We live in a technologically advanced world. Think about it – we have smartphones that we carry around with us that could double as computers, and you can use the internet for nearly everything – from finding old classmates to paying your utility bills. While many of us are immersed in this technology, there is a group of people that have shunned this modern technology and live a much simpler lifestyle. That group is the Amish.
The Amish first made their way to the United States during the 18th century when faced with religious persecution in Europe. However, this religious sect was first established in the 17th century based on the teaching of Jakob Amman, for whom the Amish is named.
This religious sect lives a very simple life away from urban areas. Most Amish people are farmers, although some delve into other industries such as carpentry and housing construction. Most Amish people do not drive cars, do not use TV, electricity, radios, or computers, and don’t go to college or join the military. The children of the sect typically only go to school through the eight grade, with about 90% attending public schools. Amish people also dress quite plainly in clothes in neutral colors with no Velcro or zippers.
There are significant populations of Amish people in 31 states in the U.S. Estimates show that there are nearly 325,000 Amish people living in the U.S. as of 2018. The largest population is found in the state of Pennsylvania. Based on estimates, over 76,000 Amish people live in this state. Ohio is right behind Pennsylvania with an Amish community made up of over 75,000 people. Indiana has the third highest population of Amish people with nearly 55,000 living within its boundaries.
Other states with an Amish population of at least 10,000 include: