Wilmington (Lenape: Paxahakink / Pakehakink) is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Delaware. The city was built on the site of Fort Christina, the first Swedish settlement in North America. It lies at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine River, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley metropolitan area. Wilmington was named by Proprietor Thomas Penn after his friend Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, who was prime minister during the reign of George II of Great Britain.
As of the 2019 United States Census estimate, the city's population is 70,166. The Wilmington Metropolitan Division, comprising New Castle County, DE, Cecil County, MD and Salem County, NJ, had an estimated 2016 population of 719,887. The Delaware Valley metropolitan area, which includes the cities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden, New Jersey, had a 2016 population of 6,070,500, and a combined statistical area of 7,179,357.
Wilmington is built on the site of Fort Christina and the settlement Kristinehamn, the first Swedish settlement in North America. The modern city also encompasses other Swedish settlements, such as Timmerön / Timber Island (along Brandywine Creek), Sidoland (South Wellington), Strandviken (along the Delaware River near Simonds Garden) and Översidolandet (along the Christina River, near Woodcrest and Ashley Heights).
The area now known as Wilmington was settled by the Lenape (or Delaware Indian) band led by Sachem (Chief) Mattahorn just before Henry Hudson sailed up the Len-api Hanna ("People Like Me River", present Delaware River) in 1609.