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Bear, Delaware
White Hall
Location in New Castle County and the state of Delaware.
Location in New Castle County and the state of Delaware.
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Coordinates: 39°37′45″N 75°39′30″W / 39.62917°N 75.65833°W / 39.62917; -75.65833Coordinates: 39°37′45″N 75°39′30″W / 39.62917°N 75.65833°W / 39.62917; -75.65833
Country United States
State Delaware
County New Castle
Area
 • Total 5.78 sq mi (14.98 km2)
 • Land 5.78 sq mi (14.98 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
69 ft (21 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 23,060
 • Density 3,986.86/sq mi (1,539.25/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
19701
Area code(s) 302
FIPS code 10-04130
GNIS feature ID 216026

Bear is a census-designated place (CDP) in New Castle County, Delaware, United States. The population was 19,371 at the 2010 census.

Originally a small crossroads in a rural area, about 14 miles (23 km) south of Wilmington, the area supported small farms growing mainly corn and cattle. In the late 1980s and 1990s Bear became a popular location for the construction of sprawling housing developments and shopping centers along U.S. Route 40. Much of Bear runs along the highway, and extends to approximately Delaware Route 896.

History

According to common legend, the name "Bear" originated from a tavern located along the roadway from Wilmington to Dover, Delaware (at the intersection now formed by U.S. Route 40 and Delaware Route 7), whose sign was decorated with the image of a large bear.

Throughout the years, Bear has had a history of being centered around shopping centers and neighborhoods located along U.S. Route 40.

White Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Geography

Bear is located at 39°37′45″N 75°39′30″W / 39.62917°N 75.65833°W / 39.62917; -75.65833 (39.6292788, -75.6582628).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.7 square miles (15 km2), all of it land.

Bear is located about 14 miles south of Wilmington and about 44 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
2000 17,593
2010 19,371 10.1%
2020 23,060 19.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

In 2010, Bear had a population of 19,371 people. The racial makeup of the CDP was 50.5% White, 34.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.2% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 6.8% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. 14.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census of 2000, there were 17,593 people, 6,027 households, and 4,544 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,063.4 people per square mile (1,183.4/km2). There were 6,265 housing units at an average density of 1,090.9 per square mile (421.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 66.9% White, 26.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.0% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.5% of the population.

There were 6,027 households, out of which 46.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 33.0% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 36.7% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 4.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.8 years, with a median of 32.8 for natives and 34.8 for foreigners. For every 100 females, there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP in 2014 was $60,647. Males had an average income of $62,474 versus $48,706 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $20,715. The largest demographic living in poverty were "Males from ages 6–11" and 13.2% of the population was below the poverty line which is lower than the national average of 15.5%. Additionally, 6.7% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over were below the poverty line.

Bear has a large population of citizens who have served in the military. The most common service period was (1) Vietnam, (2) The Gulf War in the 1990s, and (3) The Gulf War in the 2000s.

Diversity

The most common country of origin is (1) Mexico, (2) India, and (3) China, and has a considerably high number of people that were born in Kenya. Also, 92.4% of the population of Bear are U.S. citizens.

Additionally, Spanish is the most spoken non-English language, followed by African and Arabic.

Transportation

The most heavily used mode of transportation are vehicles. The largest share of households have two cars, followed by three cars. There are state-led bus services and on-call DART services for people with disabilities.

The average commute time to work is approximately 26.4 minutes, which is more than the state and national average. Most of these drivers are alone during their commute (82.6%).

Economy

In Bear, the most common industries are (1) healthcare and social assistance, (2) finance and insurance, and (3) retail trade. The highest paid jobs are in (1) utilities, (2) transportation and warehousing, and (3) professional, scientific, and technical services.

The median property value in Bear is $173,200, with the largest share of property values in housing units that fall within $200,000–$250,000. 68.5% of housing units are occupied by their owner, which is higher than the national average.

Education

Education for Bear CDP is provided by two public school districts and numerous private schools. The public districts are: Christina School District and Colonial School District.

Christina School District

May B. Leasure Elementary School of the Christina district is in Bear. Its namesake is Elizabeth May Brown Leasure (November 3, 1898 - November 8, 1982), a teacher. It was established as Eden School in 1879. It was started as a 1-8 school but became a 1-6 school as Newark High School began taking grades 7-8. A November 11, 1934, fire gutted the facility, so all of the school's classes temporarily moved to Lodge Hall; the school was already renting space there in 1934 for overflow classes. A new permanent facility opened in 1935. The school received its current name in 1970, and the current facility opened in 1998.

William A. Oberle, Jr. Elementary School, also of the Christina district, is in Bear. The school, then Porter Road Elementary School, opened in 2009, and it changed to its current name in 2011. Its namesake was a member of the Delaware House of Representatives.

The Christina district part of Bear is zoned to as follows: Leasure, Oberle, and Keene elementary schools serve sections for grades K-5. It is divided between the zones of Gauger/Cobbs Middle School and Kirk Middle School. It is divided between the zones of Glasgow High School and Christiana High School.

In earlier periods, in addition to Leasure, elementary schools serving Bear included Keane, Marshall, and McVey. Grades 5-6 were assigned to schools in Wilmington, including Bancroft Intermediate School. Previously Shue/Medill Middle School served sections of Bear.

The Christina District also maintains the Eden Support Services Center in Bear.

Other education

The Colonial district operates William Penn High School.

The most prominent private schools located in Bear include: Caravel Academy, Red Lion Christian Academy, Fairwinds Christian School, and Glasgow Christian Academy. Delaware has one of the highest rates in the nation of students attending private school.

No major universities are based in Bear, but Wilmington University's primary sports complex is located along U.S. Route 40.

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