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Delaware

Delaware

Overview
Delaware is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located on the Atlantic Coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

 in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, and to the north by Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
Thomas West, 3rd and 12th Baron De La Warr was the Englishman after whom the bay, the river, and, consequently, an American Indian people and U.S. state, all later called "Delaware", were named....

, an English nobleman and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

's first colonial governor, after whom what is now called Cape Henlopen
Cape Henlopen
Cape Henlopen is the southern cape of the Delaware Bay along the Atlantic coast of the United States. It lies in the state of Delaware, near the town of Lewes, Delaware...

 was originally named.

Delaware is located in the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula
Delmarva Peninsula
The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia...

 and is the second smallest state in area (after Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

).
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Encyclopedia
Delaware is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located on the Atlantic Coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

 in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, and to the north by Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr
Thomas West, 3rd and 12th Baron De La Warr was the Englishman after whom the bay, the river, and, consequently, an American Indian people and U.S. state, all later called "Delaware", were named....

, an English nobleman and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

's first colonial governor, after whom what is now called Cape Henlopen
Cape Henlopen
Cape Henlopen is the southern cape of the Delaware Bay along the Atlantic coast of the United States. It lies in the state of Delaware, near the town of Lewes, Delaware...

 was originally named.

Delaware is located in the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula
Delmarva Peninsula
The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia...

 and is the second smallest state in area (after Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

). Estimates in 2007 rank the population of Delaware as 45th in the nation, but 6th in population density, with more than 60% of the population in New Castle County. Delaware is divided into three counties. From north to south, these three counties are New Castle, Kent
Kent County, Delaware
Kent County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Delaware. It is coextensive with the Dover, Delaware, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2010 the population was 162,310, a 28.1% increase over the previous decade. The county seat is Dover, the state capital...

, and Sussex
Sussex County, Delaware
Sussex County is a county located in the southern part of the U.S. state of Delaware. As of 2010 the population was 197,145, an increase of 25.9% over the previous decade. The county seat is Georgetown. The Seaford Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Sussex County.Sussex County is...

. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County has been more industrialized.

The state ranks second in civilian scientists and engineers as a percentage of the workforce and number of patents issued to companies or individuals per 1,000 workers. The history of the state's economic and industrial development is closely tied to the impact of the Du Pont family
Du Pont family
The Du Pont family is an American family descended from Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours . The son of a Paris watchmaker and a member of a Burgundian noble family, he and his sons, Victor Marie du Pont and Eleuthère Irénée du Pont, emigrated to the United States in 1800 and used the resources of...

, founders and scions of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
DuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.

Before its coastline was first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, including the Lenape
Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 in the north and Nanticoke
Nanticoke Indian Tribe
The Nanticoke people are an indigenous American Algonquian people, whose traditional homelands are in Chesapeake Bay and Delaware. Today they live in the northeast United States, especially Delaware; in Canada; and in Oklahoma.-History:...

 in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 traders at Zwaanendael
Zwaanendael Colony
Zwaanendael or Swaanendael was a short lived Dutch colonial settlement in Delaware. It was built in 1631. The name is archaic Dutch spelling for "swan valley" or dale...

, located near the present town of Lewes
Lewes, Delaware
Lewes is an incorporated city in Sussex County, Delaware, USA, on the Delmarva Peninsula. According to the 2010 census, the population is 2,747, a decrease of 6.3% from 2000....

, in 1631. Delaware was one of the 13 colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 participating in the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 and on December 7, 1787, became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby becoming known as The First State.

Geography





Delaware is 96 miles (154.5 km) long and ranges from 9 miles (14.5 km) to 35 miles (56.3 km) across, totaling 1954 square miles (5,060.8 km²), making it the second-smallest state in the United States after Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

. Delaware is bounded to the north by Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

; to the east by the Delaware River
Delaware River
The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States.A Dutch expedition led by Henry Hudson in 1609 first mapped the river. The river was christened the South River in the New Netherland colony that followed, in contrast to the North River, as the Hudson River was then...

