Interesting facts about Delaware

delaware flag

Delaware is a state in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeastern region of the United States.

It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, to the north by Pennsylvania, and to the east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean.

As of 1 January 2018, the population of Delaware was estimated to be 971,180. It is the 45th most populous state in the United States; but the 6th most densely populated.

Delaware is the 49th largest state in the United States in terms of total area with 5,130 square kilometers (1,982 square miles).

Dover is the capital and second-largest city of Delaware. It is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware River coastal plain. It was named by William Penn of Dover in Kent, England.


Delaware is 154 kilometers (96 miles) long and ranges from 14 kilometers (9 miles) to 56 kilometers (35 miles) across. It is the second-smallest state in the United States after Rhode Island.

Delaware’s small size doesn’t leave much room for major or varied land forms and most of the state lies on a low, flat coastal plain. The northernmost part of the state is part of the Piedmont Plateau with hills and rolling surfaces.

Delaware has the lowest mean elevation of all the U.S. states, at 18.3 meters (60 feet). Its elevation ranges from sea level at the ocean beaches to nearly 136.5 meters (447.85 feet) above sea level on Ebright Road, near the Pennsylvania state line.

delaware nature

The coastline of Delaware is approximately 45 kilometers (28 miles) long.

Rehoboth Beach, together with the towns of Lewes, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island, comprise Delaware’s beach resorts. According to SeaGrant Delaware, the Delaware Beaches generate $6.9 billion annually and over $711 million in tax revenue.

beach delaware

Delaware lies within a sea level rise “hotspot” where sea levels could rise faster and higher than elsewhere due to a combination of rising seas and sinking land. Sea level rise at Bowers Beach, Del., is climbing at a rate faster than anywhere else on the Atlantic coast.

Delaware has 1 national park and 17 state parks.

First State National Historical Park lies primarily in the state of Delaware but which extends partly into Pennsylvania in Chadds Ford. On March 25, 2013, President Obama designated the First State National Monument in Delaware, which had been the only state in the country without a national park site. After continuous effort, the monument was designated a National Historical Park in 2015. The park covers the early colonial history of Delaware and the role Delaware played in the establishment of the nation, leading up to it being the first state to ratify the Constitution.

first state national historical park

Cape Henlopen State Park is the most popular state park in Delaware. The park covers an area of 2,102 hectares (5,193 acres). William Penn made the beaches of Cape Henlopen one of the first public lands established in what has become the United States in 1682 with the declaration that Cape Henlopen would be for “the usage of the citizens of Lewes and Sussex County.”

cape henlopen state park

The Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington encompasses the site of the original du Pont gunpowder mills, as well as an estate and gardens. The first du Pont family home, Eleutherian Mills, built by E. I. du Pont in 1803 is located on the grounds. The restored French-style garden created by E. I. du Pont adjoins the home. The library contains collections related to business and technology, ranging from historical papers from the 18th century right up to modern times. In the Barn is a collection of antique vehicles.

Hagley Museum and Library

The Nemours Mansion and Gardens is a 120-hectare (300-acre) country estate with jardin à la française formal gardens and a classical French mansion in Wilmington, Delaware. Built to resemble a château, its 105 rooms on five floors occupying nearly 4,400 square meters (47,000 square feet). It shares the grounds with the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, both owned by the Nemours Foundation at 1600 Rockland Road. The estate is part of the DuPont legacy and is located on the DuPont Historic Corridor.

nemours mansion and gardens

The Air Mobility Command Museum (AMCM) is dedicated to military airlift and air refueling aircraft and the men and women who flew and maintained them. It has the largest and most complete collection of fully restored U.S. military cargo and tanker aircraft in the Eastern United States and is located near Dover Air Force Base.

air mobility command museum

The first European colony in the Delaware Valley was established by Swedish settlers in 1638. Between 1698 and 1699, the descendants of these early colonists constructed Old Swedes Church (also known as Holy Trinity Church), which is one of the oldest houses of worship in America still in use.

old swedes church

Before its coastline was explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south.

The state was named after the Delaware River, which in turn derived its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr (1577–1618) who was the ruling governor of the Colony of Virginia at the time Europeans first explored the river.

On December 7, 1787 in Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States. Because of this it has since been known as “The First State.”

delaware map

According to legend, Delaware was nicknamed “The Diamond State” because Thomas Jefferson referred to it as a “jewel among the states” due to its prime location on the Eastern Seaboard.

Adopted on April 14, 1939, the Blue Hen chicken had long been used as a motif in numerous political campaigns and in many publications. During the Revolutionary War, the men of Captain Jonathan Caldwell’s company, recruited in Kent County, took with them game chickens that were said to be of the brood of a famous Blue Hen and were noted for their fighting ability. When not fighting the enemy, the officers and men amused themselves by pitting their Blue Hen chickens in cockfights. The fame of these cockfights spread throughout the army and when in battle, the Delaware men fought so valiantly that they were compared to these fighting cocks.

blue hen chicken

Delaware Bay is home to more horseshoe crabs than anywhere else in the world. Mostly unchanged for the past 300 million years, these “living fossils” were collected by Native American Indians for food and used as fertilizer—a practice that was passed along to early colonial settlers and continued until the 1960s. Currently used in biomedical research, horseshoe crabs have played an invaluable role in studying the human eye and detecting bacteria in drugs. The horseshoe crab was designated as Delaware’s official marine animal on June 25, 2002.

Delaware’s official state sport is bicycling.

On July 30, 2009, peach pie was designated as Delaware’s official State dessert.

Delaware is divided into three counties, the lowest number of any state. From north to south, they are New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.

Delaware has one of the fastest internet speeds in the country.

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