An AP story has just hit the wire on population growth among the Amish. This coincides with the release of additional information on trends in Amish growth and migration from here at the Young Center.
The Amish studies site now lists trend data for the 1992 to 2008 period as well as the 2007 to 2008 one-year trend.
The most surprising statistic: according to the data, the Amish grew at an astounding 6% last year. Were that growth to hold, the Amish would double within 12 years, a much quicker pace than the roughly 20-year doubling rate seen in recent times.
I just asked Professor Kraybill about the 6% figure, and he shared the following: “I am reluctant to speculate that the Amish will double in 12 years. It’s hard to know if the 6% was just a one year quirk. What we do know with certainty is that the Amish grew on average 4% a year from 1992 to 2008 and if that rate (4%) continues they will double in 18 years, by 2026.”
Big gainer states among those with significant Amish populations were Kentucky, New York, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Tennessee.
States welcoming new Amish populations over the 1992-2008 period include Arkansas, Colorado Amish, Maine Amish, Mississippi, Nebraska, Washington, and West Virginia. Amish had attempted to settle some of these states in the past. See Settlements that Failed for descriptions of some Amish settlements that have gone extinct.
The ‘Big Three’ of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana have declined from a total of 69 percent of the total Amish population to 63 percent over the 16-year period studied.