, Delaware Bay
Delaware Bay
Delaware Bay is a major estuary outlet of the Delaware River on the Northeast seaboard of the United States whose fresh water mixes for many miles with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is in area. The bay is bordered by the State of New Jersey and the State of Delaware...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

; and to the west and south by Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

. Small portions of Delaware are also situated on the eastern side of the Delaware River sharing land boundaries with New Jersey. The state of Delaware, together with the Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a territorial part of the U.S. state of Maryland that lies predominately on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay and consists of nine counties. The origin of term Eastern Shore was derived to distinguish a territorial part of the State of Maryland from the Western...

 counties of Maryland and two counties of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, form the Delmarva Peninsula, which stretches down the Mid-Atlantic Coast.

The definition of the northern boundary of the state is unusual. Most of the boundary between Delaware and Pennsylvania was originally defined by an arc extending 12 miles (19.3 km) from the cupola
Cupola
In architecture, a cupola is a small, most-often dome-like, structure on top of a building. Often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it usually crowns a larger roof or dome....

 of the courthouse in the city of New Castle
New Castle, Delaware
New Castle is a city in New Castle County, Delaware, six miles south of Wilmington, situated on the Delaware River. In 1900, 3,380 people lived here; in 1910, 3,351...

. This boundary is often referred to as the Twelve-Mile Circle. This is the only nominally circular state boundary in the United States.

This border extends all the way east to the low-tide mark on the New Jersey shore, then continues south along the shoreline until it again reaches the 12-mile (19 km) arc in the south; then the boundary continues in a more conventional way in the middle of the main channel (thalweg
Thalweg
Thalweg in geography and fluvial geomorphology signifies the deepest continuous inline within a valley or watercourse system.-Hydrology:In hydrological and fluvial landforms, the thalweg is a line drawn to join the lowest points along the entire length of a stream bed or valley in its downward...

) of the Delaware River. To the west, a portion of the arc extends past the easternmost edge of Maryland. The remaining western border runs slightly east of due south from its intersection with the arc. The Wedge
The Wedge (border)
The Wedge is a small tract of land along the borders of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Ownership of the land was disputed until 1921; it is now recognized as part of Delaware. The tract was created primarily due to the shortcomings of contemporary surveying techniques...

 of land between the northwest part of the arc and the Maryland border was claimed by both Delaware and Pennsylvania until 1921, when Delaware's claim was confirmed.

Topography


Delaware is on a level plain, with the lowest mean elevation of any state in the nation. Its highest elevation, located at Ebright Azimuth
Ebright Azimuth
The Ebright Azimuth is the point with the highest benchmark monument elevation in Delaware. It is marked with a geodetic benchmark monument and has an elevation of above sea level...

, near Concord High School, does not rise fully 450 feet (137.2 m) above sea level. The northernmost part of the state is part of the Appalachian Piedmont with hills and rolling surfaces. The fall line
Fall line
A fall line is a geomorphologic unconformity between an upland region of relatively hard crystalline basement rock and a coastal plain of softer sedimentary rock. A fall line is typically prominent when crossed by a river, for there will often be rapids or waterfalls...

 approximately follows the Robert Kirkwood Highway between Newark
Newark, Delaware
Newark is an American city in New Castle County, Delaware, west-southwest of Wilmington. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 31,454. Newark is the home of the University of Delaware.- History :...

 and Wilmington
Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States, and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley...

; south of this road is the Atlantic Coastal Plain
Atlantic Coastal Plain
The Atlantic coastal plain has both low elevation and low relief, but it is also a relatively flat landform extending from the New York Bight southward to a Georgia/Florida section of the Eastern Continental Divide, which demarcates the plain from the ACF River Basin in the Gulf Coastal Plain to...

 with flat, sandy, and, in some parts, swampy ground. A ridge about 75 to 80 ft (22.9 to 24.4 ) in elevation extends along the western boundary of the state and separates between the watershed
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

s that feed Delaware River and Bay to the east and the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

 to the west.

