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Beaverhead County, Montana facts for kids

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Beaverhead County
Beaverhead County Courthouse
Beaverhead County Courthouse
Map of Montana highlighting Beaverhead County
Location within the U.S. state of Montana
Map of the United States highlighting Montana
Montana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Montana
Founded 1865
Seat Dillon
Largest city Dillon
 • Total 5,572 sq mi (14,430 km2)
 • Land 5,542 sq mi (14,350 km2)
 • Water 30 sq mi (80 km2)  0.5%
 • Total 9,371
 • Density 1.68180/sq mi (0.64935/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional district At-large
  • Montana county number 18

Beaverhead County is the largest county by area in the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 9,371. Its county seat is Dillon. The county was founded in 1865.

Much of the perimeter of the county is the Continental Divide, including its entire border with the state of Idaho. The divide heads east into Montana at the county border with Ravalli County, between Lost Trail Pass and Chief Joseph Pass.


The county name is derived from a rock formation, which the Shoshone described as being shaped like a beaver's head.

The original county seat was the gold-mining town of Bannack. In 1881 it was moved to Dillon.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,572 square miles (14,430 km2), of which 5,542 square miles (14,350 km2) is land and 30 square miles (78 km2) (0.3%) is water. It is the largest county in Montana by area.

The Big Hole River runs through the county.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • I-15.svg Interstate 15
  • US 91.svg U.S. Highway 91
  • MT-41.svg Montana Highway 41
  • MT-43.svg Montana Highway 43

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 722
1880 2,712 275.6%
1890 4,655 71.6%
1900 5,615 20.6%
1910 6,446 14.8%
1920 7,369 14.3%
1930 6,654 −9.7%
1940 6,943 4.3%
1950 6,671 −3.9%
1960 7,194 7.8%
1970 8,187 13.8%
1980 8,186 0.0%
1990 8,424 2.9%
2000 9,202 9.2%
2010 9,246 0.5%
2020 9,371 1.4%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 9,246 people, 4,014 households, and 2,383 families living in the county. The population density was 1.7 inhabitants per square mile (0.66/km2). There were 5,273 housing units at an average density of 1.0 per square mile (0.39/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.8% white, 1.4% American Indian, 0.4% Pacific islander, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% black or African American, 1.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.7% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 26.5% were German, 23.9% were English, 15.4% were Irish, 7.9% were Norwegian, 6.5% were Scottish, and 3.4% were American.

Of the 4,014 households, 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.6% were non-families, and 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.79. The median age was 42.0 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,264 and the median income for a family was $53,036. Males had a median income of $35,568 versus $27,314 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,110. About 10.8% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities


Beaverhead County is one of the largest cattle and hay producing areas of Montana. Barrett's Minerals, one of the world's largest talc mines, calls Beaverhead County home. In 2009, Barrett Hospital and Healthcare was the largest private employer in the county.


The University of Montana Western is in Dillon.

Notable people

  • Joseph Poindexter, later Territorial Governor of Hawaii, served as County Attorney here .
  • Thomas Savage(1915-2003) spent his childhood and teen years on his family's ranch in Beaverhead County. His experiences there informed his best known novels, The Power of the Dog and The Sheep Queen .

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Beaverhead para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
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