As of the census of 2000, there were 181,412 people, 72,576 households, and 50,512 families residing in the county. The population density was 418 people per square mile (161/km²). There were 77,765 housing units at an average density of 179 per square mile (69/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.55% White, 5.96% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. 0.72% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.0% were of German, 17.4% Italian, 9.9% Irish, 6.5% English, 6.4% Polish and 5.8% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 72,576 households out of which 28.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.50% were married couples living together, 11.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the county, the population was spread out with 22.60% under the age of 18, 7.40% from 18 to 24, 27.30% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 18.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.20 males.
Map of Beaver County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing Cities and Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).
Under Pennsylvania law, there are four types of incorporated municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, and, in at most two cases, towns. The following cities, boroughs and townships are located in Beaver County:
The Ohio River flows north through Beaver County from a point near Ambridge, then turns west near Beaver and on to the Ohio and West Virginia borders. It divides the southern third of the county from the northern two-thirds.
Map of Beaver County, Pennsylvania Public School Districts. Note that two of those districts on this map, Monaca School District and Center Area School District, merged in 2009 to form the Central Valley School District.
The 498 school districts of Pennsylvania, that have high schools, were ranked for student academic achievement as demonstrated by three years of math and reading PSSA results by the Pittsburgh Business Times in 2008.
Beaver County used to be a Democratic stronghold and the Democrats continue to hold the commissioner majority and all county row offices, but in recent years it has been shifting heavily Republican. Multiple Democratic seats in both houses of the Pennsylvania Legislature have been lost to Republicans over the past few years. In statewide and federal elections it has been moving rightward as well. In 2004 Democrat John Kerry won Beaver County over Republican George Bush 51% to 48%. In 2008 Republican John McCain defeated Democrat Barack Obama 50% to 47%, becoming the first republican to win there since 1972. Each of the three state row office winners carried Beaver. In 2010 Republican Governor Tom Corbett and Republican Senator Pat Toomey both carried Beaver in their successful statewide bids.