Today, Delaware remains a popular relocation destination, but like any state, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Before loading up the moving boxes and making the move to Wilmington or another part of the state, weigh the pros and cons of living in Delaware.
Pros of Living in Delaware
When listing the advantages of moving to Delaware, people often mention these pluses:
Lovely Coastal Vistas
Delaware offers miles of stunning Atlantic coastline. Consider visiting some of these charming locales:
- Fenwick Island State Park: A popular spot for sunbathing and surf fishing, this state park sits on a peninsula just off the coast. Sitting on 344 acres, the park fronts two bodies of water with white sand beaches on the Atlantic side and many recreational opportunities along the Little Assawoman Bay.
- Little Creek Wildlife Area: An excellent destination for hunting, fishing, crabbing, and birdwatching, the Little Creek Wildlife Area sits on 4700 acres of preserved tidal marshland.
- Fort Delaware State Park: Accessible only by ferry, this unique state park sits on Pea Patch Island. Once used to protect the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia, the fort was later a Union stronghold used for locking up Confederate prisoners of war. Today, visitors can explore the grounds and take a tour from guides dressed in period clothing.
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.
Many Appealing Suburban Neighborhoods
Residents of this coastal state enjoy some charming residential neighborhoods. From urban centers like Wilmington and Dover to smaller communities like Dublin Hill and Selbyville, residents enjoy a wide array of choices in selecting comfortable living areas. Be sure to peruse our article on the best neighborhoods in Wilmington.
Fun Small Town Festivals
People who live full-time in Delaware often enjoy comparing the First State to a populous small town. Most communities stage periodic festivals and fairs. Additionally, music festivals, wine tasting tours, and artistic events occur with some frequency in urban centers. Consider participating in some of these events:
- St. Anthony’s Italian Festival in Wilmington
- The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival
- Wilmington’s “Art Loop”
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. Additionally, Delaware reportedly does not charge inheritance taxes or personal property taxes (although, as in other jurisdictions, tax laws here do remain subject to change).
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. Wilmington and Dover, in particular, feature several top-rated health care facilities.
Cons of Moving to Delaware
Of course, depending upon your career and lifestyle goals, residing in the First State may offer some drawbacks. Big reasons not to relocate here cover a broad spectrum:
High Population Density
Delaware today rapidly approaches a population of a million people. With over 970,000 people living here during 2019, and a total geographic area of only 1,954 square miles, the state enjoys a higher population density than many other parts of the United States. Urban sprawl near Wilmington and Dover additionally distresses some residents.
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. While the state boasts several highly-rated private schools, concerns exist in some quarters that public school resources often fail to keep pace with the pressures of the state’s growing population.
Possibly due to the state’s high population density, concerns about pollution remain widespread in Delaware, too. Maintaining pristine beaches, waterways, and marshes proves challenging for some growing municipalities. Complicating the problem, Delaware encompasses numerous environmentally fragile coastal wetlands.
A Ticking Hurricane Clock
Due to its coastal location, Delaware remains at risk for hurricanes. The First State has escaped most significant weather-related storm problems for well over a century. A bad gale in 1962 damaged the seafront of Rehoboth, and Superstorm Sandy caused some destruction across the state in 2012. Yet as Global Warming intensifies concerns about natural disasters, some experts predict a growing threat for weather-related catastrophes in this part of the Mid-Atlantic region.
A Spotted Lanternfly Invasion
People who enjoy gardening and those who raise crops for farmer’s markets have recently encountered a significant agricultural concern in Delaware. The Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect species, damages a variety of plants. It threatens fruit and nut harvests and attacks decorative rose bushes. Agricultural experts recently cautioned residents about sightings of this economically damaging pest in Delaware.
Planning Your Move to Delaware
Will you enjoy residing in Delaware? The First State appeals to numerous households. Whether or not you prefer to live in this mid-Atlantic relocation destination likely depends upon your personal circumstances and preferences.
Do you seek a new home in the urban centers of Wilmington or Dover? Perhaps you prefer a quieter rural lifestyle in Downstate Delaware? You’ll discover many exciting people and delightful communities in this part of the world!