Delaware is a state on the Atlantic coast of the United States of America. It is the second smallest state in the United States after Rhode Island. It borders Maryland to the west and south, Pennsylvania to the north and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, beyond the estuary of the Delaware River, which widens into a bay.


Despite its small size, Delaware is a large financial center. More than 200 thousand companies have their headquarters in the state. This happens thanks to state laws that grant tax benefits to companies that decide to set up headquarters in the state, even attracting many that operate primarily outside of it. This fact gave the state the nickname The Land of Free-Tax Shopping. For this reason, it is also one of the largest banking centers in the United States. It also has a strong petrochemical industry.

Delaware was initially settled by the Dutch and Swedes. It was also one of the Thirteen Colonies of the United Kingdom. After the American War of Independence, it was the first American state to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America, on December 7, 1787. Therefore, the state is known as The First State. . The name of the state comes from the Delaware River, as it is located on the banks of this river and its estuary, Delaware Bay. The origin of the name Delaware, for its part, comes from Thomas West the Third, Baron de La Warr, who was governor of Virginia between 1610 and 1618.



1 Wilmington - largest city and economic center
2 Dover - Capital
3 Newark
4 Middletown
5 Smyrna
6 Milford
7 Seaford
8 Georgetown
9 Elsmere


Other destinations

First State National Historical Park. The park commemorates that Delaware was the first state of the 13 colonies to ratify the US Constitution.
Rehoboth Beach is a seaside resort on the Atlantic Seaboard. The place describes itself as the summer capital of the country. Tourists are attracted by the city's special atmosphere, art, nightlife and shopping.



The name "Delaware" comes from the title of the second governor of the colony of Virginia, Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warr and the Delaware River named after him.

Delaware is officially nicknamed The First State because Delaware was the first state of the Thirteen Colonies to ratify the United States Constitution in 1787. Delaware has only three counties, New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County, fewer than any other US state.

Although Delaware is only 100 miles long, less than 30 miles across at its widest point, and covers just 2,489 square miles, Delaware is a surprisingly complex and diverse state. The C & D Canal (Chesapeake & Delaware Canal), which bisects the state two-thirds, serves as a sort of internal Mason-Dixon line connecting the more urban and industrialized northern part of Delaware, closely connected to northern metropolitan Philadelphia is separate from the other rural "slower, lower" southern portion, which is more part of the Delmarva Peninsula and is synchronized with the southern rhythm of Maryland and Virginia.

Befitting a surprisingly diverse state, Delaware has a diverse economy that impacts the types of things available to visitors. The largest city, Wilmington, is a very business-oriented city. Due to the Delaware General Corporation Law, which is very favorable to corporate executives, the majority of large US corporations are incorporated in the state of Delaware and maintain a nominal presence in the state. Generally, this presence is in Wilmington because of their ties to Philadelphia. This is especially true for banks, which also benefit from Delaware's laws regarding lending and therefore maintain large workforces in Wilmington. Wilmington is therefore a very business-like environment; Most downtown restaurants and bars cater to those who work in Wilmington but live elsewhere ("elsewhere" is often Pennsylvania or even New Jersey).

Unlike Wilmington, much of the state is essentially rural and much of the nonagricultural economy is tourism-based. The Delaware coast is a relatively popular destination for local people looking to vacation during the summer. Additionally, Delaware has developed a strong tradition of craft brewing, with seven major breweries in the state.


Getting here

The major airports are outside of the state. Due to the small distances, this is not a problem. Philadelphia Airport (IATA: PHL) is a good half hour from northern Delaware.

Wilmington is on the railroad's Northeast Corridor, making it easily accessible from Washington, Philadelphia, and New York.



Delaware is bordered to the north by Pennsylvania, to the south and west by Maryland, to the east by Delaware Bay, which borders New Jersey, and to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean. Its coastline along the Atlantic Ocean is about 45 kilometers long, which increases to 613 kilometers, if we count the coastline formed by estuaries, bays and coastal islands. Delaware's border with Pennsylvania is the only arc-shaped border between two states in the United States, and is known as the Twelve Mile Circle.

Delaware, along with part of the Maryland coastline and two counties in Virginia, form the Delmarva Peninsula, an abbreviation of the names of the states that form it: Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The Delmarva Peninsula is an interesting geographical feature located between the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. The Delaware River is the largest and most important river in the state. Other important rivers are the Christina and the Brandywine. The Christina allows navigation of large ships to Wilmington, and small ships to Newport. All the rivers that flow through Delaware flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It has about 50 lakes and forests cover approximately 30% of the state.

The state can be divided into two distinct geographic regions:
The Atlantic coastal plains occupy most of Delaware. The terrain of this region is flat, not very hilly, sandy and of low altitude, rarely exceeding 25 meters in altitude.
Piemonte is a small strip of land located in the extreme north of the state, which is no more than 15 kilometers long. This region is characterized by its rugged terrain, with fertile valleys. Piemonte is the highest altitude region in the state. The highest point in the state, which only rises 137 meters above sea level, is located in this region.



The northern part of the state has a temperate continental climate, while the southern region of the state has a subtropical climate. The state's location, close to the Atlantic and south of the Pennsylvania mountain ranges (which serve as obstacles against cold fronts coming from the north) make the state's winters mild. Temperature varies little from one region to another, due to the small size of the state. The variation is 2°C in summer and 1°C in winter, with average temperatures decreasing as you travel north.

The average winter temperature is 2°C, while the state's average summer temperature is 24°C. Both the lowest and highest temperatures recorded in Delaware were in Millsboro, the lowest at -27°C on January 17, 1893, and the highest at 43°C on July 21, 1930. Millsboro is the only American city to have both the highest and lowest temperature recorded in a state, along with Warsaw, Missouri.

The average annual rainfall rate is 114 centimeters, higher along the coast and lower in the interior (especially in the extreme north of the state). The average annual snowfall varies between 46 centimeters in the north, 36 centimeters in the southwest, and 30 centimeters along the coast.



Native people

Before European settlement, the Lenape (also known as Lenni Lenape), Susquehanna, and other tribes lived in this area.


Dutch trading post/New Sweden (1609–1664)

The Spaniards and Portuguese already reached the coasts of today's Delaware in the 16th century. But even later explorers - such as Henry Hudson in 1609, who sailed to the Delaware River - reached the coasts without being able to prove that they landed there.

The first European settlers came to the area in 1631 as a trading company led by Captain David Pietersen de Vries. They established a Dutch trading post called "Zwaanendael" (or "Swaanendael", modern day Lewes). In 1632 Captain de Vries returned and found that in the meantime all the settlers had been killed by Indians and the settlement had been burned down.

In March 1638, a Swedish expedition consisting of the ships Kalmar Nyckel (Key of Kalmar) and Fågel Grip (Bird Griffin), led by Peter Minuit, reached the coast of present-day Delaware. The settlers who landed around March 29 built Fort Christina (named after the then Swedish Queen Christina I). Fort Christina, now Wilmington, became Delaware's first permanent European settlement.

The most important Swedish governor was probably Colonel Johan Printz, who ruled the colony from 1643 to 1653. Shortly after his arrival in 1654, his successor captured the Dutch trading post of Fort Casimir, which had been built in 1651 on the site of the present town of New Castle.

When the Swedish colony became a commercial competitor for the Dutch, Petrus Stuyvesant, the governor of the Nieuw Nederland colony, decided to expel the Swedes and set up the Neu-Amstel colony. In 1655 he reached the coast with his fleet. He subdued the Swedish forces and put the whole area under his command.

The Dutch rebuilt the destroyed Fort Casimir. The fort quickly became a central settlement and soon could no longer accommodate everyone. As a result, the city of Neu-Amstel was built, today's New Castle.


English Colony (1664–1776)

The name "Delaware" comes from the title of the second governor of the colony of Virginia, Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warr and the Delaware River named after him. In 1664 the English conquered the colony and added it to their own colony of New York.

In 1681, King Charles II gave the province of Pennsylvania to William Penn. Penn's agents, who arrived there soon after, reported that the province would no longer have access to the coast if hostilities broke out with the colonies that lay on both sides of the Delaware River and the Bay. Penn then submitted a petition to the royal family to also grant him the land on the west side of the Delaware River and the Bay, which lay below his province. This request was granted by James, Duke of York (later James II) in March 1682. Penn received the lands of present-day New Castle, St. Jones, and Deale counties.

After his arrival in America, on October 27, 1682 in New Castle, the granted land was handed over to Penn by agents of the Duke of York. On this occasion, the colonists of these lands also swore allegiance to Penn.

In 1683 the three "lower counties" were annexed to Pennsylvania according to Penn's famous "Frame of Coverage". At the same time, St Jones was renamed Kent and Deale was renamed Sussex.

In 1704 the "three smaller districts" got their own parliament and in 1710 their own board of directors.

State (since 1776)
The Mason-Dixon Line, created by Englishmen Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon between 1763 and 1767 to define the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland, now marks the border between Delaware/Pennsylvania and Maryland/West Virginia. Many of the 80 original landmarks limestone are preserved.

In 1776, two months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the three counties merged to form the state of Delaware and separated completely from Pennsylvania. As one of the thirteen colonies, Delaware broke away from the British rulers and joined the American independence movement.

The military conflicts of the colonial period had produced well-organized and well-managed militias, and the Delaware troops, already numbering 3,000 volunteers by the start of the Revolutionary War, took part in a large number of known battles, the only battle being that of Cooch's Bridge, which took place on September 3, 1777 in near Newark, was held on Delaware soil.

In 1777 Dover became the capital of Delaware in place of New Castle.

On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first of the 13 colonies to ratify the new American Constitution during a ceremony in Dover.

Although Delaware was a slave-owning state, the state sided with the northern states during the Civil War after a vote to secede from the Union on January 3, 1861 failed to secure the required majority. On February 18, 1866, eight months after the end of the Civil War, Delaware refused to ratify the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Only on February 12, 1901 did Delaware agree to the abolition of slavery by ratifying the new article. The first "black" church founded by slaves before the abolition of slavery can still be seen in Delaware today. In 1967, Delaware was among the last US states to be forced by the Supreme Court to lift the ban on intermarriage.



Delaware's fourth and current constitution was adopted in 1897 and provides for legislative, executive, and judicial bodies. The legislature consists of a 41-member House of Representatives and a 21-member Senate. The executive branch is headed by the governor of Delaware, and the judiciary is ruled by a hierarchy of courts, with the state's highest court at the top.

Delaware's political stance was always elusive up until the 2000 presidential election, when the state had previously voted the winning candidate most often of any state. But in recent years, the Democrats' lead in the wealthy little state, which was classified as a swing state in 2004, has become increasingly clear. Governor John Charles Carney, Jr. is also a Democrat, as is his lieutenant governor, Democrat Bethany Hall-Long, who has also been in office since 2017, as are all three representatives in the 117th Congress: Senators Christopher Andrew Coons and Thomas Richard Carper, as well as the Member of the House of Representatives, Lisa Blunt Rochester. Delaware has had three electors in the Electoral College since 1789.


Administration and politics

The current Delaware Constitution was adopted in 1897. Previous constitutions were approved in 1776, 1792, and 1831. Amendments to the Constitution are proposed by the state Legislature, and to be approved, they need the approval of at least the 51% of the state Senate and House of Representatives, plus two-thirds of the votes of Delaware's electoral population, in a referendum. Citizens of the state can also propose amendments to the Constitution by collecting a specified number of signatures. When these signatures are accepted by the government, they need to receive the approval of at least a quarter of the members of both chambers of the Legislative Branch, and at least 51% of the votes of the electoral population. Amendments can also be proposed and introduced by a constitutional convention, which need to receive at least 51% of the votes of both chambers of the Legislative Branch and two-thirds of the votes of the electorate, in a referendum.

The main official of its Executive Branch is the governor. He is elected by the state's voters for terms of up to four years, and can be re-elected only once. Electors also elect the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, among other executive officers.

The Legislative Branch of Delaware – also called the General Assembly – is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Its headquarters are the Delaware Legislative Hall, located in Dover. The Senate has 21 members and the House of Representatives has 41 members. The state is divided into 21 senatorial districts and 41 representative districts. The voters of each district elect a senator/representative, who will represent that district in the Senate/House of Representatives. The term of office of senators is four years, while representatives are elected for terms of up to two years.

