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Top 10 Micro-Cities in North America - Wilmington, Delaware

Updated on August 20, 2023
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

In many ways, music saved my life, and I have the most famous director of the USMC bands to thank for it!


Economic History and Technological Future

Wilmington is conveniently located among high-powered business and political centers in the Northeastern USA between New York City and Washington DC, but nearest to Philadelphia. Its setting is the Brandywine Valley of Delaware State.

From an early Eastern Native American land flowing with rivers and wildlife, Wilmington emerged to become one of the great North American hopes for technology, business, green spaces, and culture in the 21st Century..

This micro-city was originally settled by the Swedish in the early 1600s, joined later by the Dutch and British, then groups of Quakers. It became officially "Wilmington" as a borough under English rule in 1739 and a city in 1832. Various milling industries became the largest source of economy in the city. Already accessible via water and road transport, the city gained railroad accessibility in the late 1837s to boost local economies.

What Is a Micro-City?

A micro city avoids some of the bureaucracies of city governments. For an additional explanation of micro-cities and their operation, please see Top 10 Micro-Cities in North America.

Wilmington, Delaware:
Wilmington, DE, USA

get directions

Wilmington, Delaware was founded at the Swedish colony of Fort Christina in the colony in 1638, long before the Revolutionary War.

Lenape Paxahakink

Wilmington, named after an earl in Great Britain, was called "Paxahakink" by the local Lenape Nation indigenous group. Delaware, named after the Lenape Delaware group. was the first state to ratify the US Constitution, in 1787.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Coach made by local manufacturer Jackson & Sharp.
Coach made by local manufacturer Jackson & Sharp.
Coach made by local manufacturer Jackson & Sharp. | Source

During the American Civil War, industries in the city provided good and materials for the war effort to the Union Army and Federal Government. Wilmington became the leading manufacturer of iron ships in the nation.

After the war, the city developed new business properties and residential sites, along with a system of streetcars pulled by horses. This was one of the first "bus" or "streetcar" systems in America.

City parks and additional parks at the end of the streetcar lines were established and maintained. New residents moved into the city and between the Civil War and the Roaring Twenties, the population increased over five fold. The population declined somewhat from over 100,000 during the first half of the 20th Century to 71,255 in 2013.

Never having descended into urban blight, the Wilmington stayed the course of continuous development. In the 21st Century, it governs 10 separate Historical Districts in which it monitors and maintains its traditional architectures. These are quite interesting to tourists that appreciate architecture and National Historical Places. Residential and business areas are also well maintained and improved regularly.

Steamboat built in Wilmington.
Steamboat built in Wilmington. | Source

First State National Park, Founded 2013

First State National Park HQ:
First State National Historical Park, 211 Delaware St, New Castle, DE 19720, USA

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A Park of 1,000 Acres: This park extends the entire length of the State of Delaware, including federal, state, and municipal lands.

Historic Wilmington

  • Fort Christina - Wilmington, Delaware
  • Fort Mifflin on the Delaware River

    Located on the scenic Delaware River, Fort Mifflin is the site of the largest bombardment the North American continent has ever witnessed. In 1777, during the Revolution, a valiant five-week battle took place when the British Navy attacked.

  • Historic Sugartown
  • Pennsville Township Historical Society

    Our objective is to collect, preserve and display articles of historical worth and interest to the residents of our township and to provide educational and cultural programs pertaining to Pennsville Area of NJ/Delaware.

  • The Delaware Art Museum features the Brandywine School of art style, named for a nearby creek.

