9 responses to 218,025
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    Comment on 218,025 (November 17th, 2007 at 23:09)

    Last time I visited the Mennohof Center in Shipshewana (highly recommended, btw) I read that an *increasing* percentage of young Amish people have been choosing to join the church when they reach the age to make that decision. That visit was at least 10 years ago, though. Do you know if that trend is continuing?

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    Dave Carrig
    Comment on 218,025 (November 18th, 2007 at 05:11)

    I’ve heard through a talk that Dr. Kraybill gave in 2006 that the percentage of those choosing to stay is currently up to a phenominal 95 percent!

    Another trend in high retention is being seein in the Old Order Mennonite Communities – which are growing at an incredible rate. They moving up into northern PA and New York. I got this info from the same talk.

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    Comment on Factors influencing Amish youth retention rates (November 18th, 2007 at 09:55)

    Factors influencing Amish youth retention rates

    Dave that is interesting I hadn’t heard as high as 95 but I did hear the 90 percent figure mentioned.

    I believe that trend is going strong, Amish retention is significantly higher than it was in the earlier 20th century, some of it may have to do with the flexibility that has allowed the Amish to start their own businesses or work in factories as a viable employment alternative. Also, having their own schools rather than having to rely on the public system has probably helped to raise retention as well.

    OOMennonites are also growing quickly, I remember reading about one study that actually described them as growing even a bit faster than the OO Amish.

    Dave that must have been a very interesting talk to attend.

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    Comment on 218,025 (November 18th, 2007 at 16:18)

    I for one find the stats interesting. I had not heard the 99% retention but rather 90%. Either way that is quite a lot.

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    Comment on 218,025 (November 18th, 2007 at 18:33)

    What happens when this;”flexibility that has allowed the Amish to start their own businesses or work in factories as a viable employment alternative. Also, having their own schools rather than having to rely on the public system has probably helped to raise retention as well.”

    collides with this;
    from Wisconsin v Yoder

    “It is one thing to say that compulsory education for a year or two beyond the eighth grade may be necessary when its goal is the preparation of the child for life in modern society as the majority live, but it is quite another if the goal of education be viewed as the preparation of the child for life in the separated agrarian community that is the keystone of the Amish faith.”

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    Comment on 218,025 (November 19th, 2007 at 05:50)

    The Amish have rigidly presribed roles for some parts of their lives. To what degree they embrace citizenship is, in my opinion, wildly unscripted. Wisconsin v Yoder was argued on the basis of them being separate and apart, their business life is bringing them back into the mainstream. ie;yesterday the lanc. Pa. Sunday News had a picture on the front page of an Amish man standing at a mic petitioning the township supervisors. Every society does somethings well and others not so well. The authoritarian structure of the Amish is a weakness for them when it comes to recognizing and self correcting some of their problems. I guess it’s not your problem, but it pains me to see the wealth of critical thought that’s at our disposal, hardly ever being used in a way that the Amish could benefit. I don’t have to tell you that they are pretty smart and if their is validity in yhe critique they recieve, they will take it to heart. I’ve a personal stake in this, but our society as a whole stands to benefit from the vitality of their integrity.

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    Comment on 218,025 (November 19th, 2007 at 05:59)

    Wow – I love statistics. Must come from my many years working in market research. That said, I also highly question the methodology. It would seem to me that a sociologist would do well to team up with a research analyst, find a study sponsor, and physically visit communities for which no information is readily available. I’m thinking that the data could be collected and crunched within a 3-5 year period. I’d volunteer to do the research analytics :-).

    What this study brings light the most, in my opinion, is the continued westward expansion of the Amish. The communities in Colorado and Washington state must be newer, as I don’t ever seeing them mentioned in any Amish directory through the late 1990’s. In addition, I always figured that there was a community in West Virginia, but again, never saw any data to support that. I’m guessing the community must be close to where the cluster of conservative Mennonites are in the Eastern part of the state which is relatively flat. Erik, perhaps you can confirm the exact location of these communities?

    Interesting post. Keep them coming.

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    Comment on Amish supplemental education courses (November 19th, 2007 at 04:39)

    Amish supplemental education courses

    easy, if I understand correctly what you are getting at, methinks–more and more Amish have been and will be getting involved in supplementary education. How far will it go? I do not know. I’ve met a few Indy/Ohio families with high schoolers but I really don’t think high school is ever going to be in the cards on a widespread basis.

    Supplemental courses and training, business type stuff, seminars, accounting courses, yes, that already goes on. As we know there is a lot of variety among these 218,025 Amish, differing degrees of conservatism, so in some communities none of that would fly. But if you’re talking for example the big three or four settlements I think there are strong progressive elements especially in the business community that has allowed for more of the extra ed to go on.

    Is this going to suck the Amish into increasing worldliness and cause them to lose their core values? My hunch is no…there are certain lines that have been drawn that are so closely tied with identity that for example, if a community or group of families decides high school is okay, that is eventually going to lead to them not associating with Old Order Amish that do not do that, and within a generation or so they would probably end up giving up the horse and carriage and other core elements of OOA identity as a result of the high school ed.

    But, I’m not the sharpest stick in the drawer, so I may be misreading ‘what you’re after.’ (: In any case, that’s my speculative take. What say you?

    michelle, it does seem to be high…I’ve seen some studies I believe done in Ethernetu Indiana that show slight variation based on the father’s occupation which is interesting to look at.

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    Comment on 218,025 (November 20th, 2007 at 12:35)


    I’ve got Letart, Leroy, and Reedy as addresses for the two WVA church districts. This Letart one looks like it’s been in business since 1996. This is all from 2007 Calender.

    Some of these settlements just seem to stay the same size. Union Grove,NC is one that has been around for a good while–founded ’85–and still only one church district. Hicksville, Ohio (1914) also stands at a single congregation today.

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    Pennsylvania Amish edge out Ohio in the latest Amish population figuresAmish America Comment on 218,025 (July 28th, 2010 at 14:43)

    […] However, Holmes County has traditionally been considered significantly larger than Lancaster in previous Amish population estimates. […]

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