The annual horse-and-buggy Amish population figures have been released by the Young Center at Elizabethtown College. The total Amish population is estimated at 383,565 people. That breaks down to 377,275 in the United States, 6,100 in Canada, and 190 in South America.
And of course the count continues to steadily rise. If we look at the numbers from just five years ago, the Amish population has increased by over 50,000 since then.
The number of communities has unsurprisingly also grown. In 2018, we had 549 settlements. Today there are nearly 90 more, with a total of 638 Amish communities. The two main drivers of this growth – a very high birthrate, and most Amish youth deciding to join the church – haven’t changed.
A few noteworthy points from this year’s figures:
- One of the two South American countries claiming an Amish presence can no longer do so. The community in Argentina has disbanded, with some of the group moving to Bolivia, some to the US, and some remaining, but no longer a part of the New Order Amish fellowship. If you don’t know the story, here’s more on how there came to be Amish south of the equator.
- In March we posted about the seemingly impending exodus of Amish from their sole South Dakota community. Amish founded the community at Tripp, but with multiple Amish homes going on the market, it was reported that the community was on the way out. In the latest figures, we see that there is not only still a presence in the area – but also that a second South Dakota settlement has been added. That may not mean that the Tripp community will remain, but with a second community the Mount Rushmore State will not be disappearing from the Amish map after all.
- There are now close to 3,000 Amish church districts. Amish churches are small in size, typically consisting of 25 to 35 families living in close proximity. The Amish keep their churches small, emphasizing close-knit community, and dividing them when they exceed roughly 125-150 people.
- No new states were added to the Amish list, unlike last year which saw the addition of New Mexico. Amish have a presence in 32 states, four Canadian provinces, and a single community in Bolivia.
You can find the Amish population profile, the total Amish population and state figures, and ten-year growth trends on the Young Center website. You’ll also find the very handy county and state list showing individual communities, their size and year of founding.
It’ll still be some while til we can say with certainty when the Amish population might hit one million people. But the trend keeps heading full speed ahead in that direction.