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Lewes, Delaware

Lewes is a city located in Sussex County, Delaware. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 2,932. It is the town at the site of the first European settlement in Delaware, a trading post founded by Dutch settlers in 1631 and named Zwaanendael (or Swaanendael, meaning "swans in the dale"). In Delaware's southernmost county of Sussex, Lewes is adjacent to Rehoboth and the other beach communities in what is termed "lower Delaware" or (and often, but not always, disparagingly) "slower Delaware." (The name is pronounced with two syllables, the same as "lewis.")


Lewes is located at 38°46'33" North, 75°8'32" West (38.775939, -75.142101)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 km² (4.3 mi²). 9.5 km² (3.7 mi²) of it is land and 1.6 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 14.69% water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 2,932 people, 1,338 households, and 797 families residing in the city. The population density is 309.3/km² (801.5/mi²). There are 2,368 housing units at an average density of 249.8/km² (647.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 87.31% White, 9.89% African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.72% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. 1.67% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 1,338 households out of which 15.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% are married couples living together, 8.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% are non-families. 35.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 14.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.99 and the average family size is 2.53.

In the city the population is spread out with 13.6% under the age of 18, 3.7% from 18 to 24, 18.0% from 25 to 44, 31.5% from 45 to 64, and 33.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 55 years. For every 100 females there are 78.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 76.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $48,707, and the median income for a family is $59,605. Males have a median income of $35,500 versus $35,227 for females. The per capita income for the city is $32,685. 6.3% of the population and 3.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 11.5% are under the age of 18 and 5.6% are 65 or older.


Lewes is one terminus of the Cape May--Lewes Ferry, whence tourists arrive in the summer time, to visit historic Lewes, to reach the outlet malls, or to continue on a southward journey.

Lewes is adjacent to Cape Henlopen State Park.

Lewes is also very close to the outlet malls of Rehoboth.

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