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Description of Delaware

Delaware is the second smallest state and is located in the Mid-Atlantic on the Delmarva Peninsula. Several major cities are a short drive or Amtrak ride away; Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore MD, and New York City. The population of Delaware is just under 1 million with almost 60% of the population living in the northern third of the state. The southern two thirds of the state is more rural and is home to 2,500 family farms. Delaware has three counties—Wilmington to the north is in New Castle County, which is a small urban center. Dover, the capital, is located in the center more suburban area in Kent County. Sussex County is the largest county east of the Mississippi, with rural chicken houses to the west (there are more chickens in Delaware than people, a ratio of 200:1), and the tourist destination beaches on the east coast.

History and Economy

Known as the First State, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States in 1787. The Mason-Dixon line is Delaware’s western border that divided the north and south in the Civil War. Delaware is the Corporate Capital of the world. More than 1.4 million business entities from around the world call Delaware their legal home, drawn by a legal and regulatory environment that includes the globally recognized Delaware Court of Chancery. Two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and in 2018, 82% of all new U.S. Initial Public Offerings, chose to incorporate in Delaware. Franchise taxes on Delaware corporations supply about one-fifth of the state’s revenue.

Delaware’s high concentration of major research labs, research-intensive businesses and research universities leads Delaware to have the nation’s highest concentration of chemists, chemical engineers, and chemical technicians in the nation and highest number of patents per capita. Delaware’s most recognized corporation is DuPont. Founded in 1802, the company began as a manufacturer of gunpowder on the banks of the Brandywine River.

Dover Air Force Base is home to the Department of Defense’s largest aerial port and mortuary facility where all fallen service members are returned. In 2008, Joe Biden became the first Delaware senator elected to the vice presidency of the United States and in 2020 was elected to be the 46th president of the United States.

The statewide Delaware Library Consortium consists of 74 libraries, including all 33 public libraries, sharing 2.5 million books and more for the benefit of Delawareans. Delaware Libraries and more than 150 agencies and nonprofits collaborate in a statewide social infrastructure.

Points of Interest

As one of the 13 original colonies, Delaware’s historic treasures include buildings dating from the founding of the country including the original State House. Internationally renowned gardens and spectacular estate homes draw visitors from all corners of the world.

Delaware has one of the nation’s most popular outdoor music festivals, Firefly a multi-genre, three-day music festival. The site of the festival, the Dover International Speedway is known by NASCAR fans as the Monster Mile. Popular recreation areas include the Delaware Seashore, Trap Pond State Park, Cape Henlopen State Park, and Rehoboth Beach.