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Delaware ( ) is a state in the
Mid-AtlanticMid-Atlantic or Mid Atlantic can refer to: *The middle of the Atlantic Ocean *Mid-Atlantic English, a mix between British English and American English *Mid-Atlantic Region (Little League World Series), one of the United States geographic divisions of ...
region of the United States, bordering
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
to its south and west;
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
to its north; and
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes its name from the nearby
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its co ...

Delaware River
named after
Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr ( ; 9 July 1577 – 7 June 1618) was an English merchant and politician, for whom the , the , and, consequently, a and , all later called "Delaware", were named. There have been two creations of , and West cam ...

Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
, an English nobleman and
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
's first colonial governor. Delaware occupies the northeastern portion of the
Delmarva Peninsula The Delmarva Peninsula, or simply Delmarva, is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by the vast majority of the state of Delaware and parts of the Eastern Shore regions of Eastern Shore of Maryland, Maryland and E ...
and some islands and territory within the Delaware River. It is the second-smallest and sixth-least populous state, but also the sixth-most densely populated. Delaware's largest city is
Wilmington Wilmington may refer to: Places Australia *Wilmington, South Australia, a town and locality **District Council of Wilmington, a former local government area **Wilmington railway line, a former railway line United Kingdom *Wilmington, Devon *Wil ...
, while the state capital is
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first publishe ...
, the second-largest city in the state. The state is divided into
three counties The Three Counties of England are traditionally the three agrarian Ceremonial counties of England, counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Including towns and cities such as Worcester, England, Worcester, Gloucester, Chelten ...
, having the lowest number of any state; from north to south, they are
New Castle County New Castle County is the northernmost of the three List of counties in Delaware, counties of the U.S. state of Delaware. As of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, the population was 570,719, making it the most populous county in Delaware ...
, Kent County, and
Sussex CountySussex County may refer to: Australia * Sussex County, Western Australia United States * Sussex County, Delaware * Sussex County, New Jersey * Sussex County, Virginia England

* Sussex, also known as "the County of Sussex" * Royal Sussex County ...
. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle is more
urbanized ''Urbanized'' is a documentary film A documentary film or documentary is a non-fictional film, motion-picture intended to "document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a Recorded history, historical r ...
. Delaware's geography, culture, and history combine elements of the
Mid-AtlanticMid-Atlantic or Mid Atlantic can refer to: *The middle of the Atlantic Ocean *Mid-Atlantic English, a mix between British English and American English *Mid-Atlantic Region (Little League World Series), one of the United States geographic divisions of ...
,
Northeastern The points of the compass are an evenly spaced set of Vertical and horizontal, horizontal directions (or Azimuth#In navigation, azimuths) used in navigation and geography. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, ...
, and
Southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...
regions of the country. Before its coastline was explored by
Europeans Europeans are the focus of European ethnology, the field of anthropology related to the various indigenous groups that reside in the List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe, nations of Europe. Groups may be defined by commo ...
in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term ...
in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
traders at Zwaanendael, near the present town of
Lewes Lewes () is the county town of East Sussex, England. It is the police and judicial centre for all of Sussex and is home to Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Lewes Crown Court and HMP Lewes. The civil parishes in England, civil p ...
, in 1631. Delaware was one of the
Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of Kingdom of Great Britain, British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries, th ...
that took part in the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
. On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the
Constitution of the United States The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

Constitution of the United States
, and has since been known as ''The First State''. Since the turn of the 20th century, Delaware is also a ''de facto'' onshore
corporate haven A corporate haven, corporate tax haven, or multinational tax haven, is a jurisdiction that multinational corporations find attractive for establishing subsidiaries or incorporation of regional or main company headquarters, mostly due to favourabl ...
, in which by virtue of its corporate laws, the state is the domicile of over 50% of all
NYSE The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District, Manhattan, Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is by far the List of stock exchanges, world's largest s ...

NYSE
-listed business and 60% of the ''Fortune'' 500.


Toponymy

The state was named after the
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its co ...
, which in turn derived its name from
Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr ( ; 9 July 1577 – 7 June 1618) was an English merchant and politician, for whom the , the , and, consequently, a and , all later called "Delaware", were named. There have been two creations of , and West cam ...

Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
(1577–1618) who was the ruling governor of the
Colony of Virginia , legislature = House of Burgesses (1619–1776) , today = , demonym = , area_km2=, area_rank=, GDP_PPP=, GDP_PPP_year=, HDI=, HDI_year= The Colony of Virginia, chartered in 1606 and settled in 1607, was ...
at the time Europeans first explored the river. The Delaware people, a name used by
Europeans Europeans are the focus of European ethnology, the field of anthropology related to the various indigenous groups that reside in the List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe, nations of Europe. Groups may be defined by commo ...

Europeans
for
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term ...
people indigenous to the Delaware Valley, also derive their name from the same source. The name ''de La Warr'' is from
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...

Sussex
and of
Anglo Anglo is a prefix indicating a relation to, or descent from, the Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli; german: Angeln) were one of the main Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in ...

Anglo
-French origin. It came probably from a
Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from ...
lieu-dit ''Lieu-dit'' (plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number. The plural of a noun typically denotes a quantity greate ...
''La Guerre''. This
toponymic Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics (from grc, τόπος / , 'place', and / , 'name') is the study of ''wikt:toponym, toponyms'' (proper names of places, also known as ''place name'' or ''geographic name''), their origins and meanings, us ...
could derive from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
''
ager Ager or AGER may refer to: *Ager (surname) *Ager (river), a river in Upper Austria *Àger, a municipality in Catalonia, Spain *Viscounty of Àger, a medieval Catalan jurisdiction that branched off the County of Urgell *Ager, California, unincorpor ...

ager
'', from the
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
''
gwern ; "Alder Alder is the common name of a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscr ...

gwern
'' or from the
Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, kn ...
''varectum'' (
fallow Fallow is a farming Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in ...

fallow
). The toponyms Gara, Gare, Gaire (the sound often mutated in also appear in old texts cited by
Lucien Musset Lucien Musset (26 August 1922 – 15 December 2004) was a French historian, specializing in the Duchy of Normandy The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agree ...

Lucien Musset
, where the word ''ga(i)ra'' means
gore Gore may refer to: Places Australia * Gore, Queensland, a town * Gore Creek (New South Wales) * Gore Island (Queensland) Canada * Gore, Nova Scotia, a rural community * Gore, Quebec, a township municipality * Gore Bay, Ontario, a township on Man ...
. It could also be linked with a
patronymic A patronymic, or patronym, is a component of a based on the of one's father, grandfather (avonymic), or an earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a . A name based on the name of ...
from the
Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germanic dialects before their final divergence into separate Nordic languages. Old Norse was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skades ...
'' verr''.


History


Native Americans

Before Delaware was settled by European colonists, the area was home to the Eastern
Algonquian Algonquin or Algonquian—and the variation Algonki(a)n—may refer to: Indigenous peoples *Algonquian languages, a large subfamily of Native American languages in a wide swath of eastern North America from Canada to Virginia **Algonquin languag ...
tribes known as the Unami
Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands include Native American tribes The term ...
, or Delaware, who lived mostly along the coast, and the Nanticoke who occupied much of the southern Delmarva Peninsula. John Smith also shows two Iroquoian tribes, the Kuskarawock and Tockwogh, living north of the Nanticoke—they may have held small portions of land in the western part of the state before migrating across the Chesapeake Bay. The Kuskarawocks were most likely the Tuscarora. The Unami Lenape in the Delaware Valley were closely related to
Munsee The Munsee (or Minsi or Muncee) or mə́n'si·w are a subtribe of the Lenape The Lenape (, , or Lenape ), also called the Leni Lenape, Lenni Lenape and Delaware people, are an indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands Indigenous pe ...
Lenape tribes along the
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York (state), New York in the United States. It originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley ...

Hudson River
. They had a settled hunting and agricultural society, and they rapidly became middlemen in an increasingly frantic fur trade with their ancient enemy, the Minqua or
Susquehannock The Susquehannock people, also called the Conestoga by English settlers, are Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South Am ...

Susquehannock
. With the loss of their lands on the Delaware River and the destruction of the Minqua by the
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous pe ...

