Moving to Delaware: State Relocation Guide
While Delaware is the second smallest state, it has the fifth-highest population per square mile in the country. Although small in size, many people love living here because of the affordable housing, low crime, and the abundance of outdoor activities. It’s also just a short drive to big cities like Philadelphia and Washington DC.
There are a few things you should know when moving to Delaware. Like any state, there are pros and cons, and you’ll want to know what to expect before planning your move.
This guide will walk you through all the vital pieces of information to help you get ready for your move. From climate to healthcare, here’s everything you need to know before moving to Delaware.
One of the best things about living in Delaware is the cool climate. The state is known for its moderate weather—temperatures usually range between 32℉ and 76℉. The comfortable year-round temperatures allow you to spend time outdoors without feeling too hot or too cold.
The sun shines in Delaware 57% of the time, so you can also expect a fair amount of sunny days. This means you’ll be able to enjoy South Bethany, Dewey Beach, Fenwick Island, and Delaware’s other charming beach towns on most days of the year.
When it comes to precipitation, Delaware experiences an average of 45 inches a year between rain and snowfall.
Overall, the state sees some light snow and a few good rain storms, but nothing extreme.
Given Delaware’s central location along the East Coast, you’ll want to bring clothing for all seasons. When you move to Delaware, you can count on the cold winters of the northeastern states and the heavy rains that are typical in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Although near the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find mostly flat coastal towns and rolling hills. The highest point in Delaware is Ebright Azimuth. It’s elevation is just under 500 feet.
Taxes in Delaware
Delaware is one of 33 states with a progressive state income tax. With progressive taxation, the amount you owe the state depends on what tax bracket you fall into based on your income.
Delaware has seven tax brackets, and tax rates vary between 0% to 6.6%. The first bracket starts at $2,000, and the final bracket begins at $60,000 and does not have a ceiling. The more money you make, the higher your tax rate.
If you consider all types of taxes, Delaware ranks 16th in the country and is in the top five for in-state sales tax and property tax. However, Delaware is one of the worst states for corporate and individual income tax rates.
You might save money as a homeowner because you won’t pay high property taxes, which can help you maintain your desired lifestyle if you’re on a retirement income. However, you’ll want to factor in higher income taxes if you own a business or work in Delaware.
Job Opportunities and Costs in Delaware
Delaware is one of the best states for economic growth and employment opportunities. With its reasonable home values, you can purchase a nice house without having to have a high income, and you can count on a diverse job market because of its location.
Delaware sits just over the national average regarding the cost of living. It comes in at 102.7 on the cost of living index, where the national average is 100.
Living in Delaware expands your job opportunities because you can commute to nearby cities for work. It is an excellent option for commuters working in New Jersey, Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland because it is within driving distance of each state.
There are also a variety of employment opportunities in agriculture, finance, and manufacturing. Some of the top employers in Delaware are Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Mountaire Farms, and Purdue Farms.
In Delaware, less than 12% of the population lives below the poverty level. This is right in line with the national average and comparable to surrounding states and other areas above the Mason-Dixon line.
Top earners in the state earn close to $60,000, and the average hourly rate salary in the state is about $43,500. This is slightly higher than the national average.
For households, the median income is $70,000, which is $5,000 higher than the national average.
Overall, if you’re thinking of moving to Delaware, count on a healthy balance between modest living costs and good jobs. This makes it a great state to move to for families and young couples, as well as retirees looking for a safe place to live with all the good stuff—natural beauty, historic charm, and good healthcare.
Delaware’s healthcare system is above-average. The high-quality service and reliable care keep it right on par with the rest of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. It ranks 13th for health care access and 15th for care quality.
While Delaware has a solid healthcare system, the state is always finding ways to improve. Lawmakers have recognized the declining number of physicians and practices, so, to help solve this problem, Delaware has been working on increasing its investment in healthcare since 2017.
With more financial support, practices can receive full payments for care, and more Delaware residents can access healthcare. Along with this, Delaware is working to provide flexible payment options so that everyone can afford healthcare.
Only about 9% of the population doesn’t have health insurance, which is much better than the uninsured rates in other states. Between high-quality care and accessibility, Delaware is a great place to live when it comes to healthcare.
Delaware has a decent education system. Ranked 20th nationally for higher education and 22nd overall for its pre-K through 12th-grade school system, the Blue Hen state offers good schools to students of all ages.
Delaware has higher graduation rates than the national average, which reflects the success of its pre-K through 12th-grade programs.
Many students looking to further their education can attend one of several excellent universities in the state.
The University of Delaware is a top-100 school with just under 19,000 undergrad students. The smaller university size is excellent for students wanting to go to a nationally ranked school without the overwhelm that comes with attending a large university.
Also, the University of Delaware prioritizes its residents by offering substantially lower in-state costs. A Delaware resident can attend UD for $15,000/year, whereas out-of-state residents pay over $35,000/year.
