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Moving to Living in Dover
Brian Tustin

Living in Dover 😍 | COMPLETE Guide to Moving to Dover Delaware

Thinking of relocating to a quiet city on the Jones River? Then you'll love living in Dover. Dover is the state capital and the largest city in Delaware. Named after a town in Kent, England, Dover was originally founded by William Penn as a court town for the newly established Kent County in Delaware in 1683. Although it was not officially incorporated as a city until 1717.

Aside from being the state capital, Dover is known for its historic attractions and fun events like music festivals and NASCAR races. Today, Dover DE is a good place to live, offering a family-friendly atmosphere and active lifestyle. Here's what you should know before moving to Dover, Delaware.

Where Is Dover?

Dover, Delaware, is in Kent County in the Delaware River coastal plain. It's the principal city in the Dover metro statistical area and part of the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Camden combined statistical area. It's located on the St. Jones River, which flows into the Delaware Bay and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. 

Several major thoroughfares run through Dover, including Route 1 and Route 13, offering easy access to other parts of the state. Other nearby towns and CDPs include Camden, Rodney Village, Little Creek, Leipsic, Cheswold, Parsons Corners, and more.

It’s 50 miles or a 52-minute drive from Wilmington, DE, and it’s about 27 miles or a 30 minute drive from Middletown DE to Dover DE.

Dover Population & Demographics

The Dover population is 39,421, according to the 2020 census. Dover is a calm, laidback city with a suburban feel that features a population density of 1664.8 residents per square mile. Many new residents are moving to Dover Delaware every day. It's one of the fastest-growing cities in the state due to its affordable cost of living, and the population has increased by 6.8% since 2010.

Dover is a relatively young and diverse city with plenty to offer residents of all different backgrounds. The median age is 34.4, which is 20% lower than the amount in the state, and 19% of residents are in their 20s. The racial and ethnic breakdown is 44.2% white (41.5% non-Hispanic), 40.5% Black or African American, 8.5% Hispanic or Latino, 2.4% Asian, and 9.7% two or more races.

Other Dover DE Demographics

  • Median household income: $51,073, 34% lower than the amount in the state
  • Sex ratio: The Dover, DE population is 54% female and 46% male
  • Educational attainment: 88.8% have a high school diploma, and 25.9% have a bachelor's degree
  • Foreign-born population: 8.8%
  • Average commute times: 21.7 minutes, 20% lower than the rest of the state.

Overall, Dover is very safe, although, like many cities, it does suffer from a higher rate of crime than the rest of the country. The total crime rate is 4,887 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is 104% higher than the rest of the state and 108% higher than the rest of the country.

The violent crime rate is 856 per 100,000 residents, which is 98% higher than the state and 120.7% higher than the US overall. The property crime rate is 4,031, which is 105% higher than the state and the country. However, most residents report that most crime is isolated to certain neighborhoods, and as long as you pay attention to your surroundings, Dover is very safe.

The City of Dover Police Department controls crime in Dover with the help of 123 employees, including 92 sworn officers and 31 civilian employees.

Cost of Living in Dover

If you're considering moving to Dover, Delaware you'll likely want to know how expensive it is. A good way to get a handle on the cost of living in Dover DE is to look at the cost of living index, which compares the price of average consumer goods to the rest of the US, represented by 100. The COLI for the Dover metro area is 104.6, which indicates it's 4.6% more expensive than the rest of the US.

The Family Budget Calculator created by the Economic Policy Institute indicates that the average family of four with two adults and two children would need to make $86,134 to afford to live in the Dover metro area.

Typical Dover Living Expenses:

  • Meal at a fast food restaurant: $8.00
  • 1 gallon of milk: $2.91
  • 1 pound of chicken filets: $2.69
  • 1 loaf of white bread: $1.00
  • Imported beer: $7.50
  • Regular cappuccino: $4.97
  • Average Dover monthly utility bill: $293

Source: Numbeo 

The Dover real estate market is also very affordable for the quality of life the city offers. Redin indicates that the median listing price of homes for sale in Dover, DE, is $300,000, which is 30% lower than the rest of the US. The median price per square foot of Dover, DE, real estate is $163.

Living in Dover also has a lot to offer tenants as well. The average rent in Dover, DE, is around $1,650 per month. Rentcafe states that rent in Dover ranges from around $500 for a studio or 1-bedroom and goes up to $3,800 for 3+ bedrooms. Around 51% of Dover real estate is rented out, while 49% is owner-occupied.

Dover Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Dover

Dover has plenty of fantastic neighborhoods offering affordable living, prime real estate, and plenty of amenities. You can find a wide range of great Dover Delaware apartment complexes, homes, condominiums, townhouses, and more. Here are the best areas to check out.

Quails Nest | A Quiet Dover Neighborhood in a Central Location

Quails Nest is a quiet neighborhood offering spacious lots and one to two-story homes with easy access to downtown Dover and both the south and northbound highways.

Mayfair | A Family-Friendly Dover Neighborhood Full or Green Space

Mayfair is a popular Dover neighborhood located just a short distance from downtown that features a safe, family-friendly environment, multiple parks, and direct access to Route 13.

Verona Woods | An Active Adult Community with Waterfront Views

Verona Woods is a brand new 55+ community developed by builder Ryan Homes that offers spacious single-family homes up to 1750 square feet in size and gorgeous views of the water.

Dover DE Weather

According to the Koppen classification system, Dover has a humid subtropical climate, which indicates hot, humid summers and mild winters. The weather in Dover, DE, ranges in temperature from about 27°F to 86°F, although it rarely goes below 14°F or above 94°F. That means the best time to visit Dover is typically June through August. 

Dover also gets a decent amount of precipitation. The city averages about 15 inches of snowfall and 45 inches of rain per year. So bring a jacket and snow boots if you plan on moving to Dover Delaware.

Things to Do in Dover

Residents will find a variety of things to do in Dover, DE, ranging from museums to NASCAR events. There is plenty of great shopping down at Dover Commons, the North Dover Center, and the Gateway West Shopping Center. Here are a few other Dover DE attractions.

Air Mobility Command Museum

The Air Mobility Command Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to military aircraft, located on the Dover Air Force Base. It's a fun thing to do in Dover with kids and features interesting exhibits and vintage aircraft.

1301 Heritage Rd, Dover AFB, DE 19902 (302) 677-5938

Dover Motor Speedway 

The Dover Motor Speedway is a professional race track that hosts NASCAR events and has featured at least one Cup Series race every year since 1969.

1131 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901 (800) 441-7223

Silver Lake Park

Silver Lake Park is a lake and park located in Dover that features picnic tables, walking paths, a children's play area, barbecue pits, and a lake stocked with different types of fish.

Washington St, Dover, DE 19901 (302) 736-7050

Additional Dover DE attractions

If you're looking for more fun things to do in Dover, the city's Park and Recreation Department tends to the public spaces in the community and has an events calendar on its website.

Dover Restaurants

Restaurants in Dover, DE, are some of the best in the Mid-Atlantic and offer everything from American fare to Asian fusion. Here are the best places to eat in Dover DE.

Grey Fox Grille and Public House

The Grey Fox Grille and Public House is a veteran-owned local eatery serving steaks and one of the best restaurants in Dover, DE, if you want classic American cuisine in a comfortable setting.

140 S State St, Dover, DE 19901 (302) 734-1234

Flavor of India 

Flavor of India is an authentic Indian restaurant serving fine South Asian food made with passion, including menu items like Chicken Pakora and Lamb Korma.

348 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19901 (302) 677-0121

Delicious Fusion 

Delicious Fusion is one of the best restaurants in Dover if you want sushi and other Asian specialties like crab wontons and Mongolian lamb.

50 N Dupont Hwy Unit 14 & 15, Dover, DE 19901 (302) 264-9007

Jobs in Dover

Dover has a very stable economy supported by industries like government, military, health care, manufacturing, construction, and finance. The state of Delaware is the largest employer, and the Dover Air Force Base is another significant job creator. The economy of Dover has a gross metro product of $8.1 billion and a job growth rate of 0.4%.

Some of the largest private employers in Dover are:

According to Payscale, the average hourly rate paid by jobs in Dover, DE, is $18.50 per hour. The average salary for a Delaware state worker is $49,000 per year. Here are a few salary ranges for common Dover jobs with the state:

  • IT Support Specialist: $45k - $85k
  • Production Manager: 39k - 69k
  • Quality Manager: $51k - $94
  • Public Relations Specialist: $27k - $49k
  • Patrol Officer: $35k - $112k

Employment seekers will find a variety of great Dover, DE jobs ranging from CAT scan tech to flight monitoring specialist. The City of Dover also has plenty of job openings as well.

Dover Schools

Three school districts serve students living in Dover. The main Dover school district is the Capital School District, although Caesar Rodney School District covers the southern part of the city. The Polytech District also serves as an overlap district for vocational-technical students.

Caesar Rodney High School is generally considered the best Dover area high school and ranks among the top 5,000 high schools in the country and 11th in Delaware, according to US News and World Report.

Dover is also home to Delaware State University, the state's only historically black college, and satellite campuses of the University of Delaware and Wilmington University. Residents living in Dover can check out the Dover Public Library for media and community events.

Dover Statistics and Information

  • Dover County: Kent County
  • Dover area: 23.97 square miles
  • Dover zip code: 19901–19906
  • Dover area codes: 302
  • Dover elevation: 30 ft
  • Dover time zone: Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)
  • The closest airport to Dover, The Wilmington Area Airport (ILG) is 43 miles away.

Dover, DE Map

Use this map to explore attractions, restaurants, and fun things to do in the Dover, DE zip code.

Ready for an easy and laidback relocation? Trust our reliable Dover movers to take you where you need to go. Call 302-703-9981 for a free, personalized moving quote.

Brian Tustin
Brian Tustin is the owner of First-Rate Movers™. Brian has over 20 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry in addition to he and his teams combined 30+ years of experience in the moving and relocation services niche. Since 2016 First-Rate Movers™ has served 1000's of residents here in Delavere and is honored to continue serving our community with the absolute best experience for anyone moving in and around Delaware.
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