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- For other places called Wilmington, see Wilmington
Location in the state of Delaware
|County||New Castle County|
|Mayor||James M. Baker (Dem)|
44.1 km² (17.0 mi²)
28.1 km² (10.9 mi²) 36.25%
- City (2000)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5|
Wilmington, a seaport in northern Delaware, is the largest city in the state. As of the 2000 census, Wilmington had a total population of 72,664. It is the county seat of New Castle County . It is named by Thomas Penn for his friend Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, who was prime minister in the reign of George II of Great Britain.
The area now know as Wilmington was first colonized by settlers from Sweden and Finland about 1638, establishing the colony on New Sweden. In 1655 the Dutch arrived and took over the colonies form the Swedes and Finns. Then in 1644 British colonization began, the area stabilized under British rule, with strong influences from the Quaker communities, and was granted a borough charter in 1739 by the King George II which changed the name from Willington, after Thomas Willing the first 'developer" of the land who organized the area in a grid pattern similar to that of its northern neighbor Philadelphia, to Wilmington, presumably after Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington.
Wilmington became the first city in the U.S. to have its entire downtown area under surveillance: some $800,000 worth of video cameras (some bought with public money, some by downtown businesses) have the exteriors of all the buildings in view, and the technicians who monitor them dispatch the city's police to the scene of any crime or suspicious activity they see, while it is still happening.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.1 km² (17.0 mi²). 28.1 km² (10.9 mi²) of it is land and 16.0 km² (6.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 36.25% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 72,664 people, 28,617 households, and 15,882 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,585.8/km² (6,698.1/mi²). There are 32,138 housing units at an average density of 1,143.6/km² (2,962.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 35.52% White, 56.43% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 5.16% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. 9.84% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 28,617 households out of which 27.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.6% are married couples living together, 23.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% are non-families. 37.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.19.
In the city the population is spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $35,116, and the median income for a family is $40,241. Males have a median income of $34,360 versus $29,895 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,236. 21.3% of the population and 16.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 30.4% of those under the age of 18 and 20.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
As a result of the business laws of Delaware, Wilmington has become an international financial center for the credit card industry, largely because of regulations enacted by former governor Pierre S. du Pont IV. Many major credit card issuers, including MBNA Corporation, Chase Card Services (part of JP Morgan Chase & Co., formerly Bank One / First USA), and Juniper Bank, are headquartered in Wilmington. Many banks as well are "officially" headquartered in Wilmington, but operate out of other cities.
Wilmington is served by the Wilmington Rail Station, with frequent service to New York, New York, and Washington, DC, via Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, with additional local service to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania via SEPTA Regional (commuter) Rail. The closest major airport is Philadelphia International Airport.
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