Dover : Delaware


What It Is Like to Retire in Dover

Dover is the capital of Delaware and its second largest city with 39,403 (2020 Census) residents. The city grew close to 20% since 2000. It is home to 2 colleges (Delaware State University, a historically black college; as well as Wesley College). Dover Air Force Base is  also located here and a major employer. Money named Dover one of the top 10 Great Places to Retire that won't break your nest egg in 2015. Property and other taxes are lower than average in Delaware. Photo of Legislative Hall courtesy of Wikipedia (public domain); photo of Silver Lake courtesy of Wikipedia and Kfasimpaur (public domain). Here is Topretirements Mini-Guide to Retirement in Delaware


Where to Retire in Dover and Home Prices

There are a lot of active adult communities being built in the area due to abundant land and the tax-friendly attitude of Delaware (small income tax, low property taxes, and no sales tax).  See link at top left for Dover Active Adult Communities.
The median home price in Dover was $279,100 in the 1st quarter of 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors.


What Is Special about Dover

Dover Air Force Base. Low tax environment.Proximity to Chesapeake Bay and the Ocean. 3 colleges. Dover International Speedway (NASCAR racing).


What Is Not Special about Dover

High crime rate and chilly winters.


Who Will Like Retirement in Dover

People who want to remain in the northeast but do so in a more tax-friendly environment will like Dover. It is close to Washington and Baltimore, yet also near the great beaches of Delware and the DelMarVa peninsula.

Local Economy Is Driven by

The State of Delaware is the largest employer, since Dover is the capital. Procter & Gamble has some facilities here.  Dover Air Force Base is another very large and stable employer.


Climate and Physical Environment

Dover is near the middle of Delaware, not too far from the Chesapeake.  The average daily high in July is 87 degrees and the average January low is 27. August tends to be the rainiest month with almost 5" of precip.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Delaware Opera House is now the Scwartz Center for the Arts. Activities at Delaware State University and Wesley College. The Delaware State Library, Delaware State Museum, and the Delaware State Archives are here. Sewell C. Biggs Museum of American Art.


Crime in Dover is about a third higher than the national average.

Medical Facilities

Bayhealth Medical Center serves Dover.


DART First State provides bus service throughout the city. New Castle Airport and Baltimore-Washington-International are the nearest airports (BWI is home to discount carrier Southwest).

Valuable Links

City of Dover

What people are saying about Dover

I would describe Dover as more laid back than towns in neighboring states or towns like Baltimore/Washington. Once I get on the Delmarva peninsula my pulse seems to drop a few points. It's close enough to Delaware beaches and not that far to major cities on the east coast. Delaware's tax situation is also helpful - it has no sales tax.
Posted by 62andout on January 18, 2009
I'm thinking of moving to DE -- not to an active adult community -- & am wondering what Dover is like. I am a freelance writer/editor who won't think about retiring for at least a few years & am interested in meeting other independent professionals.
Posted by Grannia on January 06, 2009

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