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The Best Places to Live in Delaware 2024

  • May 6, 2023
  • James Beeson
  • Category: Delaware Housing Market

Looking to make a move to Delaware? Delaware may be the second smallest state in the United States, but it offers plenty, from charming small towns to bustling beach cities. Delaware has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a peaceful rural retreat or an active urban lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a quieter, more rural lifestyle, consider moving to one of Delaware’s many small towns. Milford, for example, is a charming city that offers a slower pace of life and a tight-knit community. Similarly, Wilmington, located at the confluence of the Delaware and Christina Rivers, has a rich history and charm.

No matter where you decide to live in Delaware in 2024, you’re sure to find a welcoming community and a high quality of life. With its natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture, Delaware is truly a hidden gem on the East Coast.

Given that, we know how great the state of Delaware is in terms of living, let’s see its best places.

Top 10 Best Places To Live In Delaware

1.   Wilmington

Wilmington is a thriving city that offers its residents a lot of advantages. Its location between major east coast cities, as well as its relatively low cost of living, make it an attractive option for young professionals, entrepreneurs, and executives alike.

Moreover, Wilmington has a rich history as the site of the country’s first Swedish settlement, giving it a unique cultural identity. Additionally, the merging of the Brandywine and Christina Rivers at Wilmington adds to the city’s charm and character.


Wilmington’s downtown area is particularly vibrant, with a burgeoning food scene that draws in foodies and innovative chefs. From modern cocktail bars to restaurants, there are plenty of options for getting entertained in the city.

Overall, it is a great place to live for anyone looking for a welcoming community with a rich history and plenty of opportunities for both entertainment and career growth.


70,750 (2021)

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Median Household Income


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2.   Dover

Dover, the second-largest city and the state capital of Delaware, has a rich history dating back to the Underground Railroad, which played a significant role in aiding escaped enslaved people.

Its central location between free and enslaved person states made it a crucial stop for those seeking freedom. Today, Dover is a fast-growing region with a low cost of living, making it an attractive place for people to settle.


The state and Kent County governments are major employers, with the Dover International Speedway serving as a significant source of revenue for the city. The Speedway hosts two major NASCAR events annually, attracting thousands of visitors and contributing millions to the local economy.

The Firefly Music Festival, held at The Woodlands of Dover International Speedway since 2012, has become a significant attraction for music lovers, with multiple stages and over 100 performers over three days.

Dover has a rich history and a vibrant present, offering plenty of opportunities for its residents and visitors alike.


38,992 (2021)

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Air Mobility Command Museum

3.   Newark


About 12 miles west-southwest of Wilmington is the city of Newark, Delaware. Since its founding in 1694 by Welsh and Scottish-Irish colonists, education has played a pivotal role in the region’s development and prosperity. Newark Academy, which first opened its doors in 1765, educated several future signers of the Declaration of Independence. The University of Delaware, which has its main campus in Newark, is renowned for its biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, and business departments, among others.

In addition to the academic opportunities available in Newark, the city also hosts a number of Division I college sports teams. The Fightin’ Blue Hens are a multi-sport team that competes under the name YouDee the Blue Hen.

Finally, Newark is home to more than 12,000 acres of public parkland, providing ample space for equestrians, cyclists, and hikers to enjoy their favorite activities. It appears that there is something for everyone in Newark, Delaware, given the variety of available options.


31,155 (2021)

Median Rent for a 2-Bedroom Apartment


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4.   Milford


One of the standout features of Milford is its rich history, dating back to the late 17th century. Along the Mispillion River, Milford provides a picturesque backdrop for exploring the area’s history and enjoying outdoor activities.

In addition to its historical significance, Milford is also home to a thriving arts scene, which provides a creative outlet for its residents and attracts visitors from around the region. The city’s downtown area is great to explore, with many shops, restaurants, and other attractions.

Milford’s public school system is also highly regarded, providing local students with a top-notch education. And for those who enjoy sampling local craft beer or spending time in nature, Milford might be the best place. From local breweries to nature centers, there are plenty of things to see and do in this vibrant Delaware city.


12,272 (2021)

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5.   Hockessin


Hockessin, Delaware, is a city that offers its residents an excellent quality of life. It has been named the happiest city in Delaware, and some factors contributing to this ranking include affordable housing prices and short work commutes.

Hockessin is located along the state border with Pennsylvania, which makes it a popular commuter community for those who work in other locations in Delaware or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Living in Hockessin allows residents to enjoy the benefits of a peaceful and safe community while still being close to larger urban centers.

Families, in particular, enjoy living in Hockessin. The city’s highly-ranked school system makes it an attractive destination for parents who want to provide their children with a good education. Hockessin has several sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Hockessin Friends Meeting House and the T. Pierson Farm. These historical landmarks add to the charm and character of the city, making it an exciting and unique place to call home.


14,172 (2020)

Median Rent for a 2-Bedroom Apartment


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6.   Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach is a popular destination for both summer vacations and year-round living.

