20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Delaware [Explained]

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Delaware is known for its iconic colonial history, thriving economy, and small land area. Although it is not a huge state, there are so many fun and interesting facts about Delaware that makes it unique.

From the days of the American Revolution to its prominence in computer science today, here are some of the fascinating facts about Delaware that will give you an insight into the rich state.  

Historical Facts About Delaware Colony 

Delaware is a historical state whose origin stretches back to the Native Americans and European colonists. The long history of the state is, without surprise, filled with dramatic facts about the Delaware colony.

Here are some of the most important facts about Delaware’s history.

Delaware Is The First State In The US

Perhaps the most well-known trivia about Delaware is that it is the first state in the modern United states, not only in its nickname but in actuality.

Delaware was part of thirteen colonies under the British empire. These colonies felt that they were denied their freedom and basic human rights. Thus they teamed up to declare their independence from Great Britain through the American revolutionary war.  

The colonies became independent states and formed a national government. Delaware was the first state to ratify the constitution in 1781, earning its name “the first state.” 


The Swedes Were The First Europeans To Settle In Delaware

Among the almost forgotten facts about Delaware is that the swedes were the first Europeans to settle in Delaware.

Delaware, known to the ancient native American tribes as Unami Lenape, was largely occupied by the Nanticoke, the Lenape, and the Eastern Algonquian tribes before the Europeans established their colony in the Delaware valley. Swedish settlers established the first European colony in 1698.

The Nanticoke Tribe Of Native Americans Preserves Delaware’s Pre-European History

One of the historical Delaware facts is that the Nanticoke tribe preserves Delaware’s history from before the Europeans’ settlement.   

As mentioned above, the Nanticoke tribe has called Delaware home for a long time. They have survived European culture and have years of preserved history to show for it. It is one of the important facts about Delaware.  

The Nanticoke tribe tells their story through the exhibits at the Nanticoke Indian museum.


Delaware Was Named After The River And The Bay

Samuel Argall, an English Naval officer, and explorer, named the Delaware river and bay after an English governor by the name of Thomas West, the 12th Baron De La Warr. Thomas was the first governor of the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1610.  

The state got its name from the adjoining Delaware bay and river. One of the fun facts about Delaware is that Thomas West actually never set foot in the state.


Delaware Formerly Enslaved African-Americans After The American Revolutionary War

As part of the British empire, Delaware relied heavily on enslaved African-Americans. At the time, the colony’s agricultural industry was based on tobacco, a labor-consuming crop.

Delaware farmers adopted a mixed farming method during the American revolution, requiring less time and labor, and the local religious groups at the time encouraged people to free their slaves. More than seventy-five percent of enslaved African-Americans were released.

Interesting Facts About Delaware for Tourists 

If you plan a trip to Delaware, here are some interesting Delaware facts you should know and maybe even take advantage of.

Delaware Is A Sales Tax-Free State 

One of the best Delaware facts for shopaholics is that it is a sales tax-free state. The state does not have any value-added taxes (VATs). The state is literally a shopping haven. You can enjoy tax-free shopping if you are a tourist looking to save.

Delaware Is Home To The Kalmar Nyckel

The Kalmar Nyckel is an old Swedish colonial ship built in the 1600s for carrying Swedish settlers into North America.

It is an iconic ship that has successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean eight times. Today’s Kalmar Nyckel in Delaware is a full-scale replica of the Swedish ship. This is one of the cool facts about Delaware that you can check out yourself.

Delaware Is The Lowest State In Altitude And Counties 

The state’s mean elevation is just 60 feet above sea level. Its highest elevation is 450 feet above sea level, and the lowest is the Atlantic Ocean at 0 ft. above sea level. This makes it the lowest state in the US in terms of altitude.

Another fun fact about Delaware state is that it also has the least counties among all the states in the US, with only three counties.

Delaware Is The Second Smallest State In The US

An interesting Delaware fact is that it holds the title of the second smallest state in the United States, with a total land area of 5,130 square kilometers.

Delaware is almost twice the size of Rhodes island, and its largest city is Wilmington. It would take you 6 hours to walk across Delaware and about 2 hours to drive through the entire state of Delaware.


The State Has More Shoreline Than The Virgin Islands 

One of the fun facts about Delaware state for coastal lovers is that it has more shorelines than the Virgin Islands. Delaware has over 381 miles of shorelines encompassing beautiful white sandy beaches, streams, rivers, and bays.

