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Elsmere, Delaware
Location in New Castle County and the state of Delaware.
Location in New Castle County and the state of Delaware.
Country United States
State Delaware
County New Castle
Incorporated 1909
 • Total 1.0 sq mi (3 km2)
 • Land 1.0 sq mi (3 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 98 ft (30 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,131
 • Density 5,891.0/sq mi (2,274.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19805
Area code(s) 302
GNIS feature ID 213941

Elsmere is a town in New Castle County, Delaware, United States, bordering the city of Wilmington along Wilmington's western border. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the town is 6,131.


Elsmere is located at 39°44′21″N 75°35′53″W / 39.73917°N 75.59806°W / 39.73917; -75.59806 (39.7392796, -75.5979812).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 374
1920 620 65.8%
1930 1,323 113.4%
1940 1,630 23.2%
1950 5,314 226.0%
1960 7,319 37.7%
1970 8,415 15.0%
1980 6,493 −22.8%
1990 5,935 −8.6%
2000 5,800 −2.3%
2010 6,131 5.7%
Est. 2015 6,146 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,800 people, 2,299 households, and 1,487 families residing in the town. The population density was 5,891.0 people per square mile (2,285.1/km²). There were 2,395 housing units at an average density of 2,432.6 per square mile (943.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.41% White, 9.45% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.97% Asian, 5.10% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.09% of the population.

There were 2,299 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $39,415, and the median income for a family was $46,357. Males had a median income of $35,427 versus $28,089 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,643. About 6.7% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.


Elsmere dates back to 1886 when real estate developer Joshua Heald bought farmland and converted it into houses, building the first suburb in northern Delaware. The community was built at an intersection of railroad lines and allowed working-class families easy access to Wilmington. Trolley lines were later built leading to Elsmere. In 1909, Elsmere was incorporated as a town.

During the 1910s, the Delaware State Fair Association purchased land and built a new fairgrounds within Elsmere's town limit. The grounds, including a racecourse for horses, cars and motorcycles, were located south of New Road and Wilmington Avenue and west of the previously established streets. This land became the site of the Delaware State Fair from 1917 to 1928, and provided a large parking area and ready access from the nearby trolley line. Agricultural exhibits provided the backbone of the fair, but in addition to the races, the summer attraction also included horse and dog shows, vaudeville acts, music, and fireworks. After 1928, the State Fair had moved to Harrington, but the grandstand and the races remained until 1943, when the property was converted to land for residential housing.

In 1950, a 336-bed Veteran's Administration hospital opened on the western edge of town. This was the ninth VA hospital built after the conclusion of World War II.

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