2021 Amish Settlement List (600+ Communities)

amish population sizeSo in addition to the 2021 statewide Amish population numbers which came out two weeks ago, we now have the updated list of individual Amish settlements for 2021. There are around 600 of them. You’ll find it at the Elizabethtown College Young Center Amish Studies website here.

This guide provides the following information for each Amish settlement:

  1. the county (or census division, for Canadian settlements)
  2. main town or geographical location the settlement is associated with
  3. year of founding
  4. number of church districts
  5. estimated population for the settlement

It’s very handy if you are looking for an Amish settlement in your area. The settlement population estimate is especially useful as well, particularly when considering single-church-district communities. Some such communities are very new – just 10 or 20 people, which might be three homes. On the other hand, a single-district community may have 30+ homes and upwards of a dozen businesses to visit. So that can be useful to know if considering driving to visit a settlement somewhere.

Amish buggies at McKenzie, Tennessee. Photo by Don Burke

I also asked the Young Center if they had any general comments on the Amish population numbers this year. Young Center Interim Director Steven Nolt and Edsel Burdge (one of three main compilers of this list) had this to say:

…nothing major stands out as far as dramatic shifts. One thing we note is the continued growth (small in percentage terms, but persistent growth) around the edges of traditional Amish geography. For example, Wyoming, now 4 settlements (up from 2); Colorado now 6 (instead of 5), Maine now 9 (instead of 8) and Virginia 11 (instead of 10).

They also add that the “Michigan churches” have contributed to some of this growth. This is a grouping of Amish churches which has come up here from time to time (I plan to have a post on this group in future). This of course doesn’t mean all Amish churches in Michigan, but it refers to a relatively small group, which got their nickname from Michigan as their origin state. Steve explains one aspect of the “Michigan circle” of churches that contributes to their disproportionate share of new communities:

One of the distinctive features of the Michigan circle…is that they try and never have more than one district per settlement. So when a settlement grows, instead of dividing the district and creating a second within the settlement, they plant a new settlement somewhere else. Two results: The Michigan circle has been responsible for a disproportionate number of new settlements in recent years. And, second, their settlements are somewhat more planned and have high success rates.

Finally, I’ll take a moment to note the people behind this community list, which takes quite a bit of work to compile and maintain each year:

Statistics were compiled by Edsel Burdge, Jr., Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College, in cooperation with Joseph F. Donnermeyer, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, and with assistance from David Luthy, Heritage Historical Library, Aylmer, Ontario.

Thanks to them for their efforts in creating this resource and to the Young Center for making it available.

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    1. Amish Population in Maine

      I reviewed the list of Amish population by state and county. There’s some Amish living near my son in Pittsfield, Maine (Somerset County) that are not included on this list. I don’t know how many families or households there are but I was wondering if you might have any information on this group? I have a great interest in the Amish and read many books (fictional) by authors who write Amish stories, such as Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter to name a few. I would appreciate any information you might have on the Amish settlement in Pittsfield. Thank you.

      1. I don’t know about that settlement Brenda, had not heard about them yet. But hmm – looks like Pittsfield is awfully close to the Unity settlement, so I suspect the Amish you’re referring to might actually be from that community?

        1. Amish Population in Maine - reply

          I don’t know if the settlement in Pittsfield would be part of the Unity settlement or not. They’re not really that close together. There’s a family who live just around the corner from my son on US Route 2 in Pittsfield. Thank you for taking the time to answer. I was just wondering about the group in Pittsfield.

    2. Aj

      It doesn’t seem like the study updated the Canadian Amish population this year. I wonder if that is due to Covid.

      1. Well unless I’m missing something the Canadian numbers in this 600-settlement listing appear to be updated, as do the general province-level numbers here: http://groups.etown.edu/amishstudies/statistics/population-2021/

        Is there maybe a place you’re seeing on their site where it hasn’t been updated?

        1. Aj

          The population is the same as 2020. It didn’t go up or down.

          1. I'm not seeing what you're seeing

            Could you be more specific b/c I’m looking at both the 2020 and 2021 lists side by side, and all the numbers seem to be updated. For example, I see the Vita, Manitoba settlement is given as increasing from 70 people (2020) to 75 (2021). Victoria, New Brunswick goes from 70 (2020) to 85 (2021). And so on.

    3. Al in Ky

      Thanks for sharing this information again this year. This yearly update of Amish Settlements is always informative and helpful. And thanks to all at the Young Center who develop the list each year. In the past several years, I have referred to the most recent Amish Settlement List several times when people from other areas in Kentucky and other states ask me if there is an Amish settlement near them. This list is always the first thing I turn to in answering their questions. It is often surpising when people respond that they didn’t know there was an Amish settlement that near to where they live.

      When looking at the statistics, it is interesting to see that a few of the settlements have estimated population of close to two hundred persons. They certainly must have crowded church services if they are meeting in members’ homes. (Owingsville/Preston, Ky. lists one district with a population of over 500. Is this a misprint?)

      I was especially interested to see the addition to this year’s list of an Amish settlement at Caneyville, Kentucky, but it only lists as “?” as the settlement date. A few years ago, I read a little about that settlement in an article in Volume 2, Issue 2 of Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies. That article stated that the settlement was begun in 2004 as the Caneyville Christian Community, a plain Anabaptist group. This summer, in several news reports/letters in The Budget newspaper from
      the reporter/scribe in Caneyville, he wrote that they had Amish visitors/ministers from Maine who had come to Caneyville to have meetings and services with them to help them become an official Amish church. So, I’m wondering if the year of their becoming an Amish settlement would be considered 2021. It reminds me a little of the two Old Colony Mennonite communities in South America becoming Amish a few years ago.

      1. I share the feeling of surprise sometimes when hearing that people aren’t aware of Amish nearby, but then again I realize not everyone is as into the topic as I am:)

        Thanks for noting those large districts. I sent a message along to one of the people who do the list for any comment on that. The 2 things that came to mind are that the districts around 200 people may be just due to divide, and in some places districts seem to naturally go a bit larger (I remember one in Allen County, IN which was close to 60 families, which would be around 300 with an average size of 5 people). The other thing I thought of was maybe the extra-large ones could be the rare meetinghouse settlements, where they may have more space in their church structure. At one time the Oakland, Maryland community was described as the largest Amish congregation and I think they had upwards of 70 families in that district. I’m not too familiar with the KY settlement you mention though.

        Thanks for the note on Caneyville as well. Maybe that “?” reflects uncertainty on how to describe their founding year. I would expect to put it as the year that they “officially” became recognized as an Amish church.

    4. Alan Trulock

      Bowling Green, MO

      I have seen about six homes sell in the Bowling Green area recently. Has there been a split or is the community moving?

    5. Cheryl

      Are there Amish settlements in NH?

      Just wondering if there are any Amish or even Mennonites in NH. Thank you.

    6. Mary Jane Grant

      I’m looking for Amish people near Miami, OK