Climate


Since almost all of Delaware is a part of the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the effects of the ocean moderate its climate. The state is in a transitional zone between a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 and a continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

. Despite its small size (roughly 100 miles (160.9 km) from its northernmost to southernmost points), there is significant variation in mean temperature and amount of snowfall between Sussex County
Sussex County, Delaware
Sussex County is a county located in the southern part of the U.S. state of Delaware. As of 2010 the population was 197,145, an increase of 25.9% over the previous decade. The county seat is Georgetown. The Seaford Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Sussex County.Sussex County is...

 and New Castle County. The southern portion of the state has a somewhat milder climate and a longer growing season than the northern portion of the state. Delaware's all time record high of 110 °F (43.3 °C) was recorded at Millsboro
Millsboro, Delaware
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,360 people, 1,045 households, and 619 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,367.9 people per square mile . There were 1,153 housing units at an average density of 668.3 per square mile...

 on July 21, 1930; the all time record low of -17 F was also recorded at Millsboro on January 17, 1893.

Environment


The transitional climate of Delaware supports a wide variety of vegetation
Vegetation
Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader...

. In the northern third of the state are found Northeastern coastal forests
Northeastern coastal forests
The Northeastern coastal forests are a temperate broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion of the northeastern United States. The ecoregion covers an area of 34,630 sq miles encompassing the Piedmont and coastal plain of seven states, extending from northern Maryland and Delaware through southeast...

 and mixed oak forests typical of the northeastern United States. In the southern two-thirds of the state are found Middle Atlantic coastal forests
Middle Atlantic coastal forests
The Middle Atlantic coastal forests are a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of the United States.-Setting:The Middle Atlantic coastal forests stretch along the Atlantic coast of the United States from the Delmarva Peninsula south to the Georgia coast...

. Trap Pond State Park
Trap Pond State Park
Trap Pond State Park is a 2,109 acre Delaware state park located near Laurel, Delaware. It is one of the largest surviving fragments of what was once an extensive wetland in what is now southwestern Sussex County...

 in Sussex County, for example, supports what may be one of the northernmost stands of bald cypress
Taxodium distichum
Taxodium distichum is a species of conifer native to the southeastern United States.-Characteristics:...

.

Environmental management


Delaware provides government subsidy support for the clean-up of property "lightly contaminated" by hazardous waste
Hazardous waste
A hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment. According to the U.S. environmental laws hazardous wastes fall into two major categories: characteristic wastes and listed wastes.Characteristic hazardous wastes are materials that are known...

, the proceeds for which come from a tax on wholesale petroleum sales.

Native Americans


Before Delaware was settled by European colonists, the area was home to the Eastern Algonquian
Algonquian peoples
The Algonquian are one of the most populous and widespread North American native language groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds. Today hundreds of thousands of individuals identify with various Algonquian peoples...

 tribes known as the Unami Lenape
Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 or Delaware throughout the Delaware valley, and the Nanticoke
Nanticoke River
The Nanticoke River is a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay on the Delmarva Peninsula. It rises in southern Kent County, Delaware, flows through Sussex County, Delaware, and forms the boundary between Dorchester County, Maryland and Wicomico County, Maryland. The river course proceeds southwest...

 along the rivers leading into the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

. The Unami Lenape in the Delaware Valley were closely related to Munsee Lenape tribes along the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

. They had a settled hunting and agricultural society, and they rapidly became middlemen in an increasingly frantic fur trade with their ancient enemy, the Minqua or Susquehannock
Susquehannock
The Susquehannock people were Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans who lived in areas adjacent to the Susquehanna River and its tributaries from the southern part of what is now New York, through Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Susquehanna in Maryland at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay...

. With the loss of their lands on the Delaware River and the destruction of the Minqua by the Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 of the Five Nations in the 1670s, the remnants of the Lenape who wished to remain identified as such left the region and moved over the Alleghany Mountains by the mid-18th century. Generally, those who did not relocate out of the State of Delaware were baptized, became Christian and were grouped together with other persons of color in official records and in the minds of their non-Native American neighbors.

