Perry County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,058. Its county seat is New Lexington. Founded on March 1, 1818, from parts of Fairfield, Washington and Muskingum counties, it was the 55th county to be formed in Ohio. The county is named for Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. Perry County is included in the Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. One of the poorest counties in the state, this is where the lawsuit challenging Ohio's school funding system, DeRolph v. State, began.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 412 square miles (1,070 km²), of which 408 square miles (1,060 km²) is land and 4.5 square miles (12 km²) (1.1%) is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 36,058 people, 13,576 households, and 9,738 families residing in the county. The population density was 88.4 inhabitants per square mile (34.1/km²). There were 15,211 housing units at an average density of 37.3 per square mile (14.4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.9% white, 0.3% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.5% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 25.4% were German, 14.9% were Irish, 10.4% were English, and 9.6% were American.
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