The Top 10 States By Amish Population (2017)
Which states have the most Amish?
Here are the 10 most Amish-populous states, via the Young Center’s 2017 population estimates.
A few observations:
- If you are Amish, odds are you live in either Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Indiana, home to about 63% of the total Amish population.
- Numbers 1 and 2 (Pennsylvania and Ohio) each have about 10 times as many Amish as number 10 on this list (Illinois).
- Indiana has the largest average settlement size by far, with an average of roughly 2,300 Amish per community. This is because the state has five settlements among the 12 largest (and relatively few fledgling settlements).
The Ten States With The Largest Amish Populations
The numbers in parentheses are:
- the number of individual settlements as of June 2017
- the number of church districts
- the total estimated population
1. Pennsylvania (55 settlements; 497 church districts; 74,250 total Amish) – Lancaster County is the best-known and by far the largest community in this state. Other significant settlements are found in the areas of Mifflin County (Big Valley), New Wilmington, Smicksburg, Punxsutawney (Clearfield/Jefferson Counties), and Spartansburg. More on the Amish in PA.
2. Ohio (61; 560; 73,780) – Ohio has the greatest number of individual settlements, and two of the top four largest communities (Holmes County and Geauga County). Ohio is also home to a settlement of Nebraska Amish. Read more.
3. Indiana (23; 380; 53,075) – With only about two dozen communities, Indiana’s Amish have a wide geographic spread, with significant settlements in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state. The Hoosier State is home to two large Swiss Amish communities, as well as two significant settlements founded by Amish from Lancaster County, PA (Parke and Wayne Counties). More on the Amish in Indiana.
4. Wisconsin (53; 150; 20,095) – Most of the Badger State’s 50-plus Amish spots are found in the western half of the state. Most are relatively small, though significant communities can be found at Cashton, Hillsboro, the area of Kingston & Dalton, Eau Claire County, and Monroe County. More on Wisconsin’s Amish communities.
5. New York (55; 146; 18,575) – Probably the most popular state for founding new settlements in recent years. New York is tied for second in terms of number of communities (55). The largest settlements are in far northern NY in St. Lawrence County (Heuvelton), and the Conewango Valley settlement in western NY. More on the Empire State’s Amish.
6. Michigan (47; 117; 15,040) – Michigan’s largest Amish community, at Centreville (St. Joseph County), is roughly twice as large as its next biggest settlement. Most Michigan communities are found in the mitten (Lower Peninsula), though a community was founded in 2008 in the Upper Peninsula (Mackinac County). Read more on the Amish of Michigan.
7. Missouri (42; 98; 12,320) – Amish can be found scattered across the Show-Me State. The big communities are at Seymour (Webster County), Clark, and Jamesport (Daviess County). More on Missouri’s Amish settlements.
8. Kentucky (42; 91; 12,060) – The Bluegrass State has proven attractive for Amish settlers. Communities can be found throughout Kentucky (with the exception of the eastern Appalachian region). Munfordville is the location of Kentucky’s biggest community. Read more on Amish in KY.
9. Iowa (23; 65; 8,985) – Iowa is known for one of the Midwest’s oldest Amish settlements, at Kalona (founded 1846). Kalona is one of the state’s three largest communities, along with the Bloomfield settlement and the conservative Amish group at Hazleton (Buchanan County). Read more on Amish in Iowa.
10. Illinois (19; 56; 7,505) – The bulk of the Lincoln State’s Amish presence is found in one settlement, located around the town of Arthur. The rest of the state’s Amish communities are small in size. More on Illinois Amish communities.
Number 11 on this list would not be a state but the province of Ontario, home to an estimated 5,030 Amish.
The Amish have grown by roughly 100,000 since 2007.
Wisconsin & Illinois original images cropped.
I knew Illinois would be pretty low on the list. I have often wondered why more Amish are not attracted here with all the farm land. I imagine it has to do with the price as land here is very high. I have found land to be a lot less expensive in upstate NY, as long as you get away from the bigger cities like NYC and even Albany. Heuvelton is a beautiful area but winters can be pretty harsh. I guess it is a good trade off for the cheaper land and much less congestion.
Well #10 is not bad 🙂 And it will probably be in that spot for awhile since it’s a good bit larger than the next province and state. Illinois actually has not done too poorly with new settlements, has actually had a dozen-plus new communities settled there since 2000.
In comparison, my home state North Carolina just got its second community quite recently, having had just one since the mid 1980s (with the exception of a relatively short-lived second settlement which was around mainly in the 1990s).
Thanks for sharing this information each year. I find it very interesting. It seems like there is at least one new settlement in Kentucky every year. It also is interesting to observe trends in my home state of Minnesota. When I left Minn. in the early 1970’s, I remember there being only one settlement, and now there are 21.
I agree Al, it has been interesting to see new states, provinces, and even countries added to the Amish list the past few years!
Erik, have I missed a blog about a second settlement in NC? I have gone to the one in NC twice and wonder if the second one is nearby. What can you tell me about the second one or direct me somewhere?
Thank you so much for all you do!
Hi Loretta – no you didn’t miss anything, I have not posted on it yet. Tbh I don’t have a lot of info on it, if I’m not mistaken I have heard it’s in the vicinity of Asheville and it’s a plainer group? Someone I believe shared that info either in a comment or in my email but I’m having trouble digging up where it is right now. If I find more details I’ll share here. Thanks Loretta!
Erik and Loretta — Were you all thinking about the Polkville, N.C. Amish settlement which I and Patty Vasquez posted about a few times recently in comments under the “North Carolina” category on Amish America?
Ah yes that’s the one Al – thanks for jumping in with the reminder of where I’d been seeing that. Sometimes I need help from all you guys out there to find things on my own website 😉
I don’t know Al, this is new to me. I am scheduled for a conference near Ashville next spring so it would be great if they are near Ashville and I can take a little time and check it out.