What is Delaware Known for? 16 Things Delawareans Love About Themselves

Written by Claire Wilson
Updated: November 2, 2023
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Key Points

  • Delaware has many great natural resources to enjoy.
  • Being small and also one of the oldest states gives Delaware several reasons to stand out.
  • Delaware is a great place to set up business or live to avoid some taxes that you would find elsewhere.

Nicknamed the “Diamond State,” Thomas Jefferson once described Delaware as a “jewel” among states because of its advantageous position on the Eastern Seaboard. However, there are many other fantastic things that Delaware is known for, and here are 16 things Delawareans love about themselves.

#1 Delaware Is Known for Being the First State

Flag of Delaware waving in the wind

Delaware ratified the United States Constitution on December 7, 1787.

©iStock.com/Дмитрий Ларичев

Delaware was the first state of the original 13 states to ratify the United States Constitution. All 30 delegates at the Delaware Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution on December 7, 1787. “The First State” became Delaware’s official nickname in 2002 after the first-grade class at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School requested it. Considering Delawareans live in the very first state of the country’s 50, no wonder they are proud of their state! This is definitely a fact people know about Delaware.

#2 Delaware Is Known for Being the Second Smallest State

Beat only by Rhode Island, Delaware is the second smallest state in the Union. Its total size is 1,982 square miles. Overall, that’s only 768 square miles larger than Rhode Island. And in 2022, Delaware’s population was 1,018,396 people. That’s a little over 513 people per square mile. Despite being densely populated, Delaware is the 6th least populated state in the United States. Most people recognize Delaware’s small size.

#3 A Tax-Free State

Hands holding dollar money on flag of Colombia

Delaware is a famous tax haven that attracts many companies.

©Artmim/Shutterstock.com

Delaware has a reputation for being a tax shelter. There is no state or local sales tax, inheritance tax, or capital shares/stock transfer tax, to name a few. The state attracts many corporations because of this benefit. Whether the corporation is located physically in the state or not, anything purchased within the state, the government will not tax. On top of that, there is no state corporate income tax on goods and services supplied by Delaware corporations, even if that corporation is operating outside of Delaware.

#4 Tax-Free Tourism

Besides corporations, Delaware attracts many tourists because of the tax-free shopping. From antiquing to unique boutiques, Delaware draws visitors for its bargain prices. Many people delay shopping sprees for their trip to Delaware. Then, they save on sales tax! This is completely opposite of Nevada’s strategy, which has the 6th highest sales tax of all the states. Nevada takes advantage of its booming tourism by profiting from the sales tax.

#5 Delaware Corporation

Pensive Man Thinking

67.8% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware.

©fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Internationally, businesses know that Delaware is a tax haven. Thus, many corporations choose to register their business in Delaware. However, the company may have its headquarters anywhere in the world. It is no surprise, then, that 67.8% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware. And, 1.5 million corporations have registered in the state—which is more than the actual amount of people living in Delaware.

A few perks of being incorporated in Delaware are the business-friendly usury laws and exemption from state income taxes (in many cases).

#6 Chemical Manufacturing

Delaware’s known as the chemical capital of the world. It’s the research center of giant chemical companies such as DuPont, Hercules, and AstraZeneca. The city of Wilmington, specifically, is home to many of these companies.

But manufacturing is just one aspect of the state’s focus on sustainable chemistry. The University of Delaware maintains an excellent chemical engineering program. In fact, it is ranked in the top ten in the nation.

#7 Home of President Biden

The white house of the USA during a cloudy autumn day

President Biden is the first president from Delaware.

©Andreas Reps/Shutterstock.com

That’s right, the 46th president of the United States calls Delaware home. Not only that, but President Biden is the first president from Delaware. President Biden’s family moved to Delaware in 1953, and he also studied at the University of Delaware. This is one piece of trivia that most people know.

#8 Delaware’s Blue Hen

As the official state bird, the blue hen has a deep history in Delaware. Delawareans in the 18th century bred these chickens for cockfighting. Thus, they were chosen to represent the state’s independent spirit and bravery. The state officially adopted the hen as the state bird on April 14, 1939.

