Wilmington is a city located in New Castle County Delaware. Wilmington has a 2023 population of 70,500. It is also the county seat of New Castle County.Wilmington is currently declining at a rate of -0.18% annually and its population has decreased by -0.53% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 70,875 in 2020.
The average household income in Wilmington is $72,244 with a poverty rate of 24.01%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Wilmington is 36.3 years, 35.4 years for males, and 37.5 years for females.
Wilmington is a city located in the state of Delaware. Wilmington is located in New Castle County, where it is designated as the county seat.
The State of Delaware is the top employer in Wilmington, providing jobs to approximately 13,000 people. Christiana Care Health System is another major employer with over 10,000 jobs. DuPont, Bank of America and Walmart are other top employers in the city.
The population of Wilmington during its earliest years grew quite rapidly. At the time of the 1850 census, nearly 14,000 people were living in the city. This number had more than doubled just 20 years later. In 1920, the statistics showed that the population had well exceeded 100,000 people. In 1940, the population peaked at 112,504. However, the population declined rapidly after this, dropping to 70,195 in 1980, the lowest it had been in the 20th century. The census of 2010 showed that the population had fallen since 2000 by 2.5%. While recent estimates indicate that the population is up 0.8% since 2010, future growth is uncertain, primarily due to the high crime rates that the city has experienced in recent years.
Wilmington was initially inhabited by the Lenape tribe during the 17th century. The area at the time was referred to as “Bear Place” after the Bear River. The first settlers to arrive were from Sweden. The region that is now Wilmington was the first Swedish settlement in the United States. The settlement was purchased by Peter Minuit and settlers and traders of the Swedish South Company in 1638 and was named Fort Christina. In the 1600s, a Dutch fleet arrived in the area and took control from the Swedes.
It was in 1664 when the British made their way to the area. The Dutch and English went to battle through several wars, but then the region went into the control of the British and the area stabilized. In the 18th century, the city was designated as a borough, and the name was changed from Willington as it was known to Wilmington.
In the 19th century, gunpowder was manufactured in the area and led to the development of a mill along the Brandywine River. This company became a supplier of gunpowder to the U.S. military and was annexed by Wilmington. It was during the Civil War when the city saw explosive growth. The economy was thriving as there was a high demand for products that were produced in Wilmington, including shoes, gunpowder and railroad cars.
By the end of the 1860s, the city’s boundaries expanded, making Wilmington even larger. The city was prosperous, primarily because it was ranked first in the nation in the production of gunpowder and was also a top producer of iron ships. During this period, the city also established a park system.
In the 20th century, the city continued to prosper as it continued to provide products for World War II, including steel, machinery, automobiles, and clothing. After World War II, the city’s boundaries expanded again. However, the population began to drop in 1950 when updated roads and highways made it possible for more people to live in the suburbs and commute to the city for work. In the 1960s, trouble struck Wilmington following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. The National Guard was deployed because of the riots and civil unrest from 1968 through 1969.
The city’s population grew again in the 1980s when more banks and financial institutions came to Wilmington. These businesses still play an essential role in the city’s economy. However, in more recent years, the population has suffered, primarily because of high rates of crime, as Wilmington has consistently been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the nation.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Wilmington was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 69.22%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
88.35% of Wilmington residents speak only English, while 11.65% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 8.14% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Wilmington is Native, with 71.79% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Wilmington is Asian, with 4.79% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.15%. Among those working part-time, it was 25.72%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 38.22%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Wilmington
96.15% of Wilmington residents were born in the United States, with 56.46% having been born in Delaware. 4.39% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.