Iroquois
of the Five Nations in the 1670s, the remnants of the Lenape who wished to remain identified as such left the region and moved over the
Alleghany Mountains The Allegheny Mountain Range , informally the Alleghenies and also spelled Alleghany and Allegany, is part of the vast Appalachian Mountains, Appalachian Mountain Range of the Eastern United States and Canada and posed a significant barrier to l ...
by the mid-18th century. Generally, those who did not relocate out of the state of Delaware were baptized, became Christian and were grouped together with other persons of color in official records and in the minds of their non-Native American neighbors.


Colonial Delaware

The
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
were the first Europeans to settle in present-day Delaware in the middle region by establishing a trading post at Zwaanendael, near the site of
Lewes Lewes () is the county town of East Sussex, England. It is the police and judicial centre for all of Sussex and is home to Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Lewes Crown Court and HMP Lewes. The civil parishes in England, civil p ...
in 1631. Within a year all the settlers were killed in a dispute with area Native American tribes. In 1638
New Sweden New Sweden ( sv, Nya Sverige; fi, Uusi Ruotsi; la, Nova Svecia) was a Swedish colony along the lower reaches of the Delaware River The Delaware River is a major on the coast of the . It drains an area of in four s: , , and . Rising i ...
, a
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
trading post and colony, was established at
Fort Christina Fort Christina (also called Fort Altena) was the first Swedish settlement in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as th ...
(now in
Wilmington Wilmington may refer to: Places Australia *Wilmington, South Australia, a town and locality **District Council of Wilmington, a former local government area **Wilmington railway line, a former railway line United Kingdom *Wilmington, Devon *Wil ...
) by
Peter Minuit Peter Minuit (between 1580 and 1585 – August 5, 1638) was from Tournai, in present-day Belgium. He was the 3rd Director of New Netherland, Director of the Dutch North American colony of New Netherland from 1626 until 1631, and 3rd Governor of ...
at the head of a group of Swedes,
Finns Finns or Finnish people ( fi, suomalaiset, ) are a Baltic Finns, Baltic Finnic ethnic group native to Finland. Finns are traditionally divided into smaller regional groups that span several countries adjacent to Finland, both those who are na ...
and Dutch. The colony of New Sweden lasted 17 years. In 1651 the Dutch, reinvigorated by the leadership of
Peter Stuyvesant Peter Stuyvesant (; in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" ...

Peter Stuyvesant
, established a fort at present-day
New Castle Newcastle usually refers to either: *Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne ( , ), often simply Newcastle, is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. a ...

New Castle
, and in 1655 they conquered the New Sweden colony, annexing it into the Dutch
New Netherland New Netherland ( nl, Nieuw Nederland; la, Nova Belgica or ) was a 17th-century colony of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonl ...
. Only nine years later, in 1664, the Dutch were conquered by a fleet of English ships by Sir Robert Carr under the direction of
James, the Duke of York
James, the Duke of York
. Fighting off a prior claim by
Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (8 August 1605 – 30 November 1675), was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon ...

Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore
, Proprietor of Maryland, the Duke passed his somewhat dubious ownership on to
William Penn William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English writer A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce different forms of literary art and creative wri ...

William Penn
in 1682. Penn strongly desired access to the sea for his Pennsylvania province and leased what then came to be known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware" from the Duke. Penn established representative government and briefly combined his two possessions under one General Assembly in 1682. However, by 1704 the Province of Pennsylvania had grown so large their representatives wanted to make decisions without the assent of the Lower Counties, and the two groups of representatives began meeting on their own, one at
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
, and the other at New Castle. Penn and his heirs remained proprietors of both and always appointed the same person Governor for their Province of Pennsylvania and their territory of the Lower Counties. The fact that Delaware and Pennsylvania shared the same governor was not unique. From 1703 to 1738 New York and New Jersey shared a governor. Massachusetts and New Hampshire also shared a governor for some time. Dependent in early years on indentured labor, Delaware imported more slaves as the number of English immigrants decreased with better economic conditions in England. The colony became a slave society and cultivated tobacco as a cash crop, although English immigrants continued to arrive.


American Revolution

Like the other middle colonies, the Lower Counties on the Delaware initially showed little enthusiasm for a break with
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
. The citizenry had a good relationship with the Proprietary government, and generally were allowed more independence of action in their Colonial Assembly than in other colonies. Merchants at the port of Wilmington had trading ties with the British. So it was that New Castle lawyer
Thomas McKean Thomas McKean (March 19, 1734June 24, 1817) was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware New Castle County is the northernmost of the three County (United States), counties of the U.S. state of Delaware ...

Thomas McKean
denounced the Stamp Act in the strongest terms, and Kent County native
John Dickinson John Dickinson (November 13 Julian_calendar">/nowiki> Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar_November_2">Julian_calendar.html"_;"title="/nowiki>Julian_calendar">/nowiki>Julian_calendar_November_2_1732_–_February_14,_1808),_a_Founding_Fathe ...
became the "Penman of the Revolution." Anticipating the Declaration of Independence, Patriot leaders Thomas McKean and
Caesar Rodney Caesar Rodney (October 7, 1728 – June 26, 1784) was an American Founding Father, lawyer, and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware Delaware ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United Stat ...
convinced the Colonial Assembly to declare itself separated from British and Pennsylvania rule on June 15, 1776. The person best representing Delaware's majority, George Read, could not bring himself to vote for a Declaration of Independence. Only the dramatic overnight ride of Caesar Rodney gave the delegation the votes needed to cast Delaware's vote for independence. Initially led by
John Haslet John Haslet ( – January 3, 1777) was an Americans, American Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, Presbyterian clergyman and soldier from Milford, Delaware, Milford, in Kent County, Delaware, Kent County, Delaware. He was a veteran ...
, Delaware provided one of the premier regiments in the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
, known as the "Delaware Blues" and nicknamed the " Blue Hen's Chicks". In August 1777 General Sir William Howe led a British army through Delaware on his way to a victory at the
Battle of Brandywine The Battle of Brandywine, also known as the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was fought between the American Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by ...
and capture of the city of Philadelphia. The only real engagement on Delaware soil was the , fought on September 3, 1777, at Cooch's Bridge in New Castle County, although there was a minor Loyalist rebellion in 1778. Following the Battle of Brandywine, Wilmington was occupied by the British, and
State President The State President of the Republic of South Africa ( af, Staatspresident) was the head of state of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics o ...
John McKinly Dr. John McKinly (February 24, 1721August 31, 1796) was an American physician and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He was a veteran of the French and Indian War, served in the Delaware General Assembly, was the first elected President of Delaw ...
was taken prisoner. The British remained in control of the Delaware River for much of the rest of the war, disrupting commerce and providing encouragement to an active
Loyalist Loyalism, in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdo ...
portion of the population, particularly in Sussex County. Because the British promised slaves of rebels freedom for fighting with them, escaped slaves flocked north to join their lines. Following the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, statesmen from Delaware were among the leading proponents of a strong central United States with equal representation for each state.


Slavery and race

Many colonial settlers came to Delaware from Maryland and Virginia, where the population had been increasing rapidly. The economies of these colonies were chiefly based on labor-intensive tobacco and increasingly dependent on African
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved per ...
because of a decline in working class immigrants from England. Most of the English colonists had arrived as
indentured servant Indentured servitude is a form of labor in which a person is contracted to work without salary for a specific number of years. The contract, called an "indenture", may be entered voluntarily for eventual compensation or debt repayment, or it may b ...
s (contracted for a fixed period to pay for their passage), and in the early years the line between servant and slave was fluid. Most of the free African-American families in Delaware before the Revolution had migrated from Maryland to find more affordable land. They were descendants chiefly of relationships or marriages between white servant women and enslaved, servant or free African or African-American men. Under slavery law, children took the social status of their mothers, so children born to white women were free, regardless of their paternity, just as children born to enslaved women were born into slavery. As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in England, more slaves were imported for labor and the caste lines hardened. By the end of the colonial period, the number of enslaved people in Delaware began to decline. Shifts in the agriculture economy from tobacco to mixed farming resulted in less need for slaves' labor. In addition local
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious denomination, such as a: ** Christian denomination ** Jewish denomination ** Islamic denomination ** Hindu d ...

Methodist
s and
Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...

Quaker
s encouraged slaveholders to free their slaves following the American Revolution, and many did so in a surge of individual manumissions for idealistic reasons. By 1810 three-quarters of all blacks in Delaware were free. When John Dickinson freed his slaves in 1777, he was Delaware's largest slave owner with 37 slaves. By 1860, the largest slaveholder owned 16 slaves. Although attempts to abolish slavery failed by narrow margins in the legislature, in practical terms the state had mostly ended the practice. By the 1860 census on the verge of the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
, 91.7% of the black population were free; 1,798 were slaves, as compared to 19,829 "free colored persons". An independent black denomination was chartered in 1813 by freed slave Peter Spencer as the " Union Church of Africans". This followed the 1793 establishment in Philadelphia of the
African Methodist Episcopal Church The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church or AME, is a predominantly African-American Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination ma ...
by
Richard Allen Richard, Rick, or Dick Allen may refer to: Artists *Dick Allen (poet) (1939–2017), American poet, literary critic and academic *Richard Allen (abstract artist) (1933–1999), British painter *James Moffat (author) (1922–1993), Canadian-Britis ...
, which had ties to the Methodist Episcopal Church until 1816. Spencer built a church in Wilmington for the new denomination. This was renamed as the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church and Connection, more commonly known as the A.U.M.P. Church. In 1814, Spencer called for the first annual gathering, known as the Big August Quarterly, which continues to draw members of this denomination and their descendants together in a religious and cultural festival. Delaware voted against
secession Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Soc ...

secession
on January 3, 1861, and so remained in the Union. While most Delaware citizens who fought in the war served in the regiments of the state, some served in companies on the Confederate side in
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...
and
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...
Regiments. Delaware is notable for being the only slave state from which no Confederate regiments or militia groups were assembled. Delaware essentially freed the few slaves who were still in bondage shortly after the Civil War but rejected the
13th In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associa ...
, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution; the 13th Amendment was rejected on February 8, 1865, the 14th Amendment was rejected on February 8, 1867, and the 15th Amendment was rejected on March 18, 1869. Delaware officially ratified the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments on February 12, 1901.


Reconstruction and industrialization

After the Civil War, Democratic governments led by the state's Bourbon aristocracy continued to dominate the state and imposed an explicitly white supremacist regime in the state. The Democratic legislatures declared blacks second-class citizens in 1866 and restricted their voting rights despite the Fifteenth Amendment, ensuring continued Democratic success throughout most of the nineteenth century. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, the Wilmington area grew into a manufacturing center. Investment in manufacturing in the city grew from $5.5 million in 1860 to $44 million in 1900. The most notable manufacturer in the state was the Du Pont Company. Because of Wilmington's growth, local politicians from the city and New Castle County pressured the state government to adopt a new constitution providing the north with more representation. However, the subsequent 1897 constitution did not proportionally represent the north and continued to give the southern counties disproportionate influence. As manufacturing expanded, businesses became major players in state affairs and funders of politicians through families such as the Du Ponts. Republican John Addicks attempted to buy a US Senate seat multiple times in a rivalry with the Du Ponts until the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment. The allegiance of industries with the Republican party allowed them to gain control of the state's governorship throughout most of the twentieth century. The GOP ensured blacks could vote because of their general support for Republicans and thus undid restrictions on black suffrage. Delaware benefited greatly from World War I because of the state's large gunpowder industry. The Du Pont Company, the most dominant business in the state by WWI, produced an estimated 40% of all gunpowder used by the Allies during the war. It produced nylon in the state after the war and began investments into
General Motors General Motors Company (GM) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinat ...

General Motors
. Additionally, the company invested heavily in the expansion of public schools in the state and colleges such as the
University of Delaware The University of Delaware (colloquially UD, UDel or Delaware) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organizat ...
in the 1910s and 1920s. This included primary and secondary schools for blacks and women. Delaware suffered less during the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
than other states, but the depression spurred further migration from the rural south to urban areas.


World War II to present

Like in World War I, the state enjoyed a big stimulus to its gunpowder and shipyard industries in World War II. New job opportunities during and after the war in the Wilmington area coaxed African Americans from the southern counties to move to the city. The proportion of blacks constituting the city's population rose from 15% in 1950 to over 50% by 1980. The surge of black migrants to the north sparked white flight in which middle class whites moved from the city to suburban areas, leading to general segregation of Delaware's society. In the 1940s and 1950s, the state attempted to integrate its schools. The University of Delaware admitted its first black student in 1948, and local courts ruled that primary schools had to be integrated. Delaware's integration efforts partially inspired the US Supreme Court's decision in
Brown v. Board of Education ''Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka'', 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark A landmark is a recognizable natural or artificial feature used for navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and con ...
. However, integration only encouraged more white flight, and poor economic conditions for the black population led to some violence during the 1960s. Riots broke out in Wilmington in 1967 and again in 1968 in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr after which the National Guard occupied the city for nine months to prevent further violence. Since WWII, the state has been generally economically prosperous and enjoyed relatively high per capita income because of its location between major cities like Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, DC. Its population grew rapidly, particularly in the suburbs in the north where New Castle county became an extension of the
Philadelphia metropolitan area Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is a city in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the List of United States cities by population, sixth-most populous city in the United States and the List of municipalities in Pennsylvania# ...
. Americans, including migrants from Puerto Rico, and immigrants from Latin America flocked to the state. By 1990, only 50% of Delaware's population consisted of natives to the state.


Geography

Delaware is long and ranges from to across, totaling , making it the second-smallest state in the United States after
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
. Delaware is bounded to the north by
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
; to the east by the
Delaware River The Delaware River is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its co ...

Delaware River
,
Delaware Bay Delaware Bay is the estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the northeast seaboard of the United States. Approximately in area, the bay's fresh water mixes for many miles with the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay is bordered inland by t ...
,
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
and the Atlantic Ocean; and to the west and south by
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
. Small portions of Delaware are also situated on the eastern side of the Delaware River sharing land boundaries with New Jersey. The state of Delaware, together with the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland and two counties of Virginia, form the
Delmarva Peninsula The Delmarva Peninsula, or simply Delmarva, is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by the vast majority of the state of Delaware and parts of the Eastern Shore regions of Eastern Shore of Maryland, Maryland and E ...
, which stretches down the Mid-Atlantic Coast. The definition of the northern boundary of the state is unusual. Most of the boundary between Delaware and Pennsylvania was originally defined by an arc extending from the
cupola In architecture, a cupola () is a relatively small, most often dome-like, tall structure on top of a building. Often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it usually crowns a larger roof or dome. The word derives, via Italian lan ...

cupola
of the courthouse in the city of
New Castle Newcastle usually refers to either: *Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne ( , ), often simply Newcastle, is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. a ...

New Castle
. This boundary is often referred to as the
Twelve-Mile Circle 300px, Diagram of the Twelve-Mile Circle, the Mason-Dixon Line and "The Wedge (border), The Wedge." All blue and white areas are inside Delaware. The Twelve-Mile Circle is an approximately circular arc which forms most of the boundary between the ...
. Although the Twelve-Mile Circle is often claimed to be the only territorial boundary in the U.S. that is a true arc, the Mexican boundary with Texas includes several arcs, and many cities in the South (such as
Plains, Georgia Plains is a city in Sumter County, Georgia Sumter County is a County (United States), county located in the west-Central Georgia, central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 censu ...
) also have circular boundaries. This border extends all the way east to the low-tide mark on the New Jersey shore, then continues south along the shoreline until it again reaches the arc in the south; then the boundary continues in a more conventional way in the middle of the main channel (
thalweg In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ap ...

thalweg
) of the Delaware River. To the west, a portion of the arc extends past the easternmost edge of Maryland. The remaining western border runs slightly east of due south from its intersection with the arc.
The Wedge A wedge is a triangular-shaped simple machine. Wedge, The Wedge, or Wedges may also refer to: Common meanings * Wedge (footwear), a type of shoe * Wedge (golf), a type of golf club Culture Fictional characters * Wedge (Transformers), an Autobo ...
of land between the northwest part of the arc and the Maryland border was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania until 1921, when Delaware's claim was confirmed.


