The Current Amish Population


Despite a modern world filled with electronic gadgets, comfortable, plush houses with all kinds of conveniences, and shiny automobiles that provide much independence, the sequestered Amish populace continues to increase. In a world with the Internet and cell phones, outsiders might think that the Amish lifestyle would diminish. Rather it has grown. As of 2010, the current Amish population is estimated at 250,000.

The Associated Press reported there were 427 Amish settlements as of July 2010.

Those settlements, the AP said, are established within 28 states and the Canadian province of Ontario. These settlements include 1,826 church districts or congregations. In contrast, in 1951 there were only 200 Amish church districts. Of the 1,826 Amish church districts, 1,758 (96.3%) are Old Order Amish and 68 (3.7%) are New Order Amish.

Nearly two-thirds of the congregations are currently located in three states: Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press said there are several factors why the Amish population grows. First, the Amish often have large families. On average, Amish families have about six children. However, some Amish families consist of ten or more children. Second, there is strong retention rate within the Amish faith. Approximately 80-90% or more of the Amish youth accept the faith and join the church.

Although it is true that some Amish church members do leave after baptism, the defection rates are quite small, ranging from 5% to 15% among the different churches.

Non-Amish joining the Amish church do not directly cause a significant increase in population. There are very few non-Amish born individuals that eventually become Amish. Even though the Amish do not seek converts from other religions, outsiders may join if they comply with the Amish faith guidelines. It is often estimated that only several dozen non-raised Amish persons have joined an Amish congregation.

In July 2010, the Amish settlements and church district statistics were updated. Population figures (which include adults and children) are calculated estimates. The number of adults and children per district varies by region, community, affiliation, and age of the district. The national average per church district is 137.
Amish Population by State (2010)




Ranked by estimated population
State/Province
Number of Settlements
Number of Church Districts
Estimated Population
Pennsylvania
53
401
59,350
Ohio
52
434
58,590
Indiana
23
310
43,710
Wisconsin
46
120
15,360
New York
33
89
12,015
Michigan
35
86
11,350
Missouri
38
81
9,475
Kentucky
31
62
7,750
Iowa
20
51
7,190
Illinois
19
49
6,860
Ontario
15
35
4,725
Minnesota
14
25
3,150
Tennessee
6
17
2,125
Kansas
7
11
1,485
Delaware
1
9
1,350
Maryland
3
10
1,350
Colorado
4
6
810
Montana
5
5
675
Oklahoma
2
5
675
Virginia
4
4
300
Arkansas
3
3
225
Maine
3
3
225
West Virginia
3
3
225
Nebraska
2
2
150
Florida
1
1
75
Mississippi
1
1
75
North Carolina
1
1
75
South Dakota
1
1
75
Texas
1
1
75
Total:
427
1,826
249,495

Source: “Amish Population by State (2010).” Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College.



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Special Note:


Amish Wisdom is an ongoing feature of various entries about the Amish on George Sheldon's website and blog. Written and produced by George, it is intended to provide information about those of the Amish faith.