lithograph: Stan Jolley
An Amish friend recently pointed out that the Amish population (roughly 220,000 today), currently doubling in size every 20-odd years, will hit a million sometime in the 2050s.
For what it’s worth, 200 years from now, if current trends hold (a huge ‘if’), we should expect to see…204 million Amish on the planet.
That would be over five times the current population of California, and over two-thirds the population of the entire country (for what it’s worth, there are no Amish in the Golden State, though there is plenty of Amish furniture in California).
Sure, that’s just fun with numbers. But at the same time it’s fascinating to contemplate. What will Old Order communities look like then? Will the ‘Old Order’ even exist in anything resembling its present form?
Will Amish in future accept education beyond eighth grade, as some have said they will be forced to do in order to survive? What other, perhaps currently unknown, technologies will creep into Amish life?
It’s probably as hard to imagine now as it would have been for Amish forefathers, 200 years ago, to imagine Amish life today.