Fun Facts About Delaware
There are many things about Delaware that appeal to current and potential residents, including its pristine beaches, award-winning restaurants and tax-free shopping. But community members are just as proud of its unique culture and quirky state facts. So in true Delawarean fashion, rush up on your trivia and learn more about Delaware with these fun factoids!
The most well-known fact about Delaware is that it is referred to as “The First State.” The moniker -found on state license plates, billboards and advertisements -was derived from the state’s involvement in the foundations of the U.S. federal government. On December 7, 1787, Delaware was the first of the 13 original states to ratify the U.S. Constitution. And in 2002, it became the state’s official nickname. But that doesn’t stop residents from adopting less formal monikers such as “The Diamond State,” derived from its strategic position along the east coast, and “The Blue Hen State,” named after the fightingblue hen cocks that Delaware’s Revolutionary War soldier carried with them.
Delaware is the second smallest state in America (behind Rhode Island) with a total area of 1,982 square miles and a total length of 96 miles. Delaware also boasts the fewest counties of any state in America. New Castle County is 438 square miles, Kent County is 594 square miles, and Sussex County is 950 square miles. And while the state is small, it boasts a moderate year-round climate, with 57% of its days being sunny. Temperatures along Delaware’s coastline are also about 10 degrees warmer in winter and 10 degrees cooler in summer.
As of 2021, Delaware had an estimated population of just over 1 million residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Delaware is among the top nine states with the highest population density, 514.9 persons, per square mile.
It is no surprise that Delaware’s state bird is the blue hen. The state’s association with the chicken began during the Revolutionary War, when Delaware soldiers in Captain Jonathan Caldwell’s company started taking blue hens with them. During their downtime the men would amuse themselves with cockfights, and the soldiers were soon compared to their fighting blue hens. The state bird was officially adopted in 1939 and has since become the mascot of the University of Delaware.
State Marine Animal:
The state’s marine animal is the horseshoe crab, often found along Delaware’s beaches. The invertebrates’ blood plays a vital role in ensuring vaccines are safe and is used to make the limulus amebocyte lysate test that detects toxins.
In 1895, the state adopted an act naming the peach blossom its state flower. The name suited Delaware, as its orchards at that time featured hundreds of thousands of peach trees.
The state’s largest employers are based in the sectors of government, education, banking, and chemical and pharmaceutical technologies. In fact, one of Delaware’s most famous families, the DuPont family, founded DuPont, a multinational chemical company, within the state. Today, more than half of the nation’s publicly traded companies and 63% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated within the state of Delaware, a corporate haven known for its business-friendly laws.
While Delaware has no professional sports teams, it is home to Dover Motor Speedway (the Monster Mile), one of only 10 tracks in the nation to host more than 100 NASCAR Cup races.The state also boasts tax-free shopping and pristine beaches that attract visitors from surrounding states. The state also hosts the annual Firefly Music Festival, a four-day event featuring national acts in a camp setting.