Indiana is a bigger Amish state than you think

September 10, 2010
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How much longer until Indiana eclipses Pennsylvