Moving to Delaware

Are You Moving To Delaware?

Delaware, a small Mid-Atlantic U.S. state, sits on a peninsula marked by dune-backed beaches bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware River, and Delaware Bay. In Dover, the capital, First State Heritage Park encompasses 18th-century Colonial landmarks like the Georgian-style Old State House. The city of Wilmington is known for the Riverfront, a waterside district of parks, boutiques, and restaurants.

Those from other parts of the country may also find Delaware an attractive place to retire. Its proximity to major Northeastern metropolitan areas and relatively low taxes make Delaware one of the best states in which to retire.

Delaware’s scenic beauty, low taxes, and affordable housing make this tiny state a wonderful place to live, work and play. Fresh-air pursuits abound, whether your interests lie in hiking, sailing, bicycling, or exploring miles of picturesque shoreline.

Delaware packs plenty of attractions into just 1,900 square miles of land. The most populous cities, including Wilmington and Brandywine, are at the north end of the state, while Sussex County on the Delmarva peninsula is where the best beaches are found. Nicknamed the Diamond state when Thomas Jefferson described it as a jewel due to its location, Delaware is filled with moments you’ll treasure. It has a history, beaches, family fun, amazing craft beers, and all the Mid-Atlantic coastal charm you could want.

If you’re moving to Delaware, there are a lot of things you’re going to need to know. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

Moving to Delaware

Pros and Cons of Living in Delaware

Here are a few pros and cons to consider as you make your move to The First State:

  • PROXIMITY TO POPULAR EAST COAST URBAN CENTERS The First State appeals to people who desire proximity to leading East Coast urban centers. Attend a rich array of cultural and artistic events in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, or Philadelphia, which are all a short drive or train ride from Delaware. Newark and New York City are also accessible for day excursions.
  • TAX BENEFITS Aside from real estate taxes, Delaware offers attractive tax benefits for many residents. The state does not collect a sales tax or a social security tax. Retirees may receive up to $12,500 in pension funds before state income taxes apply.
  • A GREAT MEDICAL INFRASTRUCTURE Although some experts worry about the possibility of a primary care physician shortage in downstate Delaware, for the most part, this Mid-Atlantic state provides residents with an excellent medical infrastructure.
  • HIGH POPULATION DENSITY Delaware today rapidly approaches a population of a million people. With over 970,000 people living here during 2019.
  • POORLY RATED PUBLIC SCHOOLS Quite a few residents of the First State complain about the caliber of the public school system for students in grades K through 12.
    Although the cost of housing is competitive and there is no sales tax that you need to worry about here, the cost of living in Delaware is about 10% higher than it is on average in the United States.
Tax Rates

Will you be paying more or less in taxes if you’re moving to Delaware? One thing is certain, you no longer have to worry about sales taxes if you’re moving to Delaware. The state has no sales taxes. The following is a simple breakdown of the taxes in Delaware:

  • Delaware’s income taxes range from 0% – 6.6%
  • There are no sales taxes in Delaware
  • The average effective property tax rate in Delaware is 0.56%
  • Gas taxes in Delaware is 23 cents per gallon of regular gasoline
  • Diesel tax in Delaware is 22 cents per gallon of diesel.
Housing Market

The typical home value of homes in Delaware is $303,194 according to Zillow. This value is seasonally adjusted and only includes the middle price tier of homes. Delaware home values have gone up 13.2% over the past year.

What Should I Know In 2021?

Economy Outlook

Economic data like employment and manufacturing figures came in stronger over the last couple of months than many of us expected. While I’m concerned about the downside risks from COVID-19 variants and the alarming virus spikes in states like Michigan, I still think that a combination of increased vaccinations, falling COVID-19 case rates, and a huge dose of fiscal stimulus should buoy the national economy. For now, I’m expecting GDP growth to come in around 5 to 6 percent in 2021. I would expect the labor market to parallel GDP growth and unemployment to fall throughout this year.

Payroll data show that the state has recovered more than 60 percent of the jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic — but we’re still around 24,500 jobs below where we were before COVID-19. That’s enough for the unemployment rate in the state to have fallen from 13.4 percent a year ago to 6.3 percent now. That’s encouraging, of course, though in February 2020, the unemployment rate in Delaware was 4.5 percent. Labor force participation is similarly improving, but it’s still down from pre-pandemic highs. It now sits at 61.3 percent, up from last April’s 60.1 percent, but down from last February’s 62.7 percent.

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Traffic & Transportation

Dart First State is operated by the Delaware Department of Transportation’s Delaware Transit Corporation. Dart First State provides commuter rail service, intercounty bus service, fixed-route bus service, paratransit service, commuter assistance service, the Wilmington Trolley, and the Ride-Share Delaware Program.

Delaware’s Wilmington is well-connected to the Eastern Seaboard via train. The Amtrak Northeast Corridor Line is the main long-distance route that stops at Wilmington, but there are also several stops at Wilmington every day on the regional Metroliner and Acela trains that run to nearby cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Public bus transportation in Delaware is limited to Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach. In Wilmington, the DART network runs throughout the city and as far as the historic town of New Castle and the two shopping malls. Wilmington’s trolley is another option to travel between the Riverfront district and Rodney Square, passing by the Amtrak station. Fares are cheap and the entire route takes only 15 minutes to complete.

A gallon of gas is just under $2, and although public transport can be hard to come by outside the major cities, a monthly bus pass in a city like Wilmington costs an average of $80.

Cost of living

Delaware has a fairly reasonable cost of living compared with its neighbors up and down the east coast.

Utilities are overall reasonable and only marginally higher than across the nation, coming in at between 3.1-5.7% over the national average. For example, two people living in a 2 bedroom place can expect to pay around $170 a month for water, gas, and electricity combined.

In Delaware, the living wage for two working adults with one child is $13.92, according to MIT’s living wage calculator. A second child bumps it up to $16.26. A single parent with one child would have to make $26.11 an hour.

Food and groceries are just slightly higher than the national average, coming in at between 1.9-3.4% higher.

For example, when it comes to eating out, an average lunch with a drink will set you back around $15 in a mid-range restaurant. A quart of milk costs less than a dollar, and 12 eggs come in at just a shade over $3.

Healthcare costs are a major concern for many individuals and families. Unfortunately, those who move to Delaware can expect to pay a premium, with overall costs in the state coming in at around 16% higher than the national average.

Moving to Delaware

Things to Know When Moving to Delaware

Delaware Climate

The climate of Delaware is humid and temperate. The average daily temperature at New Castle Airport in northern Delaware is 54 °F (12 °C), varying from an average high of 86 °F (30 °C) in July to an average low of 23 °F (−5 °C) in January.


In March, seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment in Delaware was 445,200, up from 442,900 in February 2021.

The hospitality industry continued to take the biggest job hit in Delaware. While recovering from pandemic lows, employment in that sector remains down by 7,400 from a year ago. The only category to show year-over-year gains was transport and utilities. That category may have been aided by growth in online shopping.

Real Estate

The median home price in Delaware is $277,825 and the median market rent $1,514/ per month.

Average Income

As of Jun 27, 2021, the average annual pay for the Average jobs category in Delaware is $62,391 an year


Agriculture — broilers, soybeans, corn, milk. Fishing Industry — crabs, clams. Manufacturing — chemicals, food products, paper products, rubber and plastics products, primary metals, printed materials.

Crime Rankings

Crime rates are slightly higher than national averages in Delaware, with violent crime occuring at a rate of 4.2 incidents per 1,000 and property crime at 23.2 incidents per 1,000.

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