The highest court in the state's Judicial Branch is the Delaware Supreme Court, composed of four judges and a chief justice. Other courts of the state Judicial Branch are the Superior Court, the Delaware's Court of Chancelery (which handles personal disputes), the Family Courts (works with family proceedings) and the Common Pleas Court. All judges in the Delaware Judicial Branch are chosen by the governor for terms of up to 12 years.

Delaware is divided into three counties: Kent, New Castle and Sussex. Each of the counties is administered by a commission made up of a certain number of members (seven in Kent, six in New Castle and five in Sussex). These members are elected by the population of their respective counties for terms of up to four years.

About half of the state government's budget is generated by state taxes. The rest comes from budgets received from the national government and from loans. In 2002, the state government spent 4,646 million dollars, having generated 4,882 million dollars. The government debt is 4,038 million dollars. The debt per capita is $5,010, the value of state taxes per capita is $2,697, and the value of government expenditures per capita is $5,764.



According to the 2000 national census from the United States Census Bureau, Delaware's population was 783,600, a growth of 17.5% from the state's 1990 population of 666,168. An estimate made in 2005 estimates the state's population at 843,524 inhabitants, a growth of 26.6% in relation to the state's population in 1990, 7.6% in relation to the state's population in 2000, and 1.6% in relation to the estimated population in 2004.

The growth of the natural population of Delaware between 2000 and 2005 was 21,978 inhabitants - 58,699 births and 36,721 deaths - the growth caused by immigration was 27,912 inhabitants, while interstate migration increased by 11,226 inhabitants. Between 2000 and 2005, the state's population grew by 59,924 inhabitants, and between 2004 and 2005, by 13,455 inhabitants.


Ethnic groups

In 2006 the state had a population of 853,476 people, of which:
68.8% are white (European or of European descent).
20.7% are black.
6.3% are Latino or Hispanic.
2.9% are Asian.
The rest are made up of people of other ethnic origins.

Delaware's five largest groups by ancestry are: African Americans (making up 19.2% of the population), Irish (16.6%), Germans (14.3%), English (12.1%), and Italians (9.3%).

Its population has the highest percentage of African Americans of any American state located north of Maryland, as well as the highest percentage of free African Americans (17%), before the American Civil War. 90.5% of the state's population over five years of age have English as their native language and 4.7% have Spanish. French is the third most spoken language in the state, at 0.7%, followed by Chinese and German, each at 0.5%.



Percent of Delaware population by religion 2019:

Christianity – 69%- 679,612
Protestants – 46% - 453,074
Catholic Church – 24% - 219,687
Orthodox Christians – 1% - 9,849
Other religions – 6% - 59,096
No religion – 23% - 206,537



Delaware instituted a system of public funds in 1796 to be used for educational purposes. However, such funds would not be used until 1818, when the state released one thousand dollars for each county. In 1829, Delaware divided the state into different school districts, each having the right to receive up to $300 annually from the state, thus establishing the state's first public schools. Until then, children from poor families were forced to study, either in schools administered by religious institutions (the first were founded during the beginning of the 17th century), or not to study.

Currently, all of its educational institutions need to follow rules and regulations dictated by the Delaware Department of Education, made up of seven members appointed by the governor for terms of up to 4 years in length. This department, headed by the Secretary of Education, directly controls the state's public school system, which is divided into different school districts. Each major city (city), various secondary cities (towns), and each county is served by a school district. In cities, the responsibility for managing schools lies with the municipal school district, while in less densely populated regions, this responsibility lies with the school districts, which operate on a countywide basis. Delaware allows the operation of charter schools — independent public schools, which are not managed by school districts, but which depend on public budgets for their operation. Schooling is compulsory for all children and adolescents over five years of age, until the completion of secondary education or until the age of sixteen.

In 1999, the state's public schools served approximately 112.8 thousand students, employing approximately 7.3 thousand teachers. Private schools served about 22.8 thousand students, employing approximately 1.8 thousand teachers. The state's public school system spent about $873 million, and public school spending was approximately $8.3 thousand per student. About 88.7% of the state's inhabitants over 25 years of age have a high school diploma.

Delaware's first library was founded in 1754, in Wilmington. Currently, the state has 57 public library systems, which annually move an average of 5.8 books per inhabitant. Delaware's first institution of higher education was Newark College—now the University of Delaware—founded in 1833, in Newark. Currently there are ten higher education institutions, of which five are public and five are private.