Topography

Delaware is on a level plain, with the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation. Its highest elevation, located at
Ebright Azimuth The Ebright Azimuth is the point with the highest benchmark monument elevation in the U.S. state of Delaware. It is marked with a Geodesy, geodetic benchmark monument and has an elevation of above sea level. The only state high-point with a lowe ...
, near Concord High School, is less than above sea level. The northernmost part of the state is part of the
Piedmont Plateau The Piedmont is a plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of wh ...
with hills and rolling surfaces. The Atlantic Seaboard fall line approximately follows the Robert Kirkwood Highway between Newark and
Wilmington Wilmington may refer to: Places Australia *Wilmington, South Australia, a town and locality **District Council of Wilmington, a former local government area **Wilmington railway line, a former railway line United Kingdom *Wilmington, Devon *Wil ...
; south of this road is the
Atlantic Coastal Plain The Atlantic coastal plain is a physiographic region Physiographic regions of the world are a means of defining Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's s ...

Atlantic Coastal Plain
with flat, sandy, and, in some parts, swampy ground. A ridge about high extends along the western boundary of the state and separates the that feed Delaware River and Bay to the east and the
Chesapeake Bay The Chesapeake Bay ( ) is the largest estuary An estuary is a partially enclosed Coast, coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries form a transition zo ...
to the west.


Climate

Since almost all of Delaware is a part of the
Atlantic coastal plain The Atlantic coastal plain is a physiographic region Physiographic regions of the world are a means of defining Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's s ...

Atlantic coastal plain
, the effects of the ocean moderate its climate. The state lies in the
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
(''Cfa'') zone. Despite its small size (roughly from its northernmost to southernmost points), there is significant variation in mean temperature and amount of snowfall between Sussex County and New Castle County. Moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and
Delaware Bay Delaware Bay is the estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the northeast seaboard of the United States. Approximately in area, the bay's fresh water mixes for many miles with the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay is bordered inland by t ...
, the southern portion of the state has a milder climate and a longer growing season than the northern portion of the state. Delaware's all-time record high of was recorded at Millsboro on July 21, 1930. The all-time record low of was also recorded at Millsboro, on January 17, 1893. The
hardiness zone A hardiness zone is a geographic area defined as having a certain range of annual minimum temperature, a factor relevant to the survival of many plants. In some systems other statistics are included in the calculations. The original and most w ...
s are 7a and 7b.


Environment

The transitional climate of Delaware supports a wide variety of vegetation. In the northern third of the state are found
Northeastern coastal forests The Northeastern coastal forests are a temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Temperate broadleaf and mixed forest is a temperate climate In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is ...
and mixed
oak An oak is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including on ...

oak
forests typical of the northeastern United States. In the southern two-thirds of the state are found
Middle Atlantic coastal forests The Middle Atlantic coastal forests are a temperate coniferous forest mixed with patches of evergreen broadleaved forests (closer to the Atlantic coast) along the coast of the southeastern United States. Setting The Middle Atlantic coastal fores ...
. , along with areas in other parts of Sussex County, for example, support the northernmost stands of
bald cypress ''Taxodium distichum'' (bald cypress, swamp cypress; french: cyprès chauve; ''cipre'' in Louisiana_French, Louisiana) is a deciduous Pinophyta, conifer in the family Cupressaceae. It is native to the southeastern United States. Hardy and tough, ...

bald cypress
trees in North America.


Environmental management

Delaware provides government subsidy support for the
clean-up Cleanup, clean up or clean-up may refer to: * Cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts, an ...
of property "lightly contaminated" by
hazardous waste Hazardous waste is waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. A by-product A by-product or byproduct is a secondary ...
, the proceeds for which come from a tax on wholesale petroleum sales.


Municipalities

Wilmington is the state's most populous city (70,635) and its economic hub. It is located within commuting distance of both Philadelphia and Baltimore. Dover is the state capital and the second most populous city (38,079).


Counties

*
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert ...
*
New Castle Newcastle usually refers to either: *Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne ( , ), often simply Newcastle, is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. a ...
*
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...


Cities

*
Delaware City Delaware City is a city in New Castle County, Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-AtlanticMid-Atlantic or Mid Atlantic can refer to: *The middle of the Atlantic Ocean *Mid-Atlantic English, a mix between British English and Americ ...
*
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first publishe ...
* Harrington *
Lewes Lewes () is the county town of East Sussex, England. It is the police and judicial centre for all of Sussex and is home to Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Lewes Crown Court and HMP Lewes. The civil parishes in England, civil p ...
* Middletown * Milford *
New Castle Newcastle usually refers to either: *Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne ( , ), often simply Newcastle, is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. a ...

New Castle
* Newark *
Rehoboth Beach Rehoboth Beach ( ) is a city on the Atlantic Ocean along the Delaware Beaches 200px, Aerial image of the Delaware Beaches The Delaware Beaches are located along the Atlantic Ocean in the eastern part of Sussex County, Delaware, which is in the ...
* Seaford *
Wilmington Wilmington may refer to: Places Australia *Wilmington, South Australia, a town and locality **District Council of Wilmington, a former local government area **Wilmington railway line, a former railway line United Kingdom *Wilmington, Devon *Wil ...


Towns

* Bellefonte * Bethany Beach *
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*
Blades A blade is the portion of a tool, weapon, or machine with an edge that is designed to wikt:puncture, puncture, wikt:chop, chop, Cutting, slice or scraper (archaeology), scrape surfaces or materials. Blades are typically made from materials that ...
* Bowers * Bridgeville *
Camden Camden may refer to: People * Camden (surname), a surname of English origin * Camden Joy (born 1964), American writer * Camden Toy (born 1957), American actor Places Australia * Camden, New South Wales * Camden, Rosehill, a heritage-listed ...
* Cheswold * Clayton * Dagsboro * Delmar *
Dewey Beach Dewey Beach is an incorporated coastal town in eastern Sussex County, Delaware, Sussex County, Delaware, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 341, an increase of 13.3% over the previous decade. It is part of the ...
* Ellendale * Elsmere *
Farmington Farmington may refer to: Places Canada *Farmington, British Columbia *Farmington, Nova Scotia (disambiguation) United States *Farmington, Arkansas *Farmington, California *Farmington, Connecticut *Farmington, Delaware *Farmington, Georgia *Far ...
* Felton * Fenwick Island * Frankford * Frederica *
GeorgetownGeorgetown or George Town may refer to: Places Africa *George, Western Cape, South Africa, formerly known as Georgetown *Janjanbureh, Gambia, formerly known as Georgetown *Georgetown, Ascension Island, main settlement of the British territory of A ...
* Greenwood * Hartly *
Henlopen Acres Henlopen Acres is a municipality north of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Rehoboth Beach in Sussex County, Delaware, Sussex County, Delaware, United States, and is the third smallest incorporated town in Delaware. According to 2010 census figures, the pop ...
*
Houston Houston ( ) is the List of cities in Texas by population, most populous city in Texas, List of United States cities by population, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as th ...
* Kenton *
Laurel Laurel may refer to: Plants * Lauraceae, the laurel family * Laurel (plant), including a list of trees and plants known as laurel People * Laurel (given name), people with the given name * Laurel (surname), people with the surname * Laurel (musi ...
* Leipsic * Little Creek *
Magnolia ''Magnolia'' is a large genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), ...
* Millsboro * Millville * Milton *
Newport Newport most commonly refers to: *Newport, Wales, UK *Newport, Rhode Island, US Newport or New Port may also refer to: Places Asia *Newport City, Metro Manila, a Philippine district in Pasay Europe Ireland *Newport, County Mayo, a town on ...
* Ocean View *
Odessa Odessa (russian: Оде́сса ) or Odesa ( uk, Оде́са ) is the third most populous List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in Ukraine and a major tourism center, seaport and transport hub located in th ...
* Selbyville * Slaughter Beach *
Smyrna Smyrna ( ; grc, Σμύρνη, Smýrnē, or grc, Σμύρνα, Smýrna) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is ...
* South Bethany *
TownsendTownsend (pronounced tounʹ-zənd) or Townshend may refer to: Places United States *Camp Townsend, National Guard training base in Peekskill, New York *Townsend, Delaware *Townsend, Georgia *Townsend, Massachusetts, a town **Townsend (CDP), Massach ...
*
Viola ; german: Bratsche , alt=Viola shown from the front and the side , image=Bratsche.jpg , caption= , background=string , hornbostel_sachs=321.322-71 , hornbostel_sachs_desc=Composite chordophone A chordophone is a musical instrument that makes s ...
* Woodside *
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...