Colonial Delaware


The Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 were the first Europeans to settle in present-day Delaware in the Middle region by establishing a trading post at Zwaanendael, near the site of Lewes
Lewes, Delaware
Lewes is an incorporated city in Sussex County, Delaware, USA, on the Delmarva Peninsula. According to the 2010 census, the population is 2,747, a decrease of 6.3% from 2000....

 in 1631. Within a year all the settlers were killed in a dispute with area Indian tribes
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. In 1638 New Sweden
New Sweden
New Sweden was a Swedish colony along the Delaware River on the Mid-Atlantic coast of North America from 1638 to 1655. Fort Christina, now in Wilmington, Delaware, was the first settlement. New Sweden included parts of the present-day American states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania....

, a Swedish trading post and colony, was established at Fort Christina
Fort Christina
Fort Christina was the first Swedish settlement in North America and the principal settlement of the New Sweden colony...

 (now in Wilmington
Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States, and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley...

) by Peter Minuit
Peter Minuit
Peter Minuit, Pieter Minuit, Pierre Minuit or Peter Minnewit was a Walloon from Wesel, in present-day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, then part of the Duchy of Cleves. He was the Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Netherland from 1626 until 1633, and he founded the Swedish colony of...

 at the head of a group of Swedes, Finns and Dutch. The colony of New Sweden lasted for 17 years. In 1651, the Dutch, reinvigorated by the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant
Peter Stuyvesant
Peter Stuyvesant , served as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded provisionally to the English in 1664, after which it was renamed New York...

, established a fort at present-day New Castle
New Castle, Delaware
New Castle is a city in New Castle County, Delaware, six miles south of Wilmington, situated on the Delaware River. In 1900, 3,380 people lived here; in 1910, 3,351...

, and in 1655 they conquered the New Sweden colony, annexing it into the Dutch New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

.
Only nine years later, in 1664, the Dutch were conquered by a fleet of English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 ships by Sir Robert Carr under the direction of James, the Duke of York
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

. Fighting off a prior claim by Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore
Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore
Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, 1st Proprietor and 1st Proprietary Governor of Maryland, 9th Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland , was an English peer who was the first proprietor of the Province of Maryland. He received the proprietorship after the death of his father, George Calvert, the...

, Proprietor of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, the Duke passed his somewhat dubious ownership on to William Penn
William Penn
William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

 in 1682. Penn strongly desired access to the sea for his Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 province and leased what then came to be known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware" from the Duke.

Penn established representative government and briefly combined his two possessions under one General Assembly in 1682. However, by 1704 the Province of Pennsylvania had grown so large that their representatives wanted to make decisions without the assent of the Lower Counties and the two groups of representatives began meeting on their own, one at Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

, and the other at New Castle. Penn and his heirs remained proprietors of both and always appointed the same person Governor for their Province of Pennsylvania and their territory of the Lower Counties. The fact that Delaware and Pennsylvania shared the same governor was not unique. From 1703-1738, New York and New Jersey shared a governor. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

 also shared a governor for some time.

Dependent in early years on indentured labor, Delaware imported more slaves as the number of English immigrants decreased with better economic conditions in England. The colony became a slave society and cultivated tobacco as a cash crop, although English immigrants continued to arrive.

American Revolution


Like the other middle colonies, the Lower Counties on the Delaware initially showed little enthusiasm for a break with Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

. The citizenry had a good relationship with the Proprietary government, and generally were allowed more independence of action in their Colonial Assembly than in other colonies. Merchants at the port of Wilmington had trading ties with the British.

So it was that New Castle lawyer Thomas McKean
Thomas McKean
Thomas McKean was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle, in New Castle County, Delaware and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During the American Revolution he was a delegate to the Continental Congress where he signed the United States Declaration of Independence and the Articles of...

 denounced the Stamp Act
Stamp Act
A stamp act is any legislation that requires a tax to be paid on the transfer of certain documents. Those that pay the tax receive an official stamp on their documents, making them legal documents. The taxes raised under a stamp act are called stamp duty. This system of taxation was first devised...

 in the strongest terms, and Kent County native John Dickinson
John Dickinson (delegate)
John Dickinson was an American lawyer and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. He was a militia officer during the American Revolution, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania and Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of...