This is one huge attraction that makes Delaware worth a visit. Its shorelines draw in millions of visitors annually. Be sure to check out some of the best beaches in Delaware when visiting.


The Number One Attraction In Delaware Is Its Beaches 

That said, one important fact about Delaware is that it’s number one attraction is its beaches. Millions of people visit the state’s beaches every year.

Delaware beaches are extremely attractive and the perfect go-to spot to relax and enjoy an entire day outdoors. The most famous beach in Delaware is the Cape Henlopen State Park in Sussex county.

The beaches in the state are renowned for their scenery, especially during sunrise and sunset. They are some of the top landmarks in Delaware.

Cultural Facts About Delaware 

Here are some of the noteworthy information about Delaware, its economy and culture.


Delaware Has About Seven Nicknames

A fascinating fact about Delaware is that it has about seven nicknames. Delaware is known as the blue hen state, the diamond state, the small wonder, the land of tax-free shopping, the peach state, new Sweden, and the first state.  

Each state’s nickname actually reflects certain facts about Delaware and everything the state represents.


Delaware Was Home To Bob Marley 

Some music fans will be pleased to know that Delaware was Bob Marley’s home outside Jamaica.

After his father died, Bob Marley moved to Wilmington with his mother. He lived there for almost eleven years, and during his time in Delaware, he worked as a lab assistant at DuPont and forklift operator.

The annual people’s festival, a tribute to the iconic reggae musician, is held at Wilmington to this day.


Delaware State Has More Corporations Than People

The total population of people in Delaware is one million, and the state has more than one million registered corporations. It is perhaps one of the lesser-known Delaware facts.

Due to the lenient corporate tax rates and flexible corporate laws, more than sixty percent of all fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware, including Apple, Coca-Cola, Google, and many others.


Wilmington Is Sometimes Referred To As The Chemical Capital Of The World 

Another interesting fact about Delaware is that its largest city, Wilmington, is sometimes referred to as the world’s chemical capital, as its economy depends on chemical manufacturing. The state is also the research and administrative center of many chemical companies, including DuPont.

The chief chemical products produced in Wilmington include; plastics, pharmaceuticals, and petrochemicals. 


There Are More Chickens Than People In Delaware 

One of the weird facts about Delaware is that it has more chickens than people, with a ratio of 200:1. There are over two hundred million chickens spread across Delaware and more than 700 chicken farmers.

The poultry industry in Delaware is estimated to be worth billions of dollars. If you visit Sussex on a hot day, you can smell the evidence of this thriving poultry industry.

Other Fun Facts About Delaware For Kids

Here are some other interesting facts about Delaware for kids to learn more about the state.


It Was The Last State To Receive A National Park 

As surprising as it may seem, Delaware, nicknamed “the First State,” was the last state to receive a national park, and even now, there is only one national park in Delaware; The First State National Historic Park.  

Delaware is the last state to receive a national park because smaller states tend not to have a national park.

Delaware Has The Least Number Of State Parks Among All States

That said, another important fact about Delaware is that it has only 17 state parks, which is the least number of state parks in any state in the US. Even Rhodes Island has 22 state parks. It is also the only state without national monuments.

Delaware Once Set The Record For The World’s Tallest Lego Tower

In 2013, Delaware students from John Dickinson high school broke the world’s record for the tallest Lego tower. This is one of the cool Delaware facts for kids.

The Lego tower stood 112 feet high, and they were made from over 500,000 individual Lego bricks. It held the Guinness Record for the world’s tallest Lego tower.


It Is Home To The Largest Number Of Horseshoe Crabs In The World 

The state is home to the world’s largest population of horseshoe crabs. The horseshoe crab is a Delaware state marine animal.

When the water is warm every spring, thousands of horseshoe crabs visit Delaware bay to spawn, usually at the nighttime high tides of the full moon or new moon. The peak season starts in May and ends in June.

Discovering More Interesting Facts About Delaware 

From the colonial Delaware facts to being the first state and once the home of the world’s tallest Lego tower, it is truly an iconic state.

Only two battles took place in Delaware during the American revolutionary war, and both were insignificant to the war’s outcome. Delaware’s influence on the American Revolution was largely due to its legislatures.

These are just some of the amazing and fun facts about Delaware. There is a lot of history to discover in Delaware. Take a trip yourself to really experience what makes Delaware special.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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