Villages

* Arden * Ardencroft * Ardentown, Delaware, Ardentown


Unincorporated places

* Bear, Delaware, Bear * Brookside, Delaware, Brookside * Christiana, Delaware, Christiana * Clarksville, Delaware, Clarksville * Claymont, Delaware, Claymont * Dover Base Housing, Delaware, Dover Base Housing * Edgemoor, Delaware, Edgemoor * Glasgow, Delaware, Glasgow * Greenville, Delaware, Greenville * Gumboro, Delaware, Gumboro * Harbeson, Delaware, Harbeson * Highland Acres, Delaware, Highland Acres * Hockessin, Delaware, Hockessin * Kent Acres, Delaware, Kent Acres * Lincoln City, Delaware, Lincoln City * Long Neck, Delaware, Long Neck * Marshallton, Delaware, Marshallton * Mount Pleasant, Delaware, Mount Pleasant * North Star, Delaware, North Star * Oak Orchard, Delaware, Oak Orchard * Omar, Delaware, Omar * Pennyhill, Delaware, Pennyhill * Pike Creek, Delaware, Pike Creek * Rising Sun-Lebanon, Delaware, Rising Sun-Lebanon * Riverview, Delaware, Riverview * Rodney Village, Delaware, Rodney Village * Roxana, Delaware, Roxana * Saint Georges, Delaware, Saint Georges * Sandtown, Delaware, Sandtown * Stanton, Delaware, Stanton * Wilmington Manor, Delaware, Wilmington Manor * Woodland, Delaware, Woodland * Woodside East, Delaware, Woodside East * Yorklyn, Delaware, Yorklyn The table below lists the ten largest municipalities in the state based on the 2018 United States census estimate.


Demographics

The United States Census Bureau determined that the population of Delaware was 989,948 on April 1, 2020, an increase since the 2010 United States Census, 2010 United States census at 897,934. Delaware's history as a border states (Civil War), border state has led it to exhibit characteristics of both the Northern United States, Northern and the
Southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...
regions of the United States. Generally, the rural Southern (or "Slower Lower") regions of Delaware below the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal embody a Culture of the Southern United States, Southern culture, while densely-populated Northern Delaware above the canal—particularly Wilmington, a part of the Delaware Valley, Philadelphia metropolitan area—has more in common with that of the Northeastern United States, Northeast. The U.S. Census Bureau designates Delaware as one of the South Atlantic States, but it is commonly associated with the Mid-Atlantic States and/or northeastern (United States) , northeastern United States by other federal agencies, the media, and some residents. Delaware is the sixth most densely populated state, with a population density of 442.6 people per square mile, 356.4 per square mile more than the national average, and ranking 45th in population. Delaware is one of five U.S. states (Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming) that do not have a single city with a population over 100,000 as of the 2010 census. The center of population of Delaware is in New Castle County, in the town of
TownsendTownsend (pronounced tounʹ-zənd) or Townshend may refer to: Places United States *Camp Townsend, National Guard training base in Peekskill, New York *Townsend, Delaware *Townsend, Georgia *Townsend, Massachusetts, a town **Townsend (CDP), Massach ...
. , 49.7% of Delaware's population younger than one year of age belonged to minority groups (i.e., did not have two parents of non-Hispanic white ancestry). In 2000 approximately 19% of the population were African-American and 5% of the population is Hispanic (mostly of Puerto Rican or Mexican ancestry).


Race and ethnicity

According to the 2010 United States census, the racial composition of the state was 68.9% White American (65.3% Non-Hispanic White, 3.6% White Hispanic), 21.4% African American, Black or African American, 0.5% Native Americans in the United States, American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.2% Asian American, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 3.4% some other race, and 2.7% Multiracial American. Ethnically, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanics and Latin Americans of any race made up 8.2% of the population. The 2019 American Community Survey estimated the state had a racial and ethnic makeup of 61.% non-Hispanic whites, 23.2% Black or African American, 0.7% American Indian or Alaska Native, 4.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.7% multiracial, and 9.6% Hispanic or Latin American of any race. In the Native American community, the state has a Native American group (called in their own language Lenni Lenape) which was influential in the colonial period of the United States and is today headquartered in Cheswold, Kent County, Delaware. A band of the Nanticoke tribe of American Indians today resides in Sussex County and is headquartered in Millsboro, Sussex County, Delaware.


Birth data

''Note: Births in table do not add up because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.'' * Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic and Latino Americans, White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one ''Hispanic'' group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.


Languages

As of 2000, 91% of Delaware residents of age5 and older spoke only English at home; 5% spoke Spanish. French was the third-most spoken language at 0.7%, followed by Chinese at 0.5% and German at 0.5%. Legislation had been proposed in both the House and the Senate in Delaware to designate English as the Languages of the United States, official language. Neither bill was passed in the legislature.


Sexual orientation

A 2012 Gallup poll found that Delaware's proportion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults stood at 3.4 percent of the population. This constitutes a total LGBT adult population estimate of 23,698 people. The number of same-sex couple households in 2010 stood at 2,646. This grew by 41.65% from a decade earlier. On July 1, 2013, same-sex marriage was legalized, and all civil unions would be converted into marriages.


Religion

, Delaware is mostly Christians, Christian. Although Protestants account for almost half of the population, the Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in the state. The Association of Religion Data Archives reported in 2010 that the three largest denominational groups in Delaware by number of adherents are the Catholic Church at 182,532 adherents, the United Methodist Church with 53,656 members reported, and non-denominational Evangelical Protestant with 22,973 adherents reported. The religious body with the largest number of congregations is the United Methodist Church (with 158 congregations) followed by non-denominational Evangelical Protestant (with 106 congregations), then the Catholic Church (with 45 congregations). The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware oversee the parishes within their denominations. The A.U.M.P. Church, the oldest African-American denomination in the nation, was founded in Wilmington. It still has a substantial presence in the state. Reflecting new immigrant populations, an mosque, Islamic mosque has been built in the Ogletown, Delaware, Ogletown area, and a Hindu Temple of Delaware, Hindu temple in Hockessin. Delaware is home to an Amish community which resides west of
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first publishe ...
in Kent County, consisting of nine church districts and about 1,650 people. The Amish first settled in Kent County in 1915. In recent years, increasing development has led to the decline in the number of Amish living in the community. A 2012 survey of religious attitudes in the United States found that 34% of Delaware residents considered themselves "moderately religious", 33% "very religious", and 33% as "non-religious". At the 2014 Pew Research Center, Pew Research survey, 23% of the population were irreligious.


Economy


Affluence

According to a 2020 study by Kiplinger, Delaware had the seventeenth largest number of millionaires per capita in the United States, with a ratio of 6.98 percent, 0.7 percent from 2013 in ration but falling eight places in ranking. Delaware had 25,937 millionaires as of 2020. The median income for all Delaware households as of 2020 was $64,805.


Agriculture

Delaware's agricultural output consists of poultry, nursery stock, soybeans, dairy products and maize, corn.


Industries

, the state's unemployment rate was 3.7%. The state's largest employers are: * government (State of Delaware, New Castle County) * education (
University of Delaware The University of Delaware (colloquially UD, UDel or Delaware) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organizat ...
, Delaware Technical Community College) * banking (Bank of America, M&T Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank) * chemical, pharmaceutical, technology (DuPont, DuPont de Nemours Inc., AstraZeneca, Syngenta, Agilent Technologies) * healthcare (Christiana Care Health System (Christiana Hospital), Bayhealth Medical Center, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children) * farming, specifically chicken farming in Sussex County (Perdue Farms, Mountaire Farms, Allen Family Foods) * retail (Walmart, Walgreens, Acme Markets)


Industrial decline

Since the mid-2000s, Delaware has seen the departure of the state's automotive manufacturing industry (
General Motors General Motors Company (GM) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinat ...