Delaware is a unique state because of its small size, rich history, and great location. It also has a few idiosyncrasies that everyone should learn about before moving here.
It has several nicknames. Thomas Jefferson coined it The Diamond State, saying it’s a jewel of a state because of its central location on the Eastern Seaboard. It’s also known as the Blue Hen State and the Small Wonder.
As the second-smallest state in the country with just three counties, it has the lowest population, and yet, two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies originate in Delaware—there are more companies with entities in Delaware than residents.
Part of this is due to the low corporate tax—it keeps businesses in Delaware and provides thousands of jobs to its residents.
Another perk of moving to Delaware: the state is home to tax-free shopping all year round. Some states have one week with no sales tax. In Delaware, there’s zero sales tax.
If you like history, Delaware has a lot to offer. It was an original territory in the 13 colonies, and when the colonies declared independence from Great Britain, it was the first state to join the newly unified country.
But before it was a state or even a territory, Henry Hudson discovered the land in 1609. Shortly after that, the Dutch settled the area in 1631, and their influence soon spread throughout the region. Delaware is full of historical and cultural sites, making it the perfect place to live for history nerds.
One of the most incredible modern marvels in the world is located in Delaware. The Delaware Memorial Bridge connects New Jersey and Delaware and is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.
- Funland Amusement Park
- Cape May-Lewes Ferry
- Rehoboth Beach’s Boardwalk
- Delaware Seashore State Park
- Delaware Art Museum
Tourism is so important that residents would pay an additional $1,500 in taxes every year without it.
Best Places to Live in Delaware
There are many great things about living in the tiny state of Delaware. Whether you’re attracted to its rich history or its beautiful 60-mile shoreline, it has a lot to offer.
But before you can move here, there are a few crucial things to do to help you prepare for your move:
- Bring clothing for all weather. Delaware has moderate temperatures as a coastal state, but it still has cold winters and warm summer days.
- Living in Delaware is cost-efficient, primarily if you work across state lines. However, you’ll need a car to get around. You can ship your car across states so it’s ready for you when you arrive at your new home in Delaware.
- When you get into town, make sure you have the following documents to make your transition as smooth as possible:
- Driver’s license
- Social security card
- Vehicle registration
- Medical records
Once you have these things ready, you can begin researching some of the best places to live in Delaware. Here are the best six cities in Delaware:
By far the most beautiful location on this list, Ocean View is just like its name says—it is near the beach and has gorgeous views of the Atlantic. While Delaware has a huge tourist industry, Ocean View is rarely bombarded with visitors like other beach towns are.
This quiet area is great for singles and retirees who want a more peaceful life outside of work. And with its low crime rate, you know you are safe at all times.
Lewes is an attractive beach town dotted with interesting architecture and old Victorian homes. Branded as the “first town in the first state,” Lewes is a great historical area.
Dutch settlers first established it and named it after Lewes, England. Lewes is half the connection in the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, so you can easily travel to South Jersey and enjoy the boardwalk and beautiful beaches there.
Milton is an excellent place to live, especially for families looking for a safe environment. With zero violent crimes in 2019, it was rated as the safest city in Delaware in 2020.
But there is more to Milton than safety. It’s also filled with fun things to do. You can visit the famous Dogfish Head Brewery—the pride and joy of Milton—for a fun night out with friends. Or, if you prefer to go outside, you can visit hotspots like Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Lavender Fields Farm.
Newark is one of the largest and most densely populated cities in Delaware. It’s also home to the University of Delaware. Since it has a vibrant college scene, it also has a large dating scene, making it an excellent place for young singles to live and visit.
However, because it is a college town, there is a higher cost of living—the average rent is $1,300/month.
Wyoming has one of the best school districts in the state. It’s also highly affordable. Due to its family-friendly environment, there has been a 10% increase in the population in the last few years.
While living in Wyoming, there are plenty of festivals to go to throughout the year. The most popular is the annual peach festival at Fifer Orchards.
Rehoboth Beach is home to the Funland Amusement Park. With its boardwalk, beautiful beaches, and fun activities, Rehoboth Beach is a fantastic place to visit during the summer.
There’s also a refreshingly slow pace of life and plenty of charming cafes, making it perfect for those moving to Delaware to retire and enjoy the golden years.
Although Delaware may be tiny in size, it offers a lot to its residents. When you live in Delaware, you have access to miles of beaches. Plus, you can take advantage of the surrounding large cities without paying for expensive housing and high property taxes.
With temperatures that are never too hot or too cold, a modest cost of living, and decent schools and healthcare, overall, Delaware is middle of the road in most categories. You can live a good life here, whether you’re a young family or looking to settle down somewhere affordable when you retire.
When it’s time to move, don’t worry about vehicle transportation. Guardian Auto Transport can help you out with state to state car shipping. We can also ship your vehicle to Delaware for you across state lines, making it even easier to move to this little gem on the East Coast.
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