Van Zandt County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas, in the northeastern part of the state. As of the 2010 census, its population was 52,579. Its county seat is Canton. The county is named for Isaac Van Zandt (1813-1847), a member of the Congress of the Republic of Texas.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 860 square miles (2,200 km), of which 843 square miles (2,180 km) is land and 17 square miles (44 km) (2.0%) is covered by water. Van Zandt County is unique in topography. The western and northwestern parts of the county are in the eastern edge of the Texas Blackland Prairies, the central part of the county is located in the post oak belt of Northeast Texas, and the eastern part of the county stretches into the East Texas Piney Woods. Two major rivers, the Neches and the Sabine, flow through Van Zandt County. Van Zandt County is referred to as the “Gateway to East Texas” due to its diverse topography.
As of the census of 2000, there were 48,140 people, 18,195 households, and 13,664 families residing in the county. The population density was 57 people per square mile (22/km²). There were 20,896 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.96% White, 2.94% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 2.71% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 6.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 18,195 households out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.60% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.90% were non-families. 22.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.50% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 24.90% from 45 to 64, and 17.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,029, and the median income for a family was $41,175. Males had a median income of $31,887 versus $21,344 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,930. About 10.30% of families and 13.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.90% of those under age 18 and 12.10% of those age 65 or over.