General Motors
Wilmington Assembly and Chrysler Newark Assembly), the corporate buyout of a major bank holding company (MBNA), the departure of the state's steel industry (Evraz Claymont Steel), the bankruptcy of a fiber mill (National Vulcanized Fibre), and the diminishing presence of AstraZeneca in Wilmington. In late 2015, DuPont announced that 1,700 employees, nearly a third of its footprint in Delaware, would be laid off in early 2016. The merger of DuPont (1802–2017), E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and Dow Chemical Company into DuPont, DowDuPont took place on September 1, 2017.


Incorporation in Delaware

More than half of all U.S. publicly traded companies, and 63% of the Fortune 500, are Incorporation (business), incorporated in Delaware. The state's attractiveness as a
corporate haven A corporate haven, corporate tax haven, or multinational tax haven, is a jurisdiction that multinational corporations find attractive for establishing subsidiaries or incorporation of regional or main company headquarters, mostly due to favourabl ...
is largely because of its business-friendly Delaware General Corporation Law, corporation law. Franchise taxes on Delaware corporations supply about a fifth of the state's revenue. Although "USA (Delaware)" ranked as the world's most opaque jurisdiction on the Tax Justice Network's 2009 Financial Secrecy Index, the same group's 2011 Index ranks the U.S. fifth and does not specify Delaware. In Delaware, there are more than a million registered corporations, meaning there are more corporations than people.


Food and drink

s:Delaware Code/Title 4/Chapter 7, Title 4, chapter 7 of the Delaware Code stipulates that alcoholic liquor be sold only in specifically licensed establishments, and only between 9:00a.m. and 1:00a.m. Until 2003, Delaware was among the several states enforcing blue laws and banned the sale of liquor on Sunday.


Media


Newspapers

Two daily newspapers are based in Delaware, the ''Delaware State News'', based in Dover and covering the two southern counties, and ''The News Journal'' covering Wilmington and northern Delaware. The state is also served by List of newspapers in Delaware, several weekly, monthly and online publications.


Television

No standalone television stations are based solely in Delaware. The northern part of the state is served by network stations in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
and the southern part by network stations in Salisbury, Maryland. Philadelphia's American Broadcasting Company, ABC affiliate, WPVI-TV, maintains a news bureau in downtown Wilmington. Salisbury's CBS affiliate, WBOC-TV, maintains bureaus in Dover and Milton. Three Philadelphia-market stations—Public Broadcasting Service, PBS member WHYY-TV, Ion Television, Ion affiliate WPPX, and MeTV affiliate WDPN-TV—all have Wilmington as their city of license, but maintain transmitters at the market antenna farm in Roxborough, Philadelphia, Roxborough and do not produce any Delaware-centric programming.


Radio

There are a numerous radio stations licensed in Delaware. WDEL 1150AM, WHGE-LP, WHGE-LP 95.3 FM, WILM 1450 AM, WJBR-FM, WJBR-FM 99.5, WMPH 91.7 FM, WSTW 93.7 FM, WTMC 1380 AM and WWTX 1290AM are licensed from Wilmington. WRDX 92.9 FM is licensed from Smyrna. WDOV 1410AM, WDSD 94.7 FM and WRTX 91.7 FM are licensed from Dover.


Tourism

Delaware is home to First State National Historical Park, a National Park Service unit composed of historic sites across the state including the New Castle Court House Museum, New Castle Court House, Green, and Sheriff's House, Dover Green Historic District, Dover Green, Beaver Valley,
Fort Christina Fort Christina (also called Fort Altena) was the first Swedish settlement in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as th ...
, Holy Trinity Church (Old Swedes), Old Swedes' Church, John Dickinson House, John Dickinson Plantation, and the Ryves Holt House. Delaware has several List of museums in Delaware, museums, :National Wildlife Refuges in Delaware, wildlife refuges, :Parks in Delaware, parks, :Houses in Delaware, houses, :Lighthouses in Delaware, lighthouses, and other :National Register of Historic Places in Delaware, historic places.
Rehoboth Beach Rehoboth Beach ( ) is a city on the Atlantic Ocean along the Delaware Beaches 200px, Aerial image of the Delaware Beaches The Delaware Beaches are located along the Atlantic Ocean in the eastern part of Sussex County, Delaware, which is in the ...
, together with the towns of
Lewes Lewes () is the county town of East Sussex, England. It is the police and judicial centre for all of Sussex and is home to Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Lewes Crown Court and HMP Lewes. The civil parishes in England, civil p ...
,
Dewey Beach Dewey Beach is an incorporated coastal town in eastern Sussex County, Delaware, Sussex County, Delaware, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 341, an increase of 13.3% over the previous decade. It is part of the ...
, Bethany Beach, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island, comprise Delaware beaches, Delaware's beach resorts. Rehoboth Beach often bills itself as "The Nation's Summer Capital" because it is a frequent summer vacation destination for Washington, D.C., residents as well as visitors from Maryland, Virginia, and in lesser numbers, Pennsylvania. Vacationers are drawn for many reasons, including the town's charm, artistic appeal, nightlife, and tax-free shopping. According to SeaGrant Delaware, the Delaware beaches generate $6.9billion annually and over $711million in tax revenue. Delaware is home to several festivals, fairs, and events. Some of the more notable festivals are the Riverfest held in Seaford, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin#World Championship Punkin Chunkin, Punkin Chunkin formerly held at various locations throughout the state since 1986, the Rehoboth Beach Chocolate Festival, the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral to mark the end of summer, the Apple Scrapple Festival held in Bridgeville, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, the Sea Witch Halloween Festival and Parade in Rehoboth Beach, the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, the Nanticoke Indian Pow Wow in Oak Orchard, Delaware, Oak Orchard, Firefly Music Festival, and the Return Day Parade held after every election in
GeorgetownGeorgetown or George Town may refer to: Places Africa *George, Western Cape, South Africa, formerly known as Georgetown *Janjanbureh, Gambia, formerly known as Georgetown *Georgetown, Ascension Island, main settlement of the British territory of A ...
. In 2015, tourism in Delaware generated $3.1billion, which makes up five percent of the state's GDP. Delaware saw 8.5million visitors in 2015, with the tourism industry employing 41,730 people, making it the 4th largest private employer in the state. Major origin markets for Delaware tourists include
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
, Baltimore, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, with 97% of tourists arriving to the state by car and 75% of tourists coming from a distance of or less. Delaware is also home to two large sporting venues. Dover Motor Speedway is a race track in Dover, and Daniel S. Frawley Stadium, Frawley Stadium in Wilmington is the home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a Minor League Baseball team.


Education

In the early 1920s, Pierre S. du Pont served as president of the state board of education. At the time, state law prohibited money raised from white taxpayers from being used to support the state's schools for black children. Appalled by the condition of the black schools, du Pont donated four million dollars to construct 86 new school buildings. Delaware was the origin of ''Belton v. Gebhart'' (1952), one of the four cases which were combined into ''
Brown v. Board of Education ''Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka'', 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark A landmark is a recognizable natural or artificial feature used for navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and con ...
'', the Supreme Court of the United States decision that led to the end of officially racial segregation, segregated public schools. Significantly, ''Belton'' was the only case in which the state court found for the plaintiffs, thereby ruling that segregation is unconstitutional. Unlike many states, Delaware's educational system is centralized in a state Superintendent of Education, with local school boards retaining control over taxation and some curriculum decisions. This centralized system, combined with the small size of the state, likely contributed to Delaware becoming the first state, after completion of a three-year, $30million program ending in 1999, to wire every K-12 classroom in the state to the Internet. , the Delaware Department of Education had authorized the founding of 25 charter schools in the state, one of them being Single-sex education, all-girls. All teachers in the State's public school districts are unionized. , none of the State's charter schools are members of a teachers Trade union, union. One of the State's teachers' unions is Delaware State Education Association (DSEA), whose President is Frederika Jenner.


Colleges and universities

* Delaware College of Art and Design * Delaware State University * Delaware Technical & Community College * Drexel University at Wilmington * Goldey-Beacom College *
University of Delaware The University of Delaware (colloquially UD, UDel or Delaware) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organizat ...
—Ranked 63rd in the U.S. and in top 201–250 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018) * Wesley College (Delaware), Wesley College * Widener University School of Law * Wilmington University


Transportation

The transportation system in Delaware is under the governance and supervision of the Delaware Department of Transportation, also known as "DelDOT". Funding for DelDOT projects is drawn, in part, from the Delaware Transportation Trust Fund, established in 1987 to help stabilize transportation funding; the availability of the Trust led to a gradual separation of DelDOT operations from other Delaware state operations. DelDOT manages programs such as a Delaware Adopt-a-Highway program, major road route snow removal, traffic control infrastructure (signs and signals), toll road management, Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, the Delaware Transit Corporation (branded as "DART First State", the state government public transportation organization), among others. In 2009, DelDOT maintained 13,507 lane-miles, totaling 89 percent of the state's public roadway system, the rest being under the supervision of individual municipalities. This far exceeds the national average (20 percent) for state department of transportation maintenance responsibility.


