Sainte Genevieve County, often abbreviated Ste. Genevieve County (French: Ste-Geneviève), is a county located in the eastern portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,145. The largest city and county seat is Ste. Genevieve. The county was officially organized on October 1, 1812, and is named after the Spanish district once located in the region, after Saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, France. It includes the earliest settlement west of the Mississippi River outside New Spain, part of the French colonial mid-Mississippi valley villages. It is one of the last places where the Paw Paw French is still spoken.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,310 km²), of which 499 square miles (1,290 km²) is land and 7.6 square miles (20 km²) (1.5%) is water. The county's northeastern border with Illinois is formed by the Mississippi River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,842 people, 6,586 households, and 4,926 families residing in the county. The population density was 36 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 8,018 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.03% White, 0.72% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.13% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Approximately 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race..
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