 became the "Penman of the Revolution." Anticipating the Declaration of Independence, Patriot
Patriot (American Revolution)
Patriots is a name often used to describe the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution. It was their leading figures who, in July 1776, declared the United States of America an independent nation...

 leaders Thomas McKean and Caesar Rodney
Caesar Rodney
Caesar Rodney was an American lawyer and politician from St. Jones Neck in Dover Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, east of Dover...

 convinced the Colonial Assembly to declare itself separated from British and Pennsylvania rule on June 15, 1776. The person best representing Delaware's majority, George Read
George Read (signer)
George Read was an American lawyer and politician from New Castle in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congressman from Delaware, a delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, President of Delaware, and a member of the...

, could not bring himself to vote for a Declaration of Independence. Only the dramatic overnight ride of Caesar Rodney gave the delegation the votes needed to cast Delaware's vote for independence.

Initially led by John Haslet
John Haslet
John Haslet was an American clergyman and soldier from Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a veteran of the French and Indian War and an officer of the Continental Army in the American Revolution, serving as the first Colonel of the 1st Delaware Regiment...

, Delaware provided one of the premier regiments in the Continental Army
Continental Army
The Continental Army was formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in...

, known as the "Delaware Blues" and nicknamed the "Blue Hen Chicken
Blue Hen Chicken
The Blue Hen of Delaware is a variety of chicken that was adopted on April 14, 1939, as the state bird of Delaware. The University of Delaware mascot, known as YoUDee, is also modeled after the bird....

s." In August 1777, General Sir William Howe
William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe
William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, KB, PC was a British army officer who rose to become Commander-in-Chief of British forces during the American War of Independence...

 led a British army through Delaware on his way to a victory at the Battle of Brandywine
Battle of Brandywine
The Battle of Brandywine, also known as the Battle of the Brandywine or the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was fought between the American army of Major General George Washington and the British-Hessian army of General Sir William Howe on September 11, 1777. The British defeated the Americans and...

 and capture of the city of Philadelphia. The only real engagement on Delaware soil was the Battle of Cooch's Bridge
Battle of Cooch's Bridge
The Battle of Cooch's Bridge, also known as the Battle of Iron Hill, was a skirmish fought on September 3, 1777, between American militia and primarily German soldiers serving alongside the British Army during the American Revolutionary War...

, fought on September 3, 1777, at Cooch's Bridge
Cooch's Bridge
Cooch’s Bridge, located at Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware, is the site of the historic Battle of Cooch’s Bridge.-Battle of Cooch's Bridge:Fought on September 3, 1777, the Battle of Cooch's Bridge has two principal distinctions...

 in New Castle County.

Following the Battle of Brandywine, Wilmington was occupied by the British, and State President John McKinly
John McKinly
Dr. John McKinly was an American physician and politician from Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. He was a veteran of the French and Indian War, served in the Delaware General Assembly, was the first elected President of Delaware, and for a time was a member of the Federalist Party.-Early...

 was taken prisoner. The British remained in control of the Delaware River for much of the rest of the war, disrupting commerce and providing encouragement to an active Loyalist
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

 portion of the population, particularly in Sussex County. Because the British promised slaves of rebels freedom for fighting with them, escaped slaves flocked north to join their lines.

Following the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, statesmen from Delaware were among the leading proponents of a strong central United States with equal representation for each state.

Slavery and race


Many colonial settlers came to Delaware from Maryland and Virginia, which had been experiencing a population boom. The economies of these colonies were chiefly based on tobacco culture and were increasingly dependent on slave labor for its intensive cultivation. Most of the English colonists arrived as indentured servant
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

s, hiring themselves out as laborers for a fixed period to pay for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid. Most of the free African-American families in Delaware before the Revolution had migrated from Maryland to find more affordable land. They were descendants chiefly of relationships or marriages between servant women and enslaved, servant or free African or African-American men. As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in England, more slaves were imported for labor.

