The 10 Best Places To Retire In Delaware For 2021


We analyzed over 26 places in Delaware to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best places to retire in Delaware.

Thinking of retiring in the Diamond State soon? Before you make any final decisions, read our science-based attempt to uncover the best spots to retire in Delaware.

If you like the idea of living your golden years near the sea but don't fancy going as far south as Florida, Delaware is a wonderful option. Plus, if you have family spread around the eastern seaboard, Delaware's a happy middle ground that everyone can get to during the holidays. Whether you're into the more fun-and-friendly oceanside shores or the quieter bayside scene, we're sure you won't be disappointed by the wide variety of beaches Delaware has to offer. And if you like to wash down your blue claw crabs and Thrasher's vinegar French fries with a refreshing Dogfish Head, then you're in the right place.

What cities in Delaware have the most going on for retired folks? About half the cities on this list are in the southern part of the state, not super-close (by Delawarean standards) to the state's biggest cities. Smyrna is the best Dover suburb to retire in, while New Castle tops the list of Wilmington suburbs. If you want to be near some of Delaware's best beaches (and Cape Henlopen State Park), you can't go wrong retiring in Lewes or Rehoboth Beach. The great thing about retiring in the second-smallest state in the country is that you'll have no trouble visiting every corner with all your newfound free time.

Still curious which Delawarean cities have the most to offer retirees? Read on to learn the best places to retire in Delaware.

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Delaware For 2021

  1. Lewes
  2. Bridgeville
  3. Selbyville
  4. Felton
  5. New Castle
  6. Milton
  7. Cheswold
  8. Delmar
  9. Smyrna
  10. Wilmington

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

These places are the cream of the crop when it comes to retiring in Delaware. Many of these cities are also featured on our list of best places to raise a family in Delaware, so be sure to consult that list as well if your kids are looking for a good place to bring up your grandchildren.

In order to make this list, we first narrowed down the places we considered to only those with a population of at least 1,000. That left us with 26 cities to rank by using data from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights. The cities you see on the list above have low crime rates, low costs of living, good weather, a higher median age, and the easiest access to the best places in the state. So which place ticked all these boxes? According to the data, Lewes is the best place to retire in Delaware in 2021.

Had your heart set on a different Delaware destination for retirement? See how it fared with our retirement metrics on the complete list below.

For more Delaware state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Delaware For 2021

Lewes, DE

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 3,198
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Rent: $1,065
Distance to Closest Airport: 55 miles
More on Lewes: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bridgeville, DE

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,137
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $618
Distance to Closest Airport: 65 miles
More on Bridgeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Selbyville, DE

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,444
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 9)
Median Rent: $883
Distance to Closest Airport: 76 miles
More on Selbyville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Felton, DE

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,355
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $859
Distance to Closest Airport: 59 miles
More on Felton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

New Castle, DE

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,242
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,320
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
More on New Castle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Milton, DE

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,893
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $944
Distance to Closest Airport: 61 miles
More on Milton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cheswold, DE

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,483
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $948
Distance to Closest Airport: 48 miles
More on Cheswold: Real Estate | Data

Delmar, DE

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,808
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Rent: $774
Distance to Closest Airport: 77 miles
More on Delmar: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Smyrna, DE

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,484
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Rent: $1,110
Distance to Closest Airport: 44 miles
More on Smyrna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wilmington, DE

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 70,644
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Median Rent: $1,001
Distance to Closest Airport: 18 miles
More on Wilmington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the First State for 2021

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 Lewes, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Delaware Yet...

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

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

  1. Laurel
  2. Camden
  3. Blades

For more Delaware reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Delaware?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 Lewes 3,198 $1,065
2 Bridgeville 3,137 $618
3 Selbyville 2,444 $883
4 Felton 1,355 $859
5 New Castle 5,242 $1,320
6 Milton 2,893 $944
7 Cheswold 1,483 $948
8 Delmar 1,808 $774
9 Smyrna 11,484 $1,110
10 Wilmington 70,644 $1,001

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

0 thoughts on “The 10 Best Places To Retire In Delaware For 2021

  1. My wife and I are thinking about relocating to Delaware. We have two children .Their ages are 12 and 10. We are mostly interested in putting the children in a good school we have no clue about the schools in Delaware. What would be your choice of school districts other than private schools that will offer my children a good education? Also my wife and I will have a peace of mind that we are making the right to choose Delaware

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