Facts about Delaware

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Statehood:  December 7, 1787, the 1st state

Capital:  Dover

Total Area:  49th among states, 6,452 sq km (2,491 sq mi)

Water Area:  1,145 sq km (442 sq mi)

Highest Point:  Ebright Road, 2 New Castle County, 137 m (448 ft)

Total Population:   45th among states
2010 census -  897,934

Population Density in 2010:  460.8 people per sq mi

Distribution in 2000:  80.1% Urban, 19.9% Rural

Gross State Product - $62.7 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $39,817 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010: 
Wilmington:  70,851
Dover:  36,047
Newark:  31,454

  • Delaware has relatively lenient corporate tax laws, attracting many businesses to incorporate in the state even though virtually all their activities are carried out elsewhere.

  • Among Delaware's many historic churches is Old Swedes Church and Hendrickson House Museum, in Wilmington, which has been in use since its completion in 1698.

  • Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, a French immigrant, built the state's first gunpowder mill on Brandywine Creek near Wilmington in 1802. The Du Pont Company would eventually become the largest chemical company in the United States.

  • Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States constitution. It did so on December 7, 1787.

  • The sheaf of wheat, ear of corn, and the ox on the state seal symbolize the farming activities of early Delaware. 

  • Delaware was named for Lord de la Warr. He was the first governor of Virginia.

  • The Du Pont Laboratories first produced nylon at its plant in Seaford. This earned the town the distinction of being the Nylon Capital of the World.

  • Hagley Museum was originally the du Pont black powder manufactory, estate, and gardens.

  • John Dickinson was a signer of the United States Constitution, but he didn’t sign his own name.  Dickinson had to leave the meeting, so George Read signed for him.

  • The United States flag was reportedly first flown in the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware on Sept. 3, 1777.

  • Delaware’s northern border is curved.  It is called the Twelve-Mile Circle.  All points along that part of the border are exactly 12 miles from the Old Court House in New Castle.  They were marked in 1682.  When a line connected the marks, part of a circle resulted.