...

  • Demographics of Missouri

External Links

  • Digitized 1930 Plat Books of Missouri Counties from University of Missouri
    University of Missouri
    The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

    Division of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books