These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Delaware For 2018


We analyzed every place in Delaware to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of Delaware.

But where exactly in Delaware? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in Delaware that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Bridgeville don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the First State to retire for 2018:

  1. Bridgeville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Lewes (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Smyrna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. New Castle (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Milton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Rehoboth Beach (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Greenwood (Homes For Sale)
  8. Elsmere (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Wilmington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Newport (Homes For Sale)

Why did Bridgeville take the top spot? And where are Wilmington and Dover?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in Delaware.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the First State

To create our list of the best places in Delaware to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the First State — 77 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 1,000 people that weren’t townships. This left us with 26 places from across the state.

For these 26, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 26, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Bridgeville, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. Bridgeville

Bridgeville, Delaware

Population: 2,397
Median Rent: $582
Distance to Closest Airport: 65 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,836
More on Bridgeville: Homes For Sale | Data

2. Lewes

Lewes, Delaware

Population: 2,955
Median Rent: $1,185
Distance to Closest Airport: 55 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,233
More on Lewes: Homes For Sale | Data

3. Smyrna

Smyrna, Delaware

Population: 11,081
Median Rent: $922
Distance to Closest Airport: 44 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,429
More on Smyrna: Homes For Sale | Data
Smyrna was originally called Duck Creek Cross Roads and received its current name in 1806 after the Ancient Greek seaport of Smyrna in present-day Turkey. The town was located along the north-south King’s Highway. Smyrna was originally a shipping center along the Duck Creek and was the most important port between Wilmington and Lewes, shipping grain, lumber, tanbark, and produce to points north. After the shipping industry collapsed in the 1850s, the town would continue to be an agricultural center.

4. New Castle

New Castle, Delaware

Population: 5,372
Median Rent: $1,153
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
Crime Per 100k: 4,113
More on New Castle: Homes For Sale | Data
New Castle was originally settled by the Dutch West India Company in 1651, under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant, on the site of a former aboriginal village, “Tomakonck” (“Place of the Beaver”), to assert their claim to the area based on a prior agreement with the aboriginal inhabitants of the area. The Dutch originally named the settlement Fort Casimir, but this was changed to Fort Trinity (Swedish: Trefaldighet) following its seizure by the colony of New Sweden on Trinity Sunday, 1654. The Dutch conquered the entire colony of New Sweden the following year and rechristened the fort Nieuw-Amstel (“New Amstel”). This marked the end of the Swedish colony in Delaware as an official entity, but it remained a semi-autonomous unit within the New Netherland colony and the cultural, social, and religious influence of the Swedish settlers remained strong. As the settlement grew, Dutch authorities laid out a grid of streets and established the town common (The “Green”), which continue to this day.

5. Milton

Milton, Delaware

Population: 2,756
Median Rent: $901
Distance to Closest Airport: 61 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,269
More on Milton: Homes For Sale | Data

6. Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Population: 1,119
Median Rent: $1,008
Distance to Closest Airport: 57 miles
Crime Per 100k: 13,941
More on Rehoboth Beach: Homes For Sale | Data

7. Greenwood


Population: 1,280
Median Rent: $957
Distance to Closest Airport: 21 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,640
More on Greenwood: Homes For Sale | Data

8. Elsmere

Elsmere, Delaware

Population: 6,137
Median Rent: $958
Distance to Closest Airport: 20 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,916
More on Elsmere: Homes For Sale | Data
Elsmere dates back to 1886 when real estate developer Joshua Heald bought farmland and converted it into houses, building the first suburb in northern Delaware. The community was built at an intersection of railroad lines and allowed working-class families easy access to Wilmington. Trolley lines were later built leading to Elsmere. In 1909, Elsmere was incorporated as a town.

9. Wilmington

Wilmington, Delaware

Population: 71,502
Median Rent: $925
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,753
More on Wilmington: Homes For Sale | Data
Wilmington is built on the site of Fort Christina and the settlement Kristinehamn, the first Swedish settlement in North America.

The area now known as Wilmington was settled by the Lenape (or Delaware Indian) band led by Sachem (Chief) Mattahorn just before Henry Hudson sailed up the Len-api Hanna (“People Like Me River”, present Delaware River) in 1609. The area was called “Maax-waas Unk” or “Bear Place” after the Maax-waas Hanna (Bear River) that flowed by (present Christina River). It was called the Bear River because it flowed west to the “Bear People”, who are now known as the People of Conestoga or the Susquehannocks.[citation needed]

10. Newport

Newport, Delaware

Source: Public domain’

Population: 1,075
Median Rent: $931
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,534
More on Newport: Homes For Sale | Data

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Delaware goes to Bridgeville.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Camden
  • Blades
  • Laurel

For more Delaware reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In Delaware

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Bridgeville 1 2,397 $582 65 2,836
Lewes 2 2,955 $1185 55 2,233
Smyrna 3 11,081 $922 44 3,429
New Castle 4 5,372 $1153 22 4,113
Milton 5 2,756 $901 61 1,269
Rehoboth Beach 6 1,119 $1008 57 13,941
Greenwood 7 1,280 $957 21 1,640
Elsmere 8 6,137 $958 20 2,916
Wilmington 9 71,502 $925 18 6,753
Newport 10 1,075 $931 22 3,534
Milford 11 10,532 $833 58 6,152
Millsboro 12 4,121 $797 71 4,828
Seaford 13 7,417 $791 67 6,458
Cheswold 14 1,123 $1406 48 2,048
Delmar 15 1,792 $715 77 4,408
Ocean View 16 2,087 $1165 70 1,533
Harrington 17 3,688 $876 61 3,931
Selbyville 18 2,268 $1035 76 3,835
Wyoming 19 1,575 $997 55 1,777
Dover 20 37,351 $982 51 5,855
Clayton 21 3,080 $1366 46 1,396
Felton 22 1,566 $1119 59 1,404
Newark 23 32,941 $1177 30 2,668
Laurel 24 3,984 $753 72 5,371
Blades 25 1,302 $1005 68 2,611
Camden 26 3,494 $1547 55 6,010

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