Despite its high housing prices, the proximity to the beach and local amenities such as restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops make it an attractive place to live.

The town center boasts several family-friendly cafes and restaurants that offer a diverse culinary experience.

In addition to its welcoming atmosphere, Rehoboth Beach has gained international recognition for being an LGBTQ+ friendly community. Finally, residents can enjoy the area’s beautiful sunsets year-round.


1,151 (2021)

Median Rent for a 2-Bedroom Apartment


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7.   Smyrna


Smyrna was once known as Duck Creek Cross Roads until it was renamed in 1806. The town played a significant role in shipping along Duck Creek, connecting Lewes and Wilmington. Still, the shipping industry’s decline in the 1850s led to the town shifting its focus toward agriculture.

One notable aspect of Smyrna is its strong sense of community, as the town’s residents have known each other for a long time. Although there isn’t much in terms of nightlife, there are still places to go and explore. For instance, you can visit the Blue Earl Brewing Company or Painted Stave Distilling if you want to grab a drink. Alternatively, you could check out Woodland Beach, which is a hidden gem in Smyrna.

If you’re a fan of fresh produce, meats, baked goods, and fresh-cut flowers, be sure to visit the Asbury Church Farmers Market, which is open all year round. Overall, Smyrna may not have a bustling nightlife, but its sense of community and various attractions make it a beautiful place to call home.


13,149 (2021)

Median Rent for a 2-Bedroom Apartment


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8.   Lewes


Lewes, Delaware, is a coastal city that offers residents and visitors the best of both worlds: easy access to some of the state’s most beautiful beaches and the sense of community that comes with living in a close-knit, year-round community.

Lewes is an excellent destination for those who enjoy food and history, with plenty of walkable attractions, including the Canal Front Park, Lewes Farmers Market, King’s Homemade Ice Cream, and The Mercantile Antique Gallery. From these local landmarks to more dynamic attractions, there is plenty to see and do in Lewes, making it an ideal spot for anyone exploring the best of Delaware.


3,420 (2021)

Median Rent for a 2-Bedroom Apartment


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9.   Bear


Historically, Bear was just a small crossroads in a rural area, but it has experienced significant development in recent decades, with the emergence of shopping centers and housing developments. Despite this growth, Bear maintains a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for its residents and visitors.

Bear offers the convenience of easy access to urban amenities while also providing spacious living options. The community has various dining and nightlife options, including local microbreweries and sports bars. Visitors can enjoy diverse cuisines, from fried chicken to Chinese food to pizza, all located along the Pulaski Highway.

For those who enjoy spending time in nature, there are plenty of options within Bear’s boundaries. Lums Pond State Park is a popular outdoor destination for boating, zip-lining, and camping. Glasgow Park offers forests, wetlands, and walking trails for hikers and nature enthusiasts, while Becks Pond Park is an excellent spot for picnicking or fishing. Despite its small-town appeal, Bear has much to offer those seeking urban and outdoor adventures.


21,397 (2020)

Median Rent for a 2-Bedroom Apartment


Median Household Income


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10.  Claymont


Claymont is a census-designated place in Delaware that is rich in history, dating back to 1200 A.D. when Aboriginal Indians inhabited it.

Despite its historical origins, Claymont is now a modern community with a population of just under 10,000, with a diverse workforce that is split evenly between white-collar and blue-collar jobs. The community has numerous historical locations that have been preserved, such as the Grubb/Worth Mansion and the Claymont Stone School.

Claymont residents rely on public transportation to work in neighboring cities and come together for a popular annual event, the Darley Beer, Wine, and Music Festival, which features locally sourced beer, wine, and performances. Claymont is a dynamic and evolving community that continues to celebrate its rich history while embracing modernity.


9,343 (2020)

Median Rent for a 2-Bedroom Apartment


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What makes Delaware a great place to live?

Delaware has a lot to offer, including beautiful beaches, charming small towns, a rich history, and a strong sense of community.

What are the most popular cities to live in Delaware?

Wilmington is the largest and most popular city in Delaware, followed by Newark, Dover, and Rehoboth Beach.

What are some of the most affordable places to live in Delaware?

Some of the most affordable places to live in Delaware include Smyrna, Milford, and Georgetown.

What are the best beach towns to live in Delaware?

Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Lewes are all popular beach towns in Delaware that offer a high quality of life and plenty of amenities.

What are some of the best small towns to live in Delaware?

Some of the best small towns in Delaware include Milton, Camden, and Wyoming, all of which offer a tight-knit community and a slower pace of life.

What is the cost of living like in Delaware?

Delaware has a relatively low cost of living compared to other states on the East Coast, but it can vary depending on where you choose to live.

What are the job prospects like in Delaware?

Delaware has a strong job market, particularly in the fields of finance, healthcare, and technology. Some of the top employers in Delaware include JPMorgan Chase, ChristianaCare, and DuPont.