Christian County is part of the Springfield, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area. Between 2000 and 2010, it was the fastest growing county in Missouri and one of the fastest growing in the nation as the county became more suburban due to the booming growth in Springfield.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 564 square miles (1,460 km2), of which 563 square miles (1,460 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.
The county is drained by James River and branches of the White River. The surface is undulating or hilly.
There were 20,425 households out of which 38.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.00% were married couples living together, 9.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.40% were non-families. 19.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county, the population was spread out with 27.80% under the age of 18, 8.10% from 18 to 24, 31.70% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $50,200, and the median income for a family was $58,806. Males had a median income of $31,929 versus $21,852 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,873. About 7.10% of families and 9.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.20% of those under age 18 and 7.80% of those age 65 or over.
The Republican Party controls politics at the local level in Christian County. The Republicans hold all of the elected positions in the county.
On May 20, 2015, Sheriff Joey Kyle plead guilty to embezzling county funds and participating in an illegal fraud scheme. As a part of a plea agreement, he immediately resigned as sheriff, was sentenced to one year plus one day in federal prison, and must repay more than $50,000 in restitution to Christian County.
Like most counties situated in Southwest Missouri, Christian County is a Republican stronghold in presidential elections. George W. Bush carried Christian County in 2000 and 2004 by more than two-to-one margins, and like many other rural and exurban counties throughout Missouri, Christian County strongly favored John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008. The only Democratic Presidential candidate to win Christian County since the Civil War has been Franklin Delano Rooseveltin 1932.
Like most areas throughout the Bible Belt in Southwest Missouri, voters in Christian County traditionally adhere to socially and culturally conservative principles which tend to strongly influence their Republican leanings. In 2004, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman—it overwhelmingly passed Christian County with 80.46 percent of the vote. The initiative passed the state with 71 percent of support from voters as Missouri became the first state to ban same-sex marriage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a constitutional amendment to fund and legalize embryonic stem cell research in the state—it failed in Christian County with 58.98 percent voting against the measure. The initiative narrowly passed the state with 51 percent of support from voters as Missouri became one of the first states in the nation to approve embryonic stem cell research. Despite Christian County’s longstanding tradition of supporting socially conservative platforms, voters in the county have a penchant for advancing populist causes like increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Missourians voted on a proposition (Proposition B) to increase the minimum wage in the state to $6.50 an hour—it passed Christian County with 73.01 percent of the vote. The proposition strongly passed every single county in Missouri with 78.99 percent voting in favor as the minimum wage was increased to $6.50 an hour in the state. During the same election, voters in five other states also strongly approved increases in the minimum wage.