Economy and Infrastructure

The state's gross domestic product was $49 billion. The state's per capita income, meanwhile, was $34,199, the ninth highest among the 50 US states. Delaware's unemployment rate is 4.4%.

The primary sector corresponds to 1% of Delaware's GDP. The state has 2.6 thousand farms, which occupy about half of the state. Agriculture and livestock together account for 1% of the state's GDP, and employ approximately 9.6 thousand people. Milk is the main product of Delaware's agricultural industry, which produces more than 25% of all cherries consumed in the country. The effects of fishing and forestry are unimportant in the state's economy, together employing about a thousand people. The value of the fish caught annually is 28 million dollars.

The secondary sector contributes 20% of Delaware's GDP. The total value of products manufactured in the state is $28 billion. The main industrialized products manufactured in the state are chemical products, transportation equipment (mainly automobiles), industrialized foods and paper. The manufacturing industry accounts for 15% of the state's GDP, employing approximately 56 thousand people, and construction accounts for 5% of the state's GDP and employs approximately 32 thousand people. The mining sector is very unrepresentative, employing close to 200 people.

The services sector is the most important, with 79% of the GDP. The provision of financial and real estate services accounts for 38% of the state's GDP, employing approximately 70 thousand people. About 16% of the state's GDP is generated through the provision of community and personal services. This sector employs about 150 thousand people. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 11% of the state's GDP, and employs approximately 103 thousand people. Government Services are 9%, employing approximately 66 thousand people. Transportation, telecommunications and public services employ 19 thousand people, with 5% of the GDP. All electricity produced in Delaware is generated by coal, natural gas or oil-fired thermal power plants.


Delaware as a tax haven

The American state of Delaware is known for its letterbox companies, especially in Wilmington, and is considered a tax haven in the USA. According to the US census, the entire state of Delaware has just under a million inhabitants, but slightly more than a million companies are registered here. The state government advertises that 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies have their legal domicile in Delaware, but most do not have their corporate headquarters.

One reason for Delaware's unusual economic strength is that Delaware's corporate laws are considered to be the most liberal in the country, resulting in nearly all major US corporations being incorporated in Delaware. As a result of the Delaware Effect, Delaware is known to be home to approximately 620,000 shell companies, including many large corporations. According to the tax rights group Tax Justice Network, Delaware tops the list of the world's most popular tax havens (comparing laws, case law and deposit flow). In addition to extremely low taxes, it is possible to set up companies anonymously. No share capital is required to set up a company, and a one-person board of directors is sufficient. Other benefits for companies are that board meetings do not have to be held in Delaware and there is no publicity requirement.

Over a third of shell companies are housed in a single story building, the Corporation Trust Center.

Another advantage of Delaware for incorporating a company is that, unlike most other states, corporate cases are tried in the Chancery Court, a court with professional judges and no jury. As a result, cases are decided less on the basis of sympathy and more on the basis of legal aspects and evidence. In addition, as the oldest US state and also due to the large number of companies for many possible legal cases, Delaware already has precedents and legal history, and also very extensive legislation for corporate law. These points significantly reduce the risk of litigation for companies and make the outcome of legal proceedings more predictable.




The state transportation system is administered by the Delaware Department of Transportation. This Department is responsible for snow removal from state public roads, the administration of toll roads, and traffic infrastructure, such as traffic signs and plates. In 2002, Delaware owned 365 kilometers of railroad tracks. In 2003, it had 9,485 kilometers of public roads, of which 66 kilometers were interstate highways, part of the United States federal highway system. Delaware has nearly 1,400 bridges, 30% of which were built before the 1950s. 95% of the state's bridges and 90% of public roads are managed by the Delaware Department of Transportation.



Delaware's first newspaper was the Delaware Gazette, which was first published in 1764, in Wilmington. Currently, about 17 newspapers are published in the state, of which two are daily newspapers. Delaware's first radio station was founded in 1922, in Wilmington. The state's first television station was founded in 1949, also in Wilmington. Currently, Delaware has 21 radio stations – of which 9 are AM and 12 are FM – and 13 television stations.