Delaware is a state located in the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States. It shares its borders with the state of Maryland to the south and west, the state of Pennsylvania to the north, and both New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The state gets its name from the Delaware River, which was called after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman who served as Virginia's first colonial governor. The Delaware River is located nearby.
The state of Delaware is located on the northeastern section of the Delmarva Peninsula, along with a few islands and territories in the Delaware River. It is the sixth least populous state overall, but it also has the sixth highest population density of any state. It is the second smallest state overall. The state capital of Delaware is located in Dover, which is the second-biggest city in the state, while Wilmington is the largest city in the state. New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County are the state's three counties, which gives it the lowest number of counties of any state (unless one counts Louisiana and Alaska, which do not have counties but rather parishes and boroughs respectively). These counties are listed in order from north to south: New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County. In contrast to New Castle County, which is a more urbanised component of the Delaware Valley Metropolitan Statistical Area that is focused on Philadelphia, the two counties to the south have traditionally been characterised by a prominent agricultural industry. The Mid-Atlantic and the Northeastern areas of the United States are both represented in various aspects of Delaware's geography, culture, and history.
A number of Native American tribes called Delaware home prior to the arrival of European explorers along its coast in the 16th century. These Native American tribes included the Lenape in the state's northern region and the Nanticoke in its southern region. In 1631, Dutch merchants established the first permanent settlement at Zwaanendael, which is located close to where Lewes is now located. One of the Thirteen Colonies that participated in the American Revolutionary War was the state of Delaware. The Constitution of the United States was ratified by Delaware on December 7, 1787, making it the first state to do so. Since that time, Delaware has been referred to as "The First State." Since the turn of the 20th century, Delaware has been recognised as a de facto onshore corporate haven. This is due to the fact that, as a result of its corporate laws, the state is the domicile of more than half of all businesses that are listed on the NYSE as well as more than three-fifths of the Fortune 500.