Roads

One major branch of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, Interstate 95 in Delaware, Interstate95 (I-95), crosses Delaware southwest-to-northeast across New Castle County. In addition to I-95, there are six U.S. Highway System, U.S. highways that serve Delaware: U.S. Route 9 in Delaware, U.S.9, U.S. Route 13 in Delaware, U.S.13, U.S. Route 40 in Delaware, U.S.40, U.S. Route 113 in Delaware, U.S.113, U.S. Route 202 in Delaware, U.S.202, and U.S. Route 301 in Delaware, U.S.301. There are also several state highways that cross the state of Delaware; a few of them include Delaware Route 1, DE1, Delaware Route 9, DE9, and Delaware Route 404, DE404. U.S.13 and DE1 are primary north–south highways connecting Wilmington and Pennsylvania with Maryland, with DE1 serving as the main route between Wilmington and the Delaware beaches. DE9 is a north–south highway connecting Dover and Wilmington via a scenic route along the
Delaware Bay Delaware Bay is the estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the northeast seaboard of the United States. Approximately in area, the bay's fresh water mixes for many miles with the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean. The bay is bordered inland by t ...
. U.S.40 is a primary east–west route, connecting Maryland with New Jersey. DE404 is another primary east–west highway connecting the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland with the Delaware beaches. The state also operates three toll highways, the Delaware Turnpike, which is I-95, between Maryland and New Castle; the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway, which is DE1, between Wilmington and Dover; and the U.S. 301 toll road between the Maryland border and DE1 in New Castle County. A bicycle route, Delaware Bicycle Route 1, spans the north–south length of the state from the Maryland border in Fenwick Island to the Pennsylvania border north of Montchanin, Delaware, Montchanin. It is the first of several signed bike routes planned in Delaware. Delaware has about 1,450 bridges, 95 percent of which are under the supervision of DelDOT. About 30 percent of all Delaware bridges were built before 1950, and about 60 percent of the number are included in the National Bridge Inventory. Some bridges not under DelDOT supervision includes the four bridges on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which is under the bi-state Delaware River and Bay Authority. It has been noted that the tar and chip composition of secondary roads in Sussex County makes them more prone to Road surface#Surface deterioration, deterioration than are the Asphalt concrete, asphalt roadways in almost the rest of the state. Among these roads, Sussex (county road) 236 is among the most problematic.


Ferries

Three ferries operate in the state of Delaware: * Cape May–Lewes Ferry crosses the mouth of Delaware Bay between Lewes, Delaware, and Cape May, New Jersey. * Woodland Ferry (a cable ferry) crosses the Nanticoke River southwest of Seaford. * Forts Ferry Crossing connects Delaware City with Fort Delaware and Fort Mott (New Jersey), Fort Mott, New Jersey.


Rail and bus

Amtrak has two stations in Delaware along the Northeast Corridor; the relatively quiet Newark Rail Station (Delaware), Newark Rail Station in Newark, and the busier Wilmington station (Delaware), Wilmington Rail Station in Wilmington. The Northeast Corridor is also served by SEPTA's Wilmington/Newark Line of SEPTA Regional Rail, Regional Rail, which serves Claymont station, Claymont, Wilmington, Churchmans Crossing, Delaware, Churchmans Crossing, and Newark. Two Class I railroads, Norfolk Southern and CSX, provide freight rail service in northern New Castle County. Norfolk Southern provides freight service along the Northeast Corridor and to industrial areas in Edgemoor, Delaware, Edgemoor,
New Castle Newcastle usually refers to either: *Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne ( , ), often simply Newcastle, is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. a ...

New Castle
, and
Delaware City Delaware City is a city in New Castle County, Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-AtlanticMid-Atlantic or Mid Atlantic can refer to: *The middle of the Atlantic Ocean *Mid-Atlantic English, a mix between British English and Americ ...
. CSX's Philadelphia Subdivision passes through northern New Castle County parallel to the Amtrak Northeast Corridor. Multiple short-line railroads provide freight service in Delaware. The Delmarva Central Railroad operates the most trackage of the short-line railroads, running from an interchange with Norfolk Southern in Porter, Delaware, Porter south through
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first publishe ...
, Harrington, and Seaford to Delmar, with another line running from Harrington to Frankford and branches from Ellendale to Milton and from
GeorgetownGeorgetown or George Town may refer to: Places Africa *George, Western Cape, South Africa, formerly known as Georgetown *Janjanbureh, Gambia, formerly known as Georgetown *Georgetown, Ascension Island, main settlement of the British territory of A ...
to Gravel Hill, Delaware, Gravel Hill. The Delmarva Central Railroad connects with the Maryland and Delaware Railroad, which serves local customers in Sussex County. CSX connects with the freight/heritage railroad, heritage operation, the Wilmington and Western Railroad, based in Wilmington and the East Penn Railroad, which operates a line from Wilmington to Coatesville, Pennsylvania. The last north–south passenger trains through the main part of Delaware was the Pennsylvania Railroad's local Wilmington-Delmar train in 1965. This was a successor to the ''Del-Mar-Va Express'' and ''Cavalier'', which had run from Philadelphia through the state's interior, to the end of the Delmarva Peninsula until the mid-1950s. The DART First State public transportation system was named "Most Outstanding Public Transportation System" in 2003 by the American Public Transportation Association. Coverage of the system is broad within northern New Castle County with close association to major highways in Kent and Sussex counties. The system includes bus, subsidized passenger rail operated by Philadelphia transit agency SEPTA, and subsidized taxi and paratransit modes. The paratransit system, consisting of a statewide door-to-door bus service for the elderly and disabled, has been described by a Delaware state report as "the most generous paratransit system in the United States". , fees for the paratransit service have not changed since 1988.


Air

, there is no scheduled air service from any Delaware airport, as has been the case in various years since 1991. Various airlines had served Wilmington Airport (Delaware), Wilmington Airport, the latest departure being Frontier Airlines in April 2015. Delaware is centrally situated in the Northeast megalopolis region of cities along Interstate 95, I-95. Therefore, Delaware commercial airline passengers most frequently use Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) for domestic and international transit. Residents of Sussex County will also use Wicomico Regional Airport (SBY), as it is located less than from the Delaware border. Atlantic City International Airport (ACY), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) are also within a radius of New Castle County. Other general aviation airports in Delaware include Summit Airport (Delaware), Summit Airport near Middletown, Delaware Airpark near Cheswold, and Delaware Coastal Airport near
GeorgetownGeorgetown or George Town may refer to: Places Africa *George, Western Cape, South Africa, formerly known as Georgetown *Janjanbureh, Gambia, formerly known as Georgetown *Georgetown, Ascension Island, main settlement of the British territory of A ...
. Dover Air Force Base, one of the largest in the country, is home to the 436th Airlift Wing and the 512th Airlift Wing. In addition to its other responsibilities in the Air Mobility Command, it serves as the entry point and mortuary for U.S. military personnel (and some civilians) who die overseas.


Law and government

Delaware's fourth and current constitution, adopted in 1897, provides for executive, judicial and legislative branches.


Legislative branch

The Delaware General Assembly consists of a Delaware House of Representatives, House of Representatives with 41 members and a Delaware Senate, Senate with 21 members. It sits in Dover, the state capital. Representatives are elected to two-year terms, while senators are elected to four-year terms. The Senate confirms judicial and other nominees appointed by the governor. Delaware's U.S. Senators are Tom Carper (Democrat) and Chris Coons (Democrat). Delaware's single U.S. Representative is Lisa Blunt Rochester (Democrat).


