Delaware (abbr.: DE or Del.), state of the United States of America, bordered by Maryland to the south and west, Pennsylvania to the north and the Delaware Bay to the east, 5295 km2, with 666,000 inhabitants; capital: Dover.
The state is largely located on the Delmarva Peninsula in the Atlantic Coastal Plain and is the lowest-lying state in the country after Florida; the soil is mostly flat and generally very fertile. The extreme north, part of the Piedmont Plateau, is hilly. The state is very wooded (several natural parks). Along the coast some swamps. The climate is characterized by mild winters and warm, humid summers.
The average population density is 103 inhabitants. per km2. Approximately 73% of the population lives in urban areas. The majority live in and around the city of Wilmington. Wilmington is the largest city. See top cities in Delaware.
Industry, mainly concentrated in the northern part of the state, above the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, is the most important factor in the economy, with the chemical and petrochemical industry (particularly DuPont de Nemours, Wilmington) being the main branch. In addition, manufacture of automobiles, machines, foodstuffs and textiles; metal processing. Thanks to the lenient corporate law legislation, many companies have established their headquarters in the state in recent decades. From agriculture, south of the canal, poultry farming (broilers) is important; in addition, cultivation of grain, maize, soybeans, vegetables and fruit. Fisheries serve industry; catch of crabs and oysters. Finally, forestry is also of some importance. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Formerly the state’s main transport route, it has lost significant importance in recent decades (road transport, aviation). The wildlife in Delaware includes beautiful ocean beaches and a number of state parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The state is rich in historic buildings, including Old Dutch House (ca. 1704) and Amstel House (ca. 1730) both in New Castle), and Corbit House (1774, Odessa).
The first colony in the area, Zwaanendael, was founded by the Dutch around 1630, but problems with the Indian population prevented a permanent settlement. It was not built until 1638 (Fort Cristina, now Wilmington) and was founded by the Swedes. After the reconquest of the area by the Dutch in 1655, the area fell to the English in 1664 and was named Delaware (after Lord De la Warr, then governor of Virginia). The state was the first to adopt the Constitution in 1787.