Bell County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 310,235. Its county seat is Belton. The county was founded in 1850 and is named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,088 square miles (2,820 km), of which 1,051 square miles (2,720 km) are land and 37 square miles (96 km) (3.4%) are covered by water.
As of the census of 2010, 310,235 people, 114,035 households, and 80,449 families resided in the county. The population density was 295.2 people per square mile (87/km). The 125,470 housing units averaged 88 per square mile (34/km). The racial makeup of the county was 61.4% White, 21.5% Black, 0.8% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 0.8% Pacific Islander, and 5.0% from two or more races. About 21.6% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race; 14.9% were of Mexican, 3.6% were of Puerto Rican, 0.2% Cuban, and 0.2% were of Dominican descent.
Of the 85,507 households, 40.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.60% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were not families. About 22.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.14. As of the 2010 census, about 3.6 same-sex couples per 1,000 households were in the county.
In the county, the population was distributed as 28.90% under the age of 18, 13.40% from 18 to 24, 31.90% from 25 to 44, 17.00% from 45 to 64, and 8.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,872, and for a family was $41,455. Males had a median income of $28,031 versus $22,364 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,219. About 9.70% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 9.80% of those age 65 or over.