Delaware – The First State

Delaware got its name from the English Lord De La Warr. In 1787, the state signed the constitution. The country was discovered in 1609 by the Dutch Henry Hudson. Around 1631 the first settlers were expelled by the Indians and it was not until 1636 that the Swedes succeeded in establishing a permanent settlement near Wilmington.

The official epithet of Delaware is “The First State”. Not without reason, because Delaware ratified the United States Constitution as the 1st state of the 13 colonies in 1787. The capital of the state consisting of only 3 counties is Dover and the population is approximately 600,000 residents with a total area of ​​6,447 km².

Landscape diversity

Delaware lies within the northern, bay-rich Atlantic coastal plain. The varied landscape is characterized by beautiful river landscapes (after all, almost 1,400 km² are covered by water), forests, wide plains and flat sandy beaches. The largest river is the Delaware River, 595 km long and rises in the Catskill Mountains, at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. Delaware has a temperate climate, with warm summers down to 32 degrees and cool winters down to -5 degrees. Due to the favorable geographical location, there are extensive oyster farms in the Delaware Bay, which are an important economic factor of the state.

Fauna and Flora

The forested flora is determined by trees such as walnut, hickory, sweet gum and tulip tree. The rock pear mainly grows in southern Delaware. The wildlife is mainly determined by squirrels, muskrat, raccoon, woodcock, rabbit, quail, Canada geese and the eastern meadow lark.


The Delaware namesake is derived from the title of the second governor of the Virginia colony, Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. Delaware, then still a colony, was conquered by the English in 1664 and added to New York. After a checkered history, the three counties New Castle, St. Jones and Deale, originally affiliated to Pennsylvania, were given their own parliament in 1704 and their own board of directors in 1710. In 1777, Dover became the new capital of Delaware (formerly New Castle).

Attractions and Things to Do in Delaware

The rural country offers a variety of sights such as B. the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum near Wilmington. Art from American history is presented there. In Wilmington itself you can find the Hagley Museum where the development of America’s industry is documented. It is also worth visiting the many historical sites, including the Old Dutch House in New Castle. For active vacationers there are many water sports on the beaches of Delaware. There are also amusement parks including Funland on Rehoboth Beach or the Brandywine Zoo.

  • Alphabetical list of all cities and towns in Delaware. Check now for top 10 largest cities by population and land area. Also covers geographical map of Delaware.

If your idea is to explore a destination with ease for shopping, forget about Miami and Orlando: the point of shopping is Delaware, a tax-free zone.

Outlets, shopping malls and street shops attract visitors from all over the country who find the city the perfect place to do quality shopping without having to spend a lot. Being outside the traditional tourist area, tickets and hotels are usually more accessible, that is, a great cost benefit. The most populous city in the state, Wilmington, is the best place to enjoy it all!

Although Delaware occupies a central position on the east coast of the United States (and is also close to major cities such as Philadelphia and Washington DC), the state is still relatively sparsely populated. Outside the cities, it is contemplative and there is plenty of rest and relaxation. Most of the residents are of European descent (mostly descendants of Germans, British, Poles or Italians).

Delaware is rather small by American standards. As far as the population is concerned, Delaware, with around one million residents, is the same size as Saarland, but has twice the area. Residents are proud of the nickname of their state, First State, because Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. The closest major cities are Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The first European settlers came in 1631 and were Dutch who settled in Zwaanendael (now Lewes). 1638 Swedish immigrants followed, who settled in what is now Wilmington (then Fort Christina).

Over 20% of the population are African American, plus minorities from Hispanics and Asians as well as other groups. In the north and on the coast there is still the Lenni Lenape, an indigenous group of about 14,000 people.

The most important religions are Baptists, Methodists and the Catholic Church as well as other Protestant groups and free churches. There are also Muslim and Jewish minorities. Politically, Delaware has developed in recent decades from swing state to blue state, which mostly elects the Democratic Party.

Although the area is small, there are well-known universities such as the University of Delaware (in Newark) or Delaware State University (in Dover). The largest cities are Wilmington, the capital Dover, Newark, Middletown and Smyrna.


Although Delaware is the second smallest U.S. state after Rhode Island, the state’s favorable tax laws have made its name known worldwide. Otherwise Delaware is also considered to be business-friendly, which is why many American corporate groups and companies have their registered offices here. The Corporation Trust Center in Wilmington is worth mentioning in this context.

Delaware’s per capita income is among the highest of all U.S. states. In addition to the chemical industry, there are other important economic sectors such as paper processing and the food industry. Apart from that, agriculture with areas for maize, peas, potatoes, soybeans, wheat and barley as well as poultry farming should also be mentioned. Dairy farming and animal husbandry are also carried out. Due to the favorable location on the Atlantic, fishing, especially mussels and crayfish, is also an important employer.

The history of Delaware

In the sixteenth century it was the Spaniards and Portuguese who came to the coast of the state. The first European settlers came to Delaware under the leadership of Captain David Pietersen de Vries in 1631 and established a Dutch post. But the settlers did not survive long, because when Captain de Vries came back in 1632, he found only a burned-out settlement with dead settlers who were killed by the Indians.

The next settlers, who came from Sweden, came in 1638. They built Fort Christina (named after the Queen of Sweden) and stayed there permanently. Today this settlement is known as Wilmington. In 1664 the colony was conquered by the English and over the years the colony has grown steadily. Delaware did the same as the other colonies and joined the American Independence Movement. In December 1787, Delaware was the first colony to ratify the new constitution.

Delaware kept slaves, but fought for the northern states in the Civil War. Even after the war, people did not want to say goodbye to slavery. The 13th additional article was refused to be signed. This prescribed the abolition of slavery. It was only in 1901 that the state agreed to the additional article and abolished slavery. Today there are many museums here in which the old past is still alive and the colonial era is still extremely alive in architecture.