15 Interesting Facts About Delaware to Quiz Your Family On

Kelly Pierson, Business & Marketing Strategist

As a family-run business, we at Wheeler Home Concepts take pride in being actively engaged in our Newark community and our home state of Delaware. But as the second smallest state, Delaware sometimes is overlooked (although we think that makes it a hidden gem!). Here are 15 lesser-known facts about this great state you can use to quiz your family:

1. How large is the state of Delaware?
Delaware is under 100 miles long, and its width varies from 9 to 35 miles. Its total land mass is 1948 square miles, slightly larger than Rhode Island. [1]

1. Where does Delaware’s population rank among US states?
Delaware ranks 45th out of 50 states in terms of population with just shy of 1 million residents. [2]

3. When did Delaware receive its first National Monument?
Not until 2013, making it the last state with an official National Monument. The First State National Monument is comprised of 1100 areas of preserved land, plus historic buildings such as Drover Green, where Delawareans ratified the Constitution. [3]

Sandy path to the beach in at Cape Henlopen in Lewes, Delaware

Sandy path to the beach at Cape Henlopen in Lewes, Delaware

4. Which Native American tribes were the first known inhabitants of Delaware?
The earliest residents of the region were the Lenni Lenape and the Nanticoke tribes. [4]

5. What is the official state insect?
A ladybug! A second grade class petitioned for the ladybug to be honored, and their request was approved on April 25, 1974. [5]

6. What is Delaware’s claim to fame in regard to internet?
Delaware has the fastest internet connection speeds in the US, and they are higher than every other country except for South Korea! [6]

7. What type of program the University of Delaware first to offer?
Study abroad programs! In 1923, a University of Delaware professor and WWI veteran sailed to France with eight students in the name of cross-cultural exchange. [7]

8. Which famous individuals have connections to Delaware? Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most well-known Delawareans:

  • Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza was born in Wilmington.
  • Actor Ryan Phillippe was born in New Castle.
  • Vice President Joe Biden attended the University of Delaware
  • Bob Marley lived in Delaware between 1965 and 1977 while working for Dupont and the Chrysler assembly plant. His son Stephen was born in Delaware.
  • NFL quarterback Joe Flacco played football at the University of Delaware.
  • WNBA player Elena Delle Donne played basketball at the University of Delaware.
  • Actress Teri Polo was born in Dover.
  • George Thorogood, known for this song Bad to the Bone, was born in Wilmington.
  • Delino DeShields, who played for 5 MLB teams and now manages the Louisville Bats, was born in Seaford.


Twilight aerial image of Wilmington, DE

Twilight photo of Wilmington, DE taken by Josh Wheeler

9. Who is Annie Jump Cannon?
Though likely not heard of widely outside her field, Annie Jump Cannon made a huge impression on our galaxy. The first woman to become an officer in the American Astronomical Association, this Dover-born astronomer classified more than 225,000 stars according to their temperature. [8]

10. Where did Delaware get its name?
In 1610, Delaware was named after the first governor of Virginia, Sir Thomas West, Lord De La Warr. [9]

11. Wilmington students once held the world record for the tallest LEGO tower. How many bricks did they use?
The record-breaking tower stood 113 feet tall and was made of over 500,000 bricks! Unfortunately, the new record has over 600,000 bricks, so the State has some work to do to regain the title. [10][11]

12. How many corporations are registered in Delaware?
More than 1 million corporations are registered in our state, which means there are more registered companies than there are residents! [12]

13. Delaware does not have a sales tax. How many total states do not have this tax?
Delaware is one of 5 states. The others are Alaska, Oregon, Montana, and New Hampshire. [13]

14. What does Delaware have more of than anywhere else in the world?
Horseshoe crabs! These creatures pre-date dinosaurs by more than 200 million years, and they still flourish in Delaware. [14]

15. Which famous Robin Williams’ movie was filmed in Delaware?
Dead Poet’s Society was shot at St. Andrew’s School in Middleton.[15]

Wildlife photo in Milford, DE
Delaware state flag with shadows
Lighthouse in Delaware Bay
Delaware water gap