At the end of the colonial period, the number of enslaved people in Delaware began to decline. Shifts in the agriculture economy from tobacco to mixed farming created less need for slaves' labor. Local Methodists and Quakers encouraged slaveholders to free their slaves following the American Revolution, and many did so in a surge of individual manumissions for idealistic reasons. By 1810 three-quarters of all blacks in Delaware were free. When John Dickinson freed his slaves in 1777, he was Delaware's largest slave owner with 37 slaves. By 1860 the largest slaveholder owned only 16 slaves.

Although attempts to abolish slavery failed by narrow margins in the legislature, in practical terms, the state had mostly ended the practice. By the 1860 census
United States Census, 1860
The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321 — an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census...

 on the verge of the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, 91.7 percent of the black population, or nearly 20,000 people, were free.

The independent black denomination was chartered by freed slave Peter Spencer
Peter Spencer
Peter Spencer was born under slavery in Kent County, Maryland, in 1782 and grew up to be the founder of the first independent black Christian Church the United States, the A.U.M.P. Church in Wilmington,Delaware,which was a great success.The A.U.M.P. Church is still in existence....

 in 1813 as the "Union Church of Africans
Spencer Churches
The Spencer Churches are the two religious denominations that resulted from a schism in the "Union Church of Africans" , the first independent black denomination, founded by Peter Spencer in Delaware in 1813.The two denominations created by the schism are the African Union Methodist Protestant...

". This followed the 1793 establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, which had ties to the Methodist Episcopal Church until 1816. Spencer built a church in Wilmington for the new denomination.
This was renamed the African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church and Connection, more commonly known as the A.U.M.P. Church
A.U.M.P. Church
The African Union First Colored Methodist Protestant Church and Connection, usually called "the A.U.M.P. Church," is a Methodist Christian denomination and the oldest independent black denomination in the U.S...

. Begun by Spencer in 1814, the annual gathering of the Big August Quarterly
Big August Quarterly
Big August Quarterly is an annual religious festival held in Wilmington, Delaware . Begun in 1814 by Peter Spencer in connection with the "quarterly" meeting of the African Union Church -- of the four meetings during the year, the one in August became the "annual conference" of the Church when...

 still draws people together in a religious and cultural festival, the oldest such cultural festival in the nation.

At the onset of the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Delaware was only nominally a slave state, and it remained in the Union. Delaware voted against secession on January 3, 1861. As the governor said, Delaware had been the first state to embrace the Union by ratifying the Constitution and would be the last to leave it. While most Delaware citizens who fought in the war served in the regiments of the state, some served in companies on the Confederate side in Maryland and Virginia Regiments. Delaware is notable for being the only slave state from which no Confederate regiments or militia groups were assembled. It freed the remaining 1,000 or so Delaware slaves with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

 in December 1865.

Demographics


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Delaware had a population of 897,934. In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was 68.9% White (65.3% Non-Hispanic White Alone), 21.4% Black or African American, 0.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 3.2% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 3.4% from Some Other Race, and 2.7% from Two or More Races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 8.2% of the population.

Delaware is the sixth most densely populated state, with a population density of 442.6 people per square mile, 356.4 per square mile more than the national average, and ranking 45th in population. Only the states of Delaware, West Virginia, Vermont, Maine, North Dakota, and Wyoming do not have a single city with a population over 100,000 as of the 2007 census estimates. The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Delaware is located in New Castle County, in the town of Townsend
Townsend, Delaware
Townsend is a town in New Castle County, Delaware, United States. The population was 2,049 at the 2010 census, an increase of 492.2% from 2000...

.

Languages


As of 2000, 91% of Delaware residents age 5 and older speak only English at home; 5% speak Spanish. French is the third most spoken language at 0.7%, followed by Chinese at 0.5% and German at 0.5%.

Legislation had been proposed in both the House and the Senate in Delaware to designate English as the official language. Neither bill was passed in the legislature.