Judicial branch

The Delaware Constitution establishes a number of courts: * The Delaware Supreme Court is the state's highest court. * The Delaware Superior Court is the state's trial court of general jurisdiction. * The Delaware Court of Chancery deals primarily in corporate disputes. * The Family court#In the United States, Family Court handles domestic and custody matters. * The Delaware Court of Common Pleas has jurisdiction over a limited class of civil and criminal matters. Minor non-constitutional courts include the Justice of the Peace Courts and Aldermen's Courts. Significantly, Delaware has one of the few remaining Courts of Court of equity, Chancery in the nation, which has jurisdiction over Equity (law), equity cases, the vast majority of which are corporate disputes, many relating to mergers and acquisitions. The Delaware Court of Chancery, Court of Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court have developed a worldwide reputation for rendering concise opinions concerning corporate law which generally (but not always) grant broad discretion to corporate boards of directors and officers. In addition, the Delaware General Corporation Law, which forms the basis of the Courts' opinions, is widely regarded as giving great flexibility to corporations to manage their affairs. For these reasons, Delaware is considered to have the most business-friendly legal system in the United States; therefore a great number of companies are incorporated in Delaware, including 60% of the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Delaware was the last U.S. state to use judicial corporal punishment, in 1952.


Executive branch

The executive branch is headed by the Governor of Delaware. The present governor is John C. Carney Jr., John Carney (Democrat), who took office January 17, 2017. The lieutenant governor is Bethany Hall-Long. The governor presents a "State of the State" speech to a joint session of the Delaware legislature annually.


Counties

Delaware is subdivided into
three counties The Three Counties of England are traditionally the three agrarian Ceremonial counties of England, counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Including towns and cities such as Worcester, England, Worcester, Gloucester, Chelten ...
; from north to south they are
New Castle Newcastle usually refers to either: *Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne ( , ), often simply Newcastle, is the largest city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. a ...
,
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Robert ...
and
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...
. This is the fewest among all states. Each county elects its own legislative body (known in New Castle and Sussex counties as County Council, and in Kent County as Levy Court), which deal primarily in zoning and development issues. Most functions which are handled on a county-by-county basis in other states—such as court and law enforcement—have been centralized in Delaware, leading to a significant concentration of power in the Delaware state government. The counties were historically divided into Hundred (country subdivision), hundreds, which were used as tax reporting and voting districts until the 1960s, but now serve no administrative role, their only current official legal use being in real estate title descriptions.


Politics

The Democratic Party holds a pluralism (political theory), plurality of registrations in Delaware. Currently, Democrats hold all positions of authority in Delaware, as well as majorities in the state Senate and House. The Democrats have held the governorship since 1993, having won the last seven gubernatorial elections. Democrats presently hold all the nine statewide elected offices, while the Republicans last won any statewide offices in 2014, State Auditor and State Treasurer. During the First Party System, First and Second Party Systems, Delaware was a stronghold for the Federalist Party, Federalist and Whig Party (United States), Whig Parties, respectively. After a relatively brief adherence to the Democratic Solid South following the American Civil War, US Civil War, Delaware became a Republican-leaning state from 1896 United States presidential election, 1896 through 1948 United States presidential election, 1948, voting for losing Republicans Charles Evans Hughes in 1916 United States presidential election, 1916, Herbert Hoover in 1932 United States presidential election, 1932, and Thomas E. Dewey, Thomas Dewey in 1948. During the second half of the 20th century, Delaware was a bellwether state, voting for the winner of every presidential election from 1952 United States presidential election, 1952 through 1996 United States presidential election, 1996. Delaware's bellwether status came to an end when Delaware voted for Al Gore in 2000 United States presidential election, 2000 by 13%. Subsequent elections have continued to demonstrate Delaware's current strong Democratic lean: John Kerry carried the First State by 8% in 2004 United States presidential election, 2004; Barack Obama carried it by 25% and by 19% in his two elections of 2008 United States presidential election, 2008 and 2012 United States presidential election, 2012; and Hillary Clinton carried it by 11% as she lost the Electoral College in 2016 United States presidential election, 2016. In 2020, Delaware native (and Barack Obama's former Vice President and running mate) Joe Biden headed the Democratic ticket; he carried his home state by just shy of 19% en route to a national 4.5% win. The dominant factor in Delaware's political shift has been the strong Democratic trend in heavily urbanized
New Castle County New Castle County is the northernmost of the three List of counties in Delaware, counties of the U.S. state of Delaware. As of the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, the population was 570,719, making it the most populous county in Delaware ...
, home to 55% of Delaware's population. New Castle County has not voted Republican in a presidential election since 1988 United States presidential election, 1988, and has given Democrats over 60% of its vote in every election from 2004 on. In 1992, 2000, 2004, and 2016, the Republican presidential candidate carried both Kent and Sussex but lost by double digits each time in New Castle County, which was a large enough margin to tip the state to the Democrats. New Castle County also elects a substantial majority of the state legislature; 27 of the 41 state house districts and 14 of the 21 state senate districts are based in New Castle County.


Freedom of information

Each of the 50 states of the United States has passed some form of freedom of information legislation, which provides a mechanism for the general public to request information of the government. In 2011 Delaware passed legislation placing a 15 business day time limit on addressing freedom-of-information requests, to either produce information or an explanation of why such information would take longer than this time to produce.


Taxation

Tax is collected by the Delaware Division of Revenue. Delaware has six different income tax brackets, ranging from 2.2% to 5.95%. The state does not assess sales tax on consumers. The state does, however, impose a tax on the gross receipts of most businesses. Business and occupational license tax rates range from 0.096% to 1.92%, depending on the category of business activity. Delaware does not assess a state-level tax on real or personal property. Real estate is subject to county property taxes, school district property taxes, vocational school district taxes, and, if located within an incorporated area, municipal property taxes. Gambling in the United States#Authorized types, Gambling provides significant revenue to the state. For instance, the Delaware Park Racetrack#Casino, casino at Delaware Park Racetrack provided more than $100million to the state in 2010. In June 2018, Delaware became the first U.S. state to legalize sports betting following the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992#US Supreme Court decision, Supreme Court ruling to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).


Voter registration


Culture and entertainment


Festivals


Sports

;Professional teams As Delaware has no franchises in the major American professional sports leagues, many Delawareans follow either Sports in Philadelphia, Philadelphia or Sports in Baltimore, Baltimore teams. In the Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA, the Washington Mystics enjoy a major following due to the presence of Wilmington native and University of Delaware product Elena Delle Donne. The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens football, University of Delaware's football team has a large following throughout the state, with the Delaware State Hornets football, Delaware State University and Wesley College (Delaware), Wesley College teams also enjoying a smaller degree of support. Delaware is home to Dover Motor Speedway and Bally's Dover. Dover Motor Speedway, also known as the ''Monster Mile'', is one of only 10 tracks in the nation to have hosted 100 or more NASCAR Cup Series races. Bally's Dover is a popular harness racing facility. It is the only co-located horse- and car-racing facility in the nation, with the Bally's Dover track located inside the Dover Motor Speedway track. Delaware is represented in USA Rugby League, rugby by the Delaware Black Foxes, a 2015 expansion club. Delaware has been home to professional wrestling outfit Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW). CZW has been affiliated with the annual Tournament of Death and East Coast Wrestling Association, ECWA with its annual ECWA Super 8 Tournament, Super8 Tournament. Delaware's official state sport is bicycling.


Sister state

Delaware's Paradiplomacy#United States, sister state in Japan is Miyagi Prefecture.


Delawareans

Prominent Delawareans include the du Pont family of politicians and businesspersons and the Biden family among whom Joe Biden is notable as the 46th and current president of the United States.


See also

* Index of Delaware-related articles * Outline of Delaware * '''' * ''''


Notes


References


Bibliography

*


External links


History

*


General

* *
Delaware Tourism homepage

Delaware Map Data

Energy & Environmental Data for Delaware

USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Delaware



Delaware State Facts from USDA

2000 Census of Population and Housing for Delaware
U.S. Census Bureau * *
Delaware State Databases
Annotated list of searchable databases produced by Delaware state agencies and compiled by the Government Documents Roundtable of the American Library Association {{Authority control Delaware, States and territories established in 1787 States of the East Coast of the United States States of the United States Mid-Atlantic states Northeastern United States Southern United States 1787 establishments in Delaware, 1787 establishments in the United States Contiguous United States