Amish Culture in the United States

Few of those denominations and groups, however are as distinct and unusual as the Old Order Amish Mennonite Church. Spread across 22 states, there are approximately 180,000 Amish adherents in the United States. In general, they came to America in the same way many groups did. They came from Switzerland and the southern Rhine region during the late 17th and early 18th centuries seeking the religious freedom that America offered.

With 325 churches and nearly 46,000 practitioners, Indiana has the largest Amish population in the United States after Pennsylvania and Ohio.

During the 1700s, many of the Amish emigrated from Switzerland to Pennsylvania, where they found freedom from persecution. Those who didn’t come to America eventually died off or joined the European Mennonites. The two main groups of Amish in the United States are the Old Order Amish, who drive horse and buggies, and the Beachy Amish, who allow cars and other modern inventions. There are a considerable number of other differences—both in lifestyle and doctrine—between the two groups. The two largest Old Order Amish communities are in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and Holmes County, Ohio.

What is happening to the Amish in the United States today

A new census of the Amish population in the United States estimates that a new Amish community is founded, on average, about every 3½ weeks. The Amish have high frequencies of certain otherwise rare mutations. This is one of the textbook examples of founder effects – extreme genetic drift due to sampling a small number of founders from a much larger population. Today’s Old Order Amish in the United States trace most of their ancestry to an initial population of approximately 200 people in the eighteenth century. That means that any of the alleles carried by those 200 people, even if it was vanishingly rare in the European population, has a good chance of being half a percent or higher in today’s Amish.

There are an estimated 280,000 Amish in the United States

Ohio, so wonderfully described in the 1939 WPA Writer’s Guide, is home to a wealth of cultures and traditions. The state has a large Appalachian region, counties that typify the flat Midwest of the Corn Belt, urban areas with long-established ethnic populations and significant communities of recent immigrants. Ohio has the largest concentration of Amish in the United States as well as significant Asian and Somali communities. The Arab-speaking population in Ohio grew by 22 percent between the 1990 and 2000 census and the Latino presence in the state is expanding rapidly. In addition, occupations such as glass production, agriculture and coal mining have inspired folklore that is vital to Ohio’s identity.

Slate: There are more than 250,000 Amish in the United States


In all, the census counts almost 251,000 Amish in the United States and Ontario, Canada, dispersed among 456 settlements, the communities in which members live and worship. The 1990 census estimated that there were 179 settlements in the United States. I am an Englisher in the United States of America, I Was born in the United States of America, I have lived in the United States of America all my life, and I can say: I am not ashamed to be an Englisher. I am not offended by the title. “Englisher'” are what the Amish call non-Amish here in the United States of America.