Religion


The religious affiliations of the people of Delaware are:
  • Methodist
    Methodism
    Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

     – 20%
  • Baptist
    Baptist
    Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

     – 19%
  • No Religion – 17%
  • Roman Catholic
    Roman Catholic Church
    The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

     – 9%
  • Lutheran
    Lutheranism
    Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

     – 4%
  • Presbyterian
    Presbyterianism
    Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

     – 3%
  • Pentecostal
    Pentecostalism
    Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

     – 3%
  • Episcopalian/Anglican - 2%
  • Seventh-day Adventist
    Seventh-day Adventist Church
    The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

     - 2%
  • Churches of Christ - 1%
  • Other Christian
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

     – 3%
  • Muslim
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     - 2%
  • Jewish
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

     - 1%
  • Other – 5%
  • Refused - 9%

(Source: American Religious Identification Survey, City University of New York)

As of the year 2000, The Association of Religion Data Archives reported that the three largest denominational groups in Delaware are Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, Mainline Protestant, and Evangelical Protestant. The Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Delaware (at 151,740), followed by the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 with 59,471 members reported and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...

, reporting 14,880 adherents. The religious body with the largest number of congregations is the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 (with 162 congregations) followed by the Catholic Church (with 46 congregations).

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington
Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington
-External links:**...

 and the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware
Episcopal Diocese of Delaware
The Episcopal Diocese of Delaware is one of 108 dioceses making up the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. It consists of 38 congregations or Parishes in an area the same as the State of Delaware...

 oversee the parishes within their denominations. The A.U.M.P. Church, the oldest African-American denomination in the nation, was founded in Wilmington. It still has a substantial presence in the state. Reflecting new immigrant populations, an Islamic mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 has been built in the Ogletown
Ogletown, Delaware
Ogletown is an unincorporated community in New Castle County, Delaware, United States. Ogletown is located at the junction of Delaware Route 4 and Delaware Route 273 east of Newark....

 area, and a Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 temple in Hockessin
Hockessin, Delaware
Hockessin is a census-designated place in New Castle County, Delaware, United States. The population was 12,902 at the 2000 census. The place name may be derived from the Lenape word "hòkèsa" meaning "pieces of bark" or from a misspelling of "occasion," as pronounced by the Quakers who settled...

.

Economy



The gross state product
Gross state product
Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state or province...

 of Delaware in 2010 was $62.3 billion.

Affluence

Average sale price for new & existing homes (in US$)
DE CountyMarch 2010March 2011
New Castle 229,000 216,000
Sussex 323,000 296,000
Kent 186,000 178,000


The per capita personal income was $34,199, ranking 9th in the nation. In 2005, the average weekly wage was $937, ranking 7th in the nation.

In common with many counties in the United States, each of the three Delaware counties have experienced a year-on-year decreasing in the sales price of new and existing homes when comparing 2010 to 2011.

Agriculture



Delaware's agricultural output consists of poultry, nursery stock, soybeans, dairy products and corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

. Its industrial outputs include chemical products, automobiles, processed foods, paper products, and rubber and plastic products. Delaware's economy generally outperforms the national average of the United States.

Industries


As of January 2011, the state's unemployment rate was 8.5%. The state's largest employers are:
  • government (State of Delaware, New Castle County)
  • education (University of Delaware
    University of Delaware
    The university is organized into seven colleges:* College of Agriculture and Natural Resources* College of Arts and Sciences* Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics* College of Earth, Ocean and Environment* College of Education and Human Development...

    )
  • banking (Bank of America
    Bank of America
    Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

    , Wilmington Trust
    Wilmington Trust
    Wilmington Trust was founded on July 8, 1903 as a banking, trust, and safe deposit company by DuPont president T. Coleman du Pont.On November 1, 2010, Wilmington Trust announced a merger with M&T Bank, of Buffalo, NY. The deal values 107-year-old Wilmington Trust at $3.84 a share, or 46 percent...

    , First USA / Bank One / JPMorgan Chase, AIG
    AIG
    AIG is American International Group, a major American insurance corporation.AIG may also refer to:* And-inverter graph, a concept in computer theory* Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization in the U.S.* Arta Industrial Group in Iran...

    , Citigroup
    Citigroup
    Citigroup Inc. or Citi is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Citigroup was formed from one of the world's largest mergers in history by combining the banking giant Citicorp and financial conglomerate...

