Bear, Delaware

Coordinates: 39°37′45″N 75°39′30″W / 39.62917°N 75.65833°W / 39.62917; -75.65833
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Bear, Delaware
White Hall
Location in New Castle County and the state of Delaware.
Location in New Castle County and the state of Delaware.
Bear is located in Delaware
Location within the state of Delaware
Bear is located in the United States
Bear (the United States)
Coordinates: 39°37′45″N 75°39′30″W / 39.62917°N 75.65833°W / 39.62917; -75.65833
CountryUnited States
CountyNew Castle
 • Total5.78 sq mi (14.98 km2)
 • Land5.78 sq mi (14.98 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
69 ft (21 m)
 • Total23,060
 • Density3,986.86/sq mi (1,539.25/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code302
FIPS code10-04130
GNIS feature ID216026[2]

Bear is a census-designated place (CDP) in New Castle County, Delaware, United States. The population was 19,371 at the 2010 census.

Originally a small crossroads in a rural area, approximately 14 miles (23 km) south of Wilmington, the area supported small farms growing mainly corn and cattle. In the late 1980s and 1990s Bear became a popular location for the construction of sprawling housing developments and shopping centers[3] along U.S. Route 40. Much of Bear runs along the highway, and extends to approximately Delaware Route 896.


According to common legend, the name "Bear" originated from a tavern located along the roadway from Wilmington to Dover, Delaware (at the intersection now formed by U.S. Route 40 and Delaware Route 7), whose sign was decorated with the image of a large bear, and which George Washington had reportedly visited.[4]

Bear's population was 50 in 1890,[5] and was 59 in 1900.[6]

In later years, Bear has had a history of being centered around shopping centers and neighborhoods located along U.S. Route 40.

White Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[7]


Bear is located at 39°37′45″N 75°39′30″W / 39.62917°N 75.65833°W / 39.62917; -75.65833 (39.6292788, -75.6582628).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 5.7 square miles (15 km2), all land.

Bear is located approximately 14 miles south of Wilmington and about 44 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

In 2010,[10] Bear had a population of 19,371 people. The racial makeup of the CDP was 50.5% White, 34.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.2% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 6.8% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. 14.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 17,593 people, 6,027 households, and 4,544 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,063.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,182.8/km2). There were 6,265 housing units at an average density of 1,090.9 per square mile (421.2/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 66.9% White, 26.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.0% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.5% of the population.

There were 6,027 households, out of which 46.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.30.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 33.0% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 36.7% from 25 to 44, 17.7% from 45 to 64, and 4.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.8 years, with a median of 32.8 for natives and 34.8 for foreigners. For every 100 females, there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP in 2014 was $60,647. Males had an average income of $62,474 versus $48,706 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $20,715.[11] The largest demographic living in poverty were "Males from ages 6–11" and 13.2% of the population was below the poverty line which is lower than the national average of 15.5%.[11] Additionally, 6.7% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over were below the poverty line.

Bear has a large population of citizens who have served in the military. The most common service period was (1) Vietnam, (2) The Gulf War in the 1990s, and (3) The Gulf War in the 2000s.[11]


Education for Bear CDP is provided by two public school districts and numerous private schools. The public districts are: Christina School District and Colonial School District.[12]

Christina School District[edit]

May B. Leasure Elementary School of the Christina district is in Bear. Its namesake is Elizabeth May Brown Leasure (November 3, 1898 - November 8, 1982), a teacher. It was established as Eden School in 1879. It was started as a 1-8 school but became a 1-6 school as Newark High School began taking grades 7-8. A November 11, 1934, fire gutted the facility, so all of the school's classes temporarily moved to Lodge Hall; the school was already renting space there in 1934 for overflow classes. A new permanent facility opened in 1935. The school received its current name in 1970, and the current facility opened in 1998.[13]

William A. Oberle, Jr. Elementary School, also of the Christina district,[14] is in Bear. The school, then Porter Road Elementary School, opened in 2009,[15] and it changed to its current name in 2011.[16] Its namesake was a member of the Delaware House of Representatives.[17]

The Christina district part of Bear is zoned to as follows: Leasure, Oberle, and Keene elementary schools serve sections for grades K-5.[18] It is divided between the zones of Gauger/Cobbs Middle School and Kirk Middle School.[19] It is divided between the zones of Glasgow High School and Christiana High School.[20]

In earlier periods, in addition to Leasure, elementary schools serving Bear included Keane, Marshall, and McVey.[21] Grades 5-6 were assigned to schools in Wilmington, including Bancroft Intermediate School.[22] Previously Shue/Medill Middle School served sections of Bear.[19]

The Christina District also maintains the Eden Support Services Center in Bear.[23]

Other education[edit]

The Colonial district operates William Penn High School.

The most prominent private schools located in Bear include: Caravel Academy, Red Lion Christian Academy, and Fairwinds Christian School. Delaware has one of the highest rates in the nation of students attending private school.[24]

No major universities are based in Bear, but Wilmington University's primary sports complex is located along U.S. Route 40.


In Bear, the most common industries are (1) healthcare and social assistance, (2) finance and insurance, and (3) retail trade. The highest paid jobs are in (1) utilities, (2) transportation and warehousing, and (3) professional, scientific, and technical services.[11]

The median property value in Bear is $173,200, with the largest share of property values in housing units that fall within $200,000–$250,000. 68.5% of housing units are occupied by their owner, which is higher than the national average.[11]


The most common countries of origin are (1) Mexico, (2) India, and (3) China, and there are a high number of people who were born in Kenya. The percentage of the population with U.S. citizenship is 92.4%.[11]

Spanish is the most spoken non-English language, followed by Arabic.[11]


US 40 eastbound in Bear

Bear is located at the junction of east–west U.S. Route 40 and north–south Delaware Route 7. US 40 runs west to Glasgow and Elkton, Maryland and east to New Castle and the Delaware Memorial Bridge while DE 7 runs north to Christiana and south to Red Lion. The Delaware Route 1 freeway passes through Bear and has an interchange with US 40 serving the community. DE 1 heads north to an interchange with Interstate 95 in Christiana that provides access to Wilmington and the rest of the Northeast Megalopolis and south toward Dover and the Delaware Beaches.[25]

DART First State provides bus service to Bear along Route 40, which runs between downtown Wilmington and Glasgow via the US 40 corridor; Route 54, which runs between Churchmans Crossing station and the Walmart on Wilton Boulevard via Bear; and Route 64, which runs between the Christiana Mall and Glasgow via Bear.[26]

The Norfolk Southern Railway operates freight trains through Bear along the Delmarva Secondary line heading southeast from Newark and the New Castle Secondary line heading southwest from Wilmington; both lines meet to the south in Porter at a junction with the Delmarva Central Railroad. Along the Delmarva Secondary in Bear are Norfolk Southern's Del Pro Yard and Amtrak's Bear Maintenance Facility.[27]

Automobiles are the most heavily used mode of transportation. The largest share of households has two cars, followed by three cars.[11] There are state-led bus services and on-call DART services for people with disabilities. The average commute time to work is approximately 26.4 minutes, which is more than the state and national average. Most of these drivers are alone during their commute (82.6%).[11]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ "Bear". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  3. ^ Rendle, Ellen (2010). New Castle County. Arcadia. ISBN 9780738585574.
  4. ^ Brown, Robin (March 12, 2015). "The backstory on odd Delaware place names". The News Journal.
  5. ^ Cram, George Franklin (1887). Cram's Universal Atlas: Geographical, Astronomical and Historical, Containing a Complete Series of Maps of Modern Geography, Illustrated by Numerous Views and Charts; the Whole Supplemented with Valuable Statistics, Diagrams, and a Complete Gazetteer of the United States. G.F. Cram. p. 356.
  6. ^ Cram's Modern Atlas: The New Unrivaled New Census Edition. J. R. Gray & Company. 1902. p. 84.
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Bear, DE | Data USA".
  12. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: New Castle County, DE" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  13. ^ "History of Leasure". May B. Leasure Elementary School. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  14. ^ "Home". William A. Oberle, Jr. Elementary School. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  15. ^ "School History". William A. Oberle, Jr. Elementary School. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  16. ^ "School to be named for Oberle". Newark Post. January 19, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  17. ^ "Christina renames elementary school for Oberle, Jr". Newark Post. September 17, 2011. p. 9. Retrieved June 24, 2021. - Print title: "Christina renames school for Oberle, Jr.", Text version stored at the University of Delaware.
  18. ^ "Suburban Elementary Schools" (PDF). Christina School District. December 29, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Suburban Middle Schools" (PDF). Christina School District. December 29, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
    Older map showing Shue/Medill: "Christina School District Suburban Feeder Pattern, Grades 7-8". Christina School District. November 21, 2002. Archived from the original on November 21, 2002. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  20. ^ "Suburban High Schools" (PDF). Christina School District. July 1, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 27, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
    Earlier map: "Christina School District Suburban Feeder Pattern, Grades 9-12". Christina School District. November 21, 2002. Archived from the original on November 21, 2002. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  21. ^ "Suburban Feeder Pattern, Grades K-4". Christina School District. Archived from the original on November 21, 2002. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  22. ^ "Suburban Feeder Pattern, Grades 5-6". Christina School District. August 24, 2003. Archived from the original on August 13, 2004. Retrieved June 24, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)- The color blue is unclear as two different schools use the same color and the map lacks further explanation -
  23. ^ "District Maps". Christina School District. October 29, 2012. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "Best Private Schools in Bear, DE (2021)". Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  25. ^ Delaware Department of Transportation (2008). Delaware Official Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware Department of Transportation.
  26. ^ "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  27. ^ "Delaware State Rail Plan" (PDF). Delaware Department of Transportation. 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  28. ^ Jordan Shamus, Kristen; Moran, Darcie. "MSU shooting suspect's older brother telling Detroit Free Press on the suspect's separated life in Delaware, who also grew up in New Jersey". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on February 14, 2023. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  29. ^ Cappelletti, Joey (December 28, 2022). "Barry Croft Jr. of Delaware, architect of plot to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, to face sentence". Delaware Online. Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 15, 2023. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  30. ^ Mittan, Barry (June 24, 2007). "Parekh Brings Bollywood to Ice". Golden Skate.
  31. ^ "Ami Parekh's Official Skating Website". Archived from the original on October 18, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2023.

External links[edit]