According to a 2012 published census commissioned by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, the Amish population of North America increased from an estimated 261,150 in 2011 to an estimated 273,700 in 2012 (figures include adults and children).
“The Amish are one of the fastest-growing religious groups in North America. They’re doubling their population about every 21 to 22 years, primarily because they produce large families and the vast majority of daughters and sons remain in the community as adults baptized into the faith, starting their own families and sustaining their religious beliefs and practices,’ says Dr Donnermeyer Ohio State rural sociology professor involved in the research.
The Amish live in 29 states, mainly in the Midwest and Great Lakes region, in the south Florida and Texas; in the northeast they live in Maine and western Montana for the west. Amish settlements are numbered at about 456, containing a total of 1,868 Amish church districts of the Old Orders.
Ohio has the largest number of Amish settlements in the United States with 60,233 members. Ohio is also home to the United States’ highest Amish-populated county – Holmes County which is 42% Amish. Pennsylvania comes second in the number of Amish community members, with 59,078 Amish residents. Indiana has 44,831 Amish citizens.
The highest rates of growth over the past year were recorded in New York, 10% (15 new settlements established since 2010), Minnesota, 9%, Missouri 8%, Wisconsin 7 % and Illinois 7%.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is home to the oldest Amish community in the United States. Most Amish are trilingual, speaking English, Pennsylvania Dutch (a dialect of German) and High German. Amish children attend schools until the eighth grade; school is generally held in one-room schoolhouses. Source: Lancaster County tourism.
Members of the Amish community enter the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Jurors were beginning a third day of deliberations in the trial of 16 people accused of hate crimes in hair- and beard-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in Ohio. September, 2012. (AP)
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