The Amish in Delaware: 2023 Guide

Tiny Delaware is home to one sizable and long-lived Amish settlement. Founded over 100 years ago, the community just outside state capital Dover continues to grow despite land pressure. Today (2023) nearly 2,000 Amish live in the Dover settlement.

Delaware Amish - Dover
Only one Amish community is found in Delaware, outside of state capital Dover

Amish in Delaware: Over A Century in The First State

Amish first settled in the middle of Kent County, the central county of the state’s three, in 1915. Settlers arrived here from states as diverse as Wisconsin, Montana, Alabama, and Ohio. Today, the community numbers 13 church districts, with approximately 1,915 people, according to the latest figures from the Young Center at Elizabethtown College (PA).

Amish farm in Delaware
In Delaware, Amish farms have given way…

The Dover community is one of a few truly “East Coast” communities, along with Lancaster County, the St. Mary’s County, Maryland Amish community, and a few others. In fact – leaving out the atypical Pinecraft, Florida Amish community – the Dover group may be the most “coastal” of all, in the sense that they are within feasible buggying distance of the ocean.

At the Dover settlement, traditional plain white shutterless homes mix with suburban and rural English dwellings. Numerous buggy signs alert drivers to the presence of the Amish, cautioning vehicles to maintain low speeds when passing buggies.

The Dover-area Amish face land pressure

The Amish at Dover are also close to another landmark of importance – the state capital. With suburban growth, the Amish community has found itself interspersed with large neighborhoods. Fields of McMansions stand where corn once did, and a number of golf courses are found in the area. With the rise of settlement by non-Amish, road traffic inevitably increases as well.

Large homes in a Dover, Delaware suburb
…to suburbs and golf courses

Years ago the Dover Amish began leaving the settlement in significant numbers due to these pressures – with some no doubt enticed by the high land prices. Indeed, a family can sell its farmland and comfortably purchase one, two or even more farms in less-densely populated regions of the country.

Numerous Amish from Dover have migrated and started daughter settlements. An example of such community is the Halifax County, Virginia Amish group, or that at Burke’s Garden, Virginia. Realtor’s signs in some Amish yards as well as formerly Amish homes now wired for electricity are signs of such changes in the settlement.

Amish buggy on road in Dover, Delaware
An Amish buggy on a busy road in the Dover community

As a result of the land situation, few Amish at Dover remain in full-time agriculture. The price of land in the area generally prohibits young men starting up in full-fledged dairy farming. High land prices may make some question why they continue to farm themselves. In fact, a number of those still owning large farms rent the land to be farmed by English farmers. In the early 2010s, a local Amish person estimated that only around 20 full-time Amish farmers remain.

Delaware Amish businesses

Amish Furniture businesses in Delaware
Amish furniture company signs in the Dover, DE settlement

While farming has dwindled, Amish have opened numerous businesses, consistent with the general trend in Amish society. At the Dover settlement, Amish are involved in a number of trades, including furniture, buggy-making, blacksmithing, greenhouses, sawmills, and a number of shops, including dry goods, quilts, and appliance stores.

Shops are typically located on-site at Amish homes, with roadside signs advertising their presence. As with all Amish, Dover businesses are closed on Sundays. Read more about Delaware Amish furniture businesses.

Delaware Amish buggies

The buggies driven by the Amish in Delaware are of particular interest due to their unique style. Dover buggies feature rounded sides, fully-opening back doors, and a generally bulky size. Some have likened their appearance to that of hearses. The distinctive look is seen only in the Dover community and other Delaware Amish spin-off settlements.

Delaware Amish Buggies
Characteristic Amish buggies parked in a lot in the Dover settlement

Future of the Amish in Delaware

Amish settlements – even sizable ones – have gone extinct in the past. Despite land pressures, the Dover community retains a still-significant size, and has even continued to grow over the past decade, adding several church districts to the community over the past decade

As for the state itself, given its small size and relatively high land prices, Delaware is not very likely to attract much additional Amish settlement. The general trend of Amish migration has been northward and westward – unlike in the early 1900s when more of the country was up for agricultural development and the first Amish settlers arrived in Delaware from diverse states in the West.

