Page 40 - Guide to Greater Philadelphia
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pleasant living is at home here
Easy access to major cities, great schools, and historical sights serve to recommend New Castle County.
The state of Delaware is divided into three counties. Only New Castle, the northern-most county just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is in the met- ropolitan area. As Delaware’s most densely populated county, New Castle is a vital contributor to economic development, commerce, tourism and quality of life in the region.
New Castle County has 556,000 residents, according to 2015 census estimates, more than half of the First State’s population. It is home to Wilmington — the state’s largest city, the county seat, the commerce center, the restaurant and entertainment hub, and
a busy port. The county’s other population center is Newark, home of the University of Delaware. The county is also home to Christiana Care Health System, one of the country’s largest healthcare providers, and a major teaching hospital. Elsewhere, New Castle County has beautiful countryside, access to the Delaware River and many charming and historic towns and boroughs. The state’s most popular Atlantic Ocean beaches, in south- ern Delaware, are just a two-hour drive away.
With its business-friendly regulations, low tax rates (no state sales tax or personal income tax), and acces- sibility to major cities along the East Coast, the county attracts business and industry and maintains a highly qualified workforce.
The industries with the largest number of employ- ees are healthcare and social assistance, finance and insurance, government, retail trade, and hospitality (3rd quarter 2016, Delaware Dept. of Labor, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages). The county has
a large number of healthcare practitioners and jobs
in the life, physical and social science fields. As in other parts of the metropolitan area, unemployment is low — 3 to 4 percent — while the median household income is about $66,000.
New Castle County has many reasons to recom- mend it as a place to live, work, play and do business. Good public schools, a lower cost of living than in neighboring states, low unemployment and a proximity to trains, planes, boats and highways are just some of the qualities that make New Castle County attractive.
The Brandywine Creek flows into the county, providing recreational areas such as Brandywine Creek State Park. While preserving and celebrating its history, New Castle County is thriving in the present, and on the cutting edge of biotechnology and clean energy.
Tourism, too, is a major draw, and an industry
that employs many county residents. Among the county’s many attractions is Winterthur, a luxurious property that belonged to the DuPont family, whose gunpowder-turned-chemical company fueled the area’s
early growth. In the rolling valleys just northwest of Wilmington are two other former DuPont mansions, all open to the public: Nemours and Hagley, the family’s original homestead on the banks of the Brandywine.
The town of New Castle, the oldest continuously occupied town in the Delaware Valley, retains its 17th-century charm, with cobblestone streets winding through the old part of the town of 22,000 residents. More than 500 sites here are on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Another stop for getting away from the East Coast hustle and bustle is Delaware City, with about 1,600 residents, in the middle of the county. Like New Castle, this is a riverfront town, with many historic buildings and areas for hiking, biking and kayaking.
For business owners and residents alike, one
of New Castle County’s most attractive assets is its location and access. You can definitely get there from here. Highways, railroads, airports and the bustling Port of Wilmington, described as an engine for the state and county economies, provide many modes of transporta- tion for moving goods and people.
The main East Coast thoroughfare, I-95, connects the area with cities north and south — New York, Boston, Baltimore and Washington. Philadelphia is about a 30-minute drive from Wilmington, and closer
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