Delaware Population 2017

965,866

By gauging the last official population estimate and recent growth rates, we estimate that the population of Delaware is 955,900 in 2016.

At the time of the 2010 Census, the population of Delaware was recorded at 897,934, which represented a 14.6% rise on the 2000 figure of 783,600. An estimate in 2015 claims that the population within the state had risen to 945,934, and this would make Delaware the 45th largest state in the USA as far as population. Based on growth rates from the last year, Delaware is the 14th fastest growing state at a rate of 1.05%.

Population density

In many respects, Delaware is tiny, and in terms of surface area, it is the second smallest state in the United States, ahead of only Rhode Island.

Delaware’s territory equates to just 2,490 square miles (6,452 square kilometers), and for every square mile of land, there is an average of 460.8 people. This makes Delaware's population the 6th most dense in the US.

Delaware Population Chart

Delaware’s population history

Like most states on the eastern edge of the United States, Delaware has enjoyed comparatively high and steady population statistics since the early settlers arrived in the 18th century. In 1790, the early census showed the numbers within the state to be 59,096, and ten years later at the start of the next century, that figure had grown by just 8.8% to 64,273.

Similar increases were experienced throughout the 1800s, and by 1860 the population of Delaware went beyond 100,000 for the first time. From this point, the percentage rise in census on census figures regularly exceeded 10% with one notable spike coming in 1960 when a rise of over 40% from 1950’s figures took the population to 446,292.

Delaware Population Projections

Delaware has enjoyed steady, if unspectacular, growth since it first came into existence, and there is no reason to suggest that this won’t continue. The question for many observers is how close the numbers can get to the one million mark by the time of the next Census in 2020. Estimates put the population of Delaware in 2020 right around 1 million based on current growth rates.

By projecting the current growth rates out to 2020, we end up with an estimate of 995,764 for 2020, just shy of the 1 million total.

Population Data via US Census

Delaware Growth Rate

Delaware State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 995,764 1.01%
2019 985,798 1.02%
2018 975,832 1.03%
2017 965,866 1.04%
2016 955,900 1.05%
2015 945,934 1.06%
2014 935,968 1.15%
2013 925,353 0.90%
2012 917,099 1.01%
2011 907,916 1.11%
2010 897,934 1.37%
2000 783,600 1.64%
1990 666,168 1.15%
1980 594,338 0.81%
1970 548,104 2.08%
1960 446,292 3.44%
1950 318,085 1.79%
1940 266,505 1.12%
1930 238,380 0.67%
1920 223,003 0.98%
1910 202,322 0.91%
1900 184,735 0.92%
1890 168,493 1.40%
1880 146,608 1.61%
1870 125,015 1.09%
1860 112,216 2.06%
1850 91,532 1.60%
1840 78,085 0.17%
1830 76,748 0.54%
1820 72,749 0.01%
1810 72,674 1.24%
1800 64,273 0.84%
1790 59,096 0.00%

Delaware Facts

Delaware Population in 2017 Source: Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant)

  • Delaware was the first state to join the Union in 1787.
  • Delaware is one of five states that does not have a consumer sales tax.
  • Delaware only has three US counties -- Kent, New Castle and Sussex -- the fewest in the country.
  • With an elevation of just 60 feet, the state has the lowest altitude in the nation.
  • Delaware was the first state to fly Betsy Ross' US flag in 1777.
  • Delaware is only 35 miles wide at its widest point.
  • Delware is the only state in the US to not have a national park.
  • Approximately 500 descendents of the original Nanticoke Indian tribe live in Delaware.
  • Finnish settlers brought plans for log cabins to Delaware. One of the cabins has been preserved and is on display at Dover's Delaware Agricultural Museum.

Delaware Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Delaware Population Growth Rate by County

When evaluating populations by county, Delaware is quite easy to evaluate as the state has just three counties. Unlike many states in the United States, which have a balance of declining and increasing populations, all three counties in Delaware -- New Castle, Kent, and Sussex -- posted population growths between the 2010 Census and estimates taken in 2015.

Sussex County, the southernmost county, posted the highest growth of 8.96%. This was followed by the central county of Kent, with an increase of 6.47%, and northernmost county New Castle, with a recorded population growth of 3.32%.

Population Pyramid

To compare Delaware to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

Delaware is ranked as one of the top ten states when it comes to the proportion of African American residents compared to the total population. With over 20% of its population identifying as Black or African American, this puts Delaware in eighth place when compared to the other US states.

According to data from 2011, almost half of Delaware residents under the age of 1 belonged to minority groups. Between the census in 2000 and the one taken in 2010, the Hispanic population increased by over 86%, and the current estimated population of Hispanics is around 9%, mostly comprised of Puerto Ricans and Mexicans.

The largest ancestry groups in the state include Irish, German, English and Italian. The state is becoming more diverse, and in 2014, it was predicted that Delaware would be the 14th most diverse state in the nation, with the number of Hispanic residents expected to be 2.6 times higher than it is in 2016 and with the non-Hispanic white population decreasing to 59%.

Languages Spoken in Delaware

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 852,446 100
English 767,481 90.03
Spanish 57,255 6.72
Chinese 5,060 0.59
French 3,320 0.39
German 3,190 0.37
Telugu 2,435 0.29
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba 1,735 0.2
Tamil 1,115 0.13
Swahili 875 0.1

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Delaware. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Delaware Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 88
BachelorsDegree 29
Disabled 9
NoHealthInsurance 9
LaborForceTotal 63
LaborForceFemale 60
FoodServiceSales 2,148,437
HealthCareRevenue 7,003,251
ManufacturerShipments 22,597,384
MerchantWholesalesSales 5,628,914
RetailSales 14,456,001
RetailSalesPerCapita 15,763
MeanWorkTravelTime 25
MedianHouseholdIncome 60,231
PerCapitaIncome 30,191
PovertyPercentage 13

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Delaware for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 4.9% and the labor force participation rate is 63.5%.

Delaware Business

NonemployerEstablishments 59,078
AllFirms 73,418
MenOwnedFirms 38,328
WomenOwnedFirms 23,964
MinorityOwnedFirms 14,440
NonminorityOwnedFirms 54,782
VeteranOwnedFirms 7,206
NonveteranOwn 60,318

Delaware Housing

HousingUnits 421,747
HousingUnits 405,885
OwnerOccupiedRate 72
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 232,900
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,575
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 446
MedianGrossRent 1,012
BuildingPermits 5,221
Households 339,046
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 87
NonEnglishAtHome 13
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts