Sussex is not the largest county east of Mississippi

Things you might not know about Sussex County (Part 1):

• The county makes up almost half of the total land statewide – nearly 940 square miles.

• It’s not the largest county east of the Mississippi River, as many claim. There are nine counties in Maine alone that are larger than Sussex County and eight of those are larger than the state of Delaware.

• Estimated population of Sussex in 2009 was 192,747 with a projected population of more than 215,000 by 2015. Just over 82,000 Sussex residents are employed.

• Even though it is a large county it has no county parks and recreation department or police department. Although, the county provides grants to support youth and adult sports activities and allocates funding for extra state police patrols exclusive to Sussex.

• More people are moving to Sussex than are being born here. According to the U.S. Census, the majority of new residents in 2005 – 94 percent – came from other places as the result of external migration. The other 6 percent came from natural increases from births and deaths. That compares to 80 percent of newcomers in Kent County and just 28 percent in New Castle County.

• Tourism is big in Sussex providing nearly 11,000 jobs and adding nearly $710 million to the economy.

• Poultry is also big. The county ranks first among all U.S. counties in broiler production, with more than 223 million chickens grown each year. Sussex County is the birthplace of the poultry industry. One of 10 jobs in the county is related to food processing with an annual payroll of more than $236 million.

• Sussex farmers sold nearly $850 million in products in 2007; 83 percent was poultry and eggs.

Sources: U.S. Census, Census of Agriculture, Delaware Department of Labor, Sussex County planning and zoning department.

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