As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 16,833 people, 6,130 households, and 4,056 families residing in the county. The population density was 45.2 inhabitants per square mile (17.5/km2). There were 6,936 housing units at an average density of 18.6 per square mile (7.2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.3% white, 9.6% black or African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 1.7% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.3% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 12.7% were German, 10.4% were American, 9.5% were Irish, and 7.8% were English.

Of the 6,130 households, 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.8% were non-families, and 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.88. The median age was 39.7 years