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Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
View of Beaver Falls, from the borough of New Brighton.
View of Beaver Falls, from the borough of New Brighton.
Birthplace of College Basketball
Location in Beaver County and state of Pennsylvania
Location in Beaver County and state of Pennsylvania
Country United States
Commonwealth Pennsylvania
County Beaver County
Incorporated November 9, 1868 (borough)
  December 3, 1928 (city)
 • Total 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)
 • Land 2.1 sq mi (5 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (1 km2)
 • Total 8,987
 • Density 4,681.6/sq mi (1,807.6/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
Website City website

Beaver Falls is a city in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 8,987 at the 2010 census. It is located 31 miles (50 km) northwest of Pittsburgh, and on the Beaver River, six miles (9 km) from its confluence with the Ohio River.


Originally called Brighton, Beaver Falls was chartered as a borough in 1868. It adopted the commission form of government in 1913.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 3,112
1880 5,104 64.0%
1890 9,735 90.7%
1900 10,054 3.3%
1910 12,191 21.3%
1920 12,802 5.0%
1930 17,147 33.9%
1940 17,098 −0.3%
1950 17,375 1.6%
1960 16,240 −6.5%
1970 14,635 −9.9%
1980 12,525 −14.4%
1990 10,687 −14.7%
2000 9,920 −7.2%
2010 8,987 −9.4%
Est. 2015 8,661 −3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

In the 1870s, Beaver Falls was home to a Chinatown and had as many as 200 Chinese residents.

Travellers would often stop in Beaver Falls while transversing Western Pennsylvania, since there were many modes of transportation through the area (railroad, highway, canal). The city was also linked to Ellwood City in 1914 by the Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler and New Castle Railway, an interurban trolley line. The line closed on 15 June 1931.

The city is best known in fiction as the setting of the television situation comedy Mr. Belvedere.

On May 31, 1985, an F3 tornado hit just north of the city as it went across northern portions of Beaver County, as part of the 1985 United States-Canadian tornado outbreak. Geneva College is located in the College Hill neighborhood on the north side of the city. The world's first recorded college basketball game occurred in the city on April 8, 1893 when the intramural team from Geneva College defeated the New Brighton YMCA.

The population declined nearly 50% between 1940 and 2000, which is attributed mostly to its central location in the Rust Belt. Several manufacturing plants provided significant employment for residents in the twentieth century. Like most rust belt cities, Beaver Falls has suffered a fair amount of economic malaise due to the decline in the steel-making capacity in the region.


Beaver Falls is located at 40°45′32″N 80°19′11″W / 40.75889°N 80.31972°W / 40.75889; -80.31972 (40.758865, -80.319737).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), of which 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) (7.02%) is water.


Beaver Falls Municipal Authority
Beaver Falls Municipal Authority

As of the 2010 census, the city was 75.3% White, 19.3% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.4% Asian, and 4.4% were two or more races. 1.2% of the population was of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,920 people, 3,798 households, and 2,259 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,681.6 people per square mile (1,806.7/km²). There are 4,380 housing units at an average density of 2,067.1 per square mile (797.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.82% White, 17.53% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 2.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.06% of the population.

There were 3,798 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.5% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 16.7% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 84.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,344, and the median income for a family was $30,405. Males had a median income of $31,151 versus $22,243 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,808. About 19.8% of families and 22.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.8% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.


A view of Downtown Beaver Falls in 2013.
  • College Hill
  • Morado
  • Mount Washington
  • Lower End
  • Downtown
  • Pleasantview
  • Riverview

Sites of interest

Carnegie Free Library in Beaver Falls
Carnegie Library
  • Beaver River Trail, a paved rail trail that runs over the former Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad right-of-way along the Beaver River.
  • Carnegie Free Library of Beaver Falls, the first public library in Beaver County. The library was established in 1903 and was given a $50,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie, making the structure a Carnegie library. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Reeves Field is the playing field for the Beaver Falls Fighting Tigers and the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes football teams.



The closest airport to the city is Beaver County Airport. Though located in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh International Airport is within close proximity of Beaver Falls, and is easily accessible by way of I-376 (former PA 60).


I-376 is located just west of the city, and is accessible from Beaver Falls via PA 51, PA 551, and PA 588. PA 18 is the main road through Beaver Falls, and becomes the city's Main Street when going through downtown. PA 65 is located southeast of Beaver Falls in New Brighton. Plus, the Pennsylvania Turnpike is located just north of Beaver Falls, providing access to the entire state. PA 251 is a small highway located on the western edge of the city in the borough of West Mayfield.


Major freight haulers CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) both have mainlines running through Beaver Falls. NS also has a subsidiary line along the east side of Beaver River. Amtrak's Capitol Limited passes through the city via NS tracks without stopping. Amtrak's Broadway Limited and successor Three Rivers also passed through town until 2005.


Though not used for transporting goods and materials, the Beaver River is a navigable waterway for boating.


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