Brandywine Creek Area

Brandywine Creek, Delaware:
Brandywine Creek, Wilmington, DE, USA

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History Around Wilmington

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Local 19th Century Railroad Car.Wilmington Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse.
Local 19th Century Railroad Car.
Local 19th Century Railroad Car. | Source
Wilmington Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse.
Wilmington Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse. | Source

Top 10 Jobs Through 2030

The fastest-growing occupations in New Castle County and the Delaware Valley are are concentrated in Healthcare and Information Technology (IT):

  1. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  2. Database Administrators
  3. Computer Software Applications Engineers
  4. Network and Systems Administrators
  5. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  6. Pharmacy Technicians
  7. Medical Assistants
  8. Physical Therapist Assistants
  9. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Vocational Nurses (LVNs)
  10. Veterinary Techs

This list of jobs includes many of those that center on advancing technologies in data, communications, and health & medical fields. Their growth lends to Wilmington's importance as a top city for the 21st Century.

It is a city that is likely to grow in economy and population, because it offers cutting edge advances in healthcare throughout the lifespan, a variety of quality residential options for all ages, new jobs and emerging career fields, top notch education, and proximity to large cultural, business and political centers in the Northeastern US.

Largest Employers in and Near Wilmington

  1. Christiana Healthcare System: Health
  2. PFPC Mutual Funds: Finance
  3. Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals: Health/Chemicals
  4. Delaware Park Racetrack: Horse Racing
  5. Port of Wilmington: Transportation
  6. St. Francis Rehabilitation Center: Health
  7. Delaware Park Management Co.: Race park management
  8. E I Du Pont De Nemours & Co.: Chemicals
  9. St. Francis Hospital: Health
  10. A. I. Du Pont Children's Hospital: Health

Wilmington is also a financial hub that supports several large insurance companies, brokerage houses, and banks. The credit card industry has flourished here in the past.

Increase in IT Positions

High Demand IT Jobs in Wilmington DE

  1. Java Developer
  2. Technical Architect
  3. VXML Application Developer
  4. Information Security Analyst
  5. User Experience Design Leads
  6. UNIX Administrator
  7. Cobol Developer/System Analysts
  8. User Experience Design Lead
  9. Sybase DBA
  10. Infrastructure Project Manager

Louis XIV Architecture
Louis XIV Architecture | Source

Top 10 Job Listings

The largest job numbers are concentrated in three areas: Healthcare, Sales, and Accounting.

  1. Physical Therapists
  2. Occupational Therapists
  3. Registered Nurses (RN)
  4. Assistant Managers in many fields
  5. Sales Managers
  6. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
  7. Senior Accountants
  8. Retail Salespersons
  9. Staff Accountants
  10. Patient Services Technician Specialists

Leading Company Job Listers

  1. Critical Connection: Health
  2. Bayada Nurses
  3. Randstad: Placement Services
  4. Genesis HealthCare
  5. Liberty Personnel Services, Inc.
  6. Medical Connections Inc.
  7. Kforce Professional Staffing
  8. Ajilon Professional Staffing
  9. Traveling Health Professionals: Higher paid positions with additional benefits and perks.
  10. RemX IT: Information Technology; JPMorgan Chase: Banking & Financial Products; Comcast: Communications Technology (3-way tie)

Wilmington Higher Education

  • Brandywine College of Widener University and Widener School of Law
  • Delaware Technical & Community College
  • Delaware College of Art & Design
  • Goldey-Beacom College; 4701 Limestone Rd, Wilmington, DE 19808
  • Springfield College School of Human Services
  • University of Delaware: A large complex of 7 colleges, including a range of Healthcare and IT related degree programs, as well as dozens of specialized, interdisciplinary programs, like Quantitative Biology and Medical Humanities.
  • University of Phoenix
  • Wilmington University: One particularly good aspect of this fairly new university (40 years old in 2009) is that it offers an Accelerated RN to BSN Degree Program, allowing Registered Nursing students to complete a bachelor's degree for greater job advancement opportunities faster. The RN is projected to be in even shorter supply through 2030 than he or she is at the present time and the RN is projected to be one of the Top 10 Jobs for fast growth in the Wilmington area. The traditional RN to BSN range of Nursing Degrees is also offered. The Hispanic Cultural Certificate for Nurses is another certification program that aids nurses i establishing effective cultural competency at work. Health technology, Web Security and other IT related degree programs are successful and growing with the success of the micro-city.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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