#9 Delaware Is Know For Its Chickens

blue andalusian hen by fence

Poultry is a 1.7 billion dollar industry in Delaware.

©cainphotos/Shutterstock.com

Besides the Blue Hen, people recognize Delaware for its chicken industry. Poultry is a major part of Delaware’s economy, as it is a major producer of chicken and eggs. As a 1.7 billion dollar industry, it also provides many job opportunities in the state. Plus, even a breed of chicken is named after the state: the Delaware chicken. People enjoy this breed because the Delaware chicken lays such large, delectable eggs.

#10 Home of the Dover International Speedway

This famous racetrack hosts two Nascar races each year. Also, drivers nicknamed this speedway the “Monster Mile.” This is because it’s hard to drive on and is rough on the equipment. The Dover International Speedway holds the title of the fastest concrete oval track. Most diehard Nascar fans visit Delaware for the big races.

#11 Dogfish Head

Group of happy friends drinking and toasting beer at brewery bar restaurant - Friendship concept with young people having fun together at cool vintage pub - Focus on middle pint glass - High iso image

Dogfish Head makes unique flavor combinations and experimental brews.

©View Apart/Shutterstock.com

Based in Milton, Delaware, this brewing company started in 1995. Dogfish Head makes unique flavor combinations and experimental brews. The first successful beer that Dogfish Head produced was Midas Touch. Brewed with honey, white muscat grapes, and saffron, many people favor Midas Touch. Today, it is one of the most successful microbreweries in the U.S.

#12 Firefly Music Festival

First held in 2012, big names such as The Killers, Eminem, Panic! at the Disco, Tom Petty, and more have performed here. Hosted on The Woodlands of Dover Motor Speedway, the Firefly Music Festival is held over a span of three days. And the 105-acre ground also has opportunities for camping!

#13 Horseshoe Crabs

Horseshoe Crab close-up

A horseshoe crab’s blood is incredibly important for the medical industry.

©SandraG/Shutterstock.com

Delaware Bay is one of the spawning spots of these marine creatures. And horseshoe crabs are incredibly important—there is a huge demand for their blue blood. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers use the blood to test their products for bacterial substances which could potentially be fatal. Every year, 500,000 horseshoe crabs are captured, and a moderate amount of their blood is harvested. Then, they are released into the wild. In the medical circle, Delaware is definitely known for their horseshoe crabs.

#14 Jell-O!

Dover, Delaware, is home to the main manufacturing plant of Jell-O and other pudding mixes. Kraft, which is based in Chicago, owns this powdered gelatin dessert. And although Jell-O first got its start in New York in 1897, the main manufacturing plant has been operating in Dover, Delaware, since 1964.

#15 Delaware Is Known For Its Beaches

Sunrise from the Bethany Beach, Delaware, with dramatic skycap and surf.

Delaware’s spectacular beaches include Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach.

©David Kay/Shutterstock.com

With 28 miles of coastline, Delaware has many famed beaches, such as Cape Henlopen State Park, Bethany Beach, and Dewey Beach. Clean and well-maintained, the beach cottages and state parks are popular vacation spots.

#16 Delaware Is Known for Fantastic Biking

Whether you are exploring the 200 miles of bike trails or riding along the coastline, Delaware is very welcoming for bicyclists. There are also many bike laws in place to protect cyclists from oncoming traffic. One example is the “Three Foot Rule,” where drivers much give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing.

Summary of 16 Things Delawareans Love About Themselves

Reason NumberWhat Delaware Is Known For
1The First State
2Second to Smallest State
3A Tax-Free State
4Tax-Free Tourism
5Delaware Corporation
6Chemical Manufacturing
7Home of President Biden
8Delaware’s Blue Hen
9Chicken Industry
10Home of the Dover International Speedway
11Dogfish Head
12Firefly Music Festival
13Horseshoe Crabs
14Jell-O!
15Beautiful Beaches
16Bike-Friendly State

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Zach Chilelli/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Claire Wilson is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on reptiles, travel, and historic places and landmarks. Claire holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, which she earned in 2010. A resident of Wisconsin, Claire enjoys hiking, visiting parks, and biking nature trails.

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