Dover, Delaware Amish buggy sign
A yellow warning sign alerts drivers to the presence of horse-drawn transport in Delaware’s sole Amish community

The Dover community has a long history and though its proximity to the capital may continue to hamper its growth, it is not going anywhere. The trend of Amish from Dover starting new communities and/or settling in existing Dover daughter settlements is likely to continue however.

Amish in the community are likely to find the best opportunities for growth by focusing future settlement westward, opposite from the expanding capital. Occupations which don’t require large amounts of land – such as home businesses like furniture making or carpentry crews also provide ways for Amish to make a living and remain in the community without the large capital outlay that purchasing a dairy farm would require.

For a more in-depth look at this community, try the Dover, Delaware Amish settlement report.

For further information, see:

Amish Population in the United States by State and County, 2023” – Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College 

Amish Population, 2023 – Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College 

Delaware Amish Directory: 2005

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    1. Alice Aber


      I think as the economy worsens it is going to become difficult to relocate any distance when you want to, whether you be Amish or not. Perhaps their best chance in relocating is now when the land prices are so high in Delaware, but truthfully, the dollar just does not buy much these days.

      Blessings, Alice

    2. Dan Burtis

      10 church districts

      I am an Amish driver in Delaware and they have 10 church districts.

      1. Bobby

        Want to be driver

        Retired from PLAYTEX 9252383772 text me bobby

    3. Charisse Sinkler

      Trees cut down

      I have 3 trees that I would like cut down on my property. They are one gum tree and 2 maple trees. In exchange for cutting them down, you can have the wood. Please let me know if you are interested.

    4. Local dairy

      My name is John Iplenski from Hartly DE but now reside in Dover. I used to purchase fresh whole milk from a farm on rt44 in Hartly but cannot remember the address or know if they still sell fresh milk. Can anyone help or possibly redder me to another source?

    5. Mike

      Concrete/Paver Patio

      I love the work the Amish do, and I’m looking for someone to build me a patio in the Smyrna area. Please contact me, and keep up the good work!!!

    6. Nancy Doty

      Raw milk

      Is there a farmer selling fresh milk from their farm in Delaware
      Thank u

    7. Nancy Doty

      Raw milk

      I am looking for a farmer that sells milk in Delaware
      Thank u Nancy

    8. land for dream house!

      live in smyrna right now in a nice house,but looking for 1 1/2 to 2 acres of land to build my dream home and maybe have u guys build it to. thanks if any Amish interest email me back

    9. Driver

      We are a couple and we drive for the amish but need more jobs. if you read this add you can contact us at 3026727264 or 6318276743 or 632 704 4800 thank you

    10. Barbara J Smith-Morlock

      land for dream house

      Hi. Don’t know if you’re still looking for your dream land but I believe I’ve got what you want. 2+ acres in amish country on a dead end road. Very peaceful and serene area. Sewage certificate on file for a 3 bedroom home. Text 3023317961

    11. Lisa Brzozowski

      Hi I am curious. I have worked with the Amish community in Lancaster county pa for the last 10 years with patient advocacy. I helped many patients receive maintenance medications through pharmaceutical companies to help then with the costs since they do not have insurance.

      My dad is an Amish family doctor in Oxford PA that is how I started doing this. The companies offer insulin, inhalers, armour thyroid, chemotherapy oral drugs, and many many more.

      I have since relocated closer to the Dover DE area. Is there a need for this service? You may email me at or give me a call 443 466 8206. I hope to hear from you very soon. Thank you Lisa A. Brzozowski

      1. Ginger Gomez

        Help for Amish communities

        Hi Lisa ,
        I have recently moved from Texas and I am a LPN . I’m not sure how or if I could help you but I would be interested in helping you in any way.
        I live in Dover . You can contact me at(832) 465-2246 . Thank you. Please leave a message since I usually don’t answer unknown numbers.

    12. Lloyd Shipley

      Amish friends

      Do Amish people make friends with others outside of their faith?

    13. Alex Gutierrez

      Rawleigh Man

      Hi, I was seeing if the community needs anything from WT Rawleigh? We carry the best pepper and cinnamon, salves, and vanillas.

      My name is Alex

      Number of contact-