    , Deutsche Bank
    Deutsche Bank
    Deutsche Bank AG is a global financial service company with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. It employs more than 100,000 people in over 70 countries, and has a large presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the emerging markets...

    , Barclays plc
    Barclays plc
    Barclays PLC is a global banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. As of 2010 it was the world's 10th-largest banking and financial services group and 21st-largest company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine...

    )
  • chemical and pharmaceutical companies (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
    DuPont
    E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

    , Syngenta
    Syngenta
    Syngenta AG is a large global Swiss agribusiness company which notably markets seeds and pesticides. Syngenta is involved in biotechnology and genomic research. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in total sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market. Sales in 2010 were...

    , AstraZeneca
    AstraZeneca
    AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

    , and Hercules, Inc.)
  • healthcare (Christiana Care Health System
    Christiana Care Health System
    Christiana Care Health System is a network of private, non-profit hospitals providing health care services to all of Delaware and portions of seven counties bordering the state in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey...

    , Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
    Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
    Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children is a pediatric hospital located in Wilmington, Delaware. It is controlled by the Nemours Foundation, a non-profit organization created by philanthropist Alfred I. du Pont in 1936 and dedicated to improving the health of children. It is also referred to as the...

    )
    , there are approximately 2,800 doctors practicing in the state.
  • automotive manufacturing (Fisker Automotive
    Fisker Automotive
    Fisker Automotive is an American automaker based in Anaheim, California. The company's first product, the Fisker Karma is among the world's first true electric vehicles with extended range...

    )
  • farming, specifically chicken farming in Sussex County (Perdue Farms
    Perdue Farms
    Perdue Farms is a major chicken processing company based in Salisbury, Maryland, United States with annual sales in excess of $4.6B.-Origin and war era:...

    , Mountaire Farms, Allen Family Foods
    Allen Family Foods
    Allen Family Foods is a large U.S. producer and exporter of chicken, headquartered in Seaford, Delaware. Founded in 1919 by Charles C. Allen and Nellie G Allen, as a small local hatchery. Today, Allen Family Foods is the world's 18th largest producer of chicken products, producing 10.5 million...

    )


The Dover Air Force Base
Dover Air Force Base
Dover Air Force Base or Dover AFB is a United States Air Force base located two miles southeast of the city of Dover, Delaware.-Units:...

, located next to the state capital of Dover
Dover, Delaware
The city of Dover is the capital and second largest city in the U.S. state of Delaware. It is also the county seat of Kent County, and the principal city of the Dover, Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Kent County. It is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware...

, is one of the largest Air Force bases in the country and is a major employer in Delaware. In addition to its other responsibilities in the USAF Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command
Air Mobility Command is a Major Command of the U.S. Air Force. AMC is headquartered at Scott AFB, Illinois, east of St. Louis....

, this air base serves as the entry point and mortuary for American military personnel, and some U.S. government civilians, who die overseas.

Incorporation in Delaware


Over 50% of US publicly traded corporations and 60% of the Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies are incorporated
Incorporation (business)
Incorporation is the forming of a new corporation . The corporation may be a business, a non-profit organisation, sports club, or a government of a new city or town...

 in Delaware; the state's attractiveness as a corporate haven
Corporate haven
A corporate haven is a jurisdiction with laws friendly to corporationsthereby encouraging them to choose that jurisdiction as a legal domicile.- History :...

 is largely because of its business-friendly corporation law. Franchise tax
Franchise tax
Franchise tax is a tax charged by some US states to corporations with a nexus with those states. The common feature of a state's franchise tax is that it is not based on income...

es on Delaware corporations supply about one-fifth of its state revenue. Although Delaware is ranked first tax haven in the world by Tax Justice Network
Tax Justice Network
The Tax Justice Network is a coalition of researchers and activists with a shared concern about what they argue are the harmful impacts of tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens, which "corrupt national tax regimes and onshore regulation, and distort markets by rewarding economic...

, it is not listed on the OECD's 2009 "Black List", despite objections of Luxembourg's and Switzerland's authorities.