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

Updated on April 27, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).


Historic City

Wilmington, Delaware was founded at the Swedish colony of Fort Christina in the colony in 1638, long before the Revolutionary War. It is located southwest of Philadelphia.

Wilmington, Delaware

A markerWilmington, Delaware -
Wilmington, DE, USA
get directions

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.

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 officlally "Wilmington" as a burough 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.

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

A markerFirst State National Park HQ -
First State National Historical Park, 211 Delaware St, New Castle, DE 19720, USA
get directions

A Park Of 1,000 Acres

This national park extends the entire length of the State of Delaware, covering parts of all three counties, including federal, state, and municipal lands.

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

Brandywine Creek Area

A markerBrandywine Creek, Delaware -
Brandywine Creek, Wilmington, DE, USA
get directions

History Around Wilmington

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Local 19th Century Railroad Car.Wilmington Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse. [photos public domain]
Local 19th Century Railroad Car.
Local 19th Century Railroad Car.
Wilmington Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse. [photos public domain]
Wilmington Friends (Quaker) Meetinghouse. [photos public domain]

Obama Administration Stimulus Projects 2009 - 2012

With 17,000 jobs already advertised in Wilmington in June 2009, the fastest growing industries and career fields in the micro-city area grew from 2009 - 2016 in

  1. Healthcare,
  2. Tourism,
  3. Sales,
  4. Accounting, and
  5. Information Technology (IT).

Stimulus Package projects added incentives for these businesses to grow faster and in greater numbers. At the same time, the city plans to cut costs by eliminating some employee recognition awards, the costly SafeLight red-light camera surveillance and ticketing system, and some high energy costs. The red-light system was also eliminated from Ohio, exposing corruption in the company selling the system.

Stop Light Cameras Had To Go


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.

Top 10 Jobs to Increase by 2016

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. - Racing 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

As the graph above shows, the IT job market fluctuated severely over the last few years from 2006 - 2008, but increased from 2010 - 2013. Jobs increased as well from 2014 - 2016.

See the leading listed job titles below:

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.[University of Delaware Library at Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic]
Louis XIV Architecture.[University of Delaware Library at Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic]

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) - Home Health Positions
  4. Assistant Managers - Retail, Food, etc.
  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

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 2020 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 tradition RN to BSN range of Nursing Degrees are 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.

© 2009 Patty Inglish


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    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 7 years ago

      Wonderful! I just moved about 15 minutes from Wilmington, and I'm job searching! This helps a lot.

    • profile image

      Derek Panson 7 years ago

      Thanks for the post. The economy is struggling so bad this can really help some people out.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      How about that!

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 8 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Hey, any state that birthed Coors beer is good by me!