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Laurel, Delaware
Etymology: Laurel bushes that grew alongside Broad Creek
Location in Sussex  County and the state of Delaware.
Location in Sussex County and the state of Delaware.
Country United States
State Delaware
County Sussex
 • Total 1.7 sq mi (4.5 km2)
 • Land 1.7 sq mi (4.3 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 26 ft (8 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,708
 • Density 2,181.2/sq mi (862.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
ZIP code 19956
Area code 302
FIPS code 10-41310
GNIS feature ID 214203

Laurel is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States. The population was 3,708 at the 2010 census. Laurel is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. It once hosted the Laurel Blue Hens of the Eastern Shore Baseball League.


The site of the town of Laurel was a Nanticoke Indian settlement known as Broad Creek Town during most of the eighteenth century. Its Nanticoke name is unknown. The Indian settlement was created on tracts known as Bachelor's Delight and Greenland in 1711 when the government of Maryland, who originally claimed this part of Delaware, set aside land for the Nanticoke Indians. Nearly all the Indian settlers left within 50 years, relocating to western Pennsylvania. The present town was laid out along the Broad Creek in the 1790s and was named for the laurel bushes that grew alongside the creek.

The Chipman Potato House, Chipman's Mill, Collins Potato House, Hearn Potato House, E. L. Hitch Potato House, Laurel Historic District, Moore Potato House, Old Christ Church, Phillips Potato House, Ralph Potato House, Rider Potato House, Ross Point School, Spring Garden, Stanley Potato House, and Wright Potato House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Laurel is located on the Atlantic Coastal Plain in southwestern Delaware at 38°33′23″N 75°34′17″W / 38.55639°N 75.57139°W / 38.55639; -75.57139 (38.5565041, -75.5713141).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), of which 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (4.07%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 970
1870 1,080 11.3%
1880 1,022 −5.4%
1890 2,388 133.7%
1900 1,825 −23.6%
1910 2,166 18.7%
1920 2,253 4.0%
1930 2,277 1.1%
1940 2,884 26.7%
1950 2,700 −6.4%
1960 2,709 0.3%
1970 2,408 −11.1%
1980 3,052 26.7%
1990 3,226 5.7%
2000 3,668 13.7%
2010 3,708 1.1%
Est. 2015 4,075 9.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,668 people, 1,389 households, and 957 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,215.9 people per square mile (853.1/km²). There were 1,561 housing units at an average density of 943.0 per square mile (363.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 55.56% White, 39.42% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.20% from other races, and 2.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.32% of the population.

There were 1,389 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 26.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 33.2% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 83.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $28,321, and the median income for a family was $30,329. Males had a median income of $28,006 versus $18,550 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,594. About 18.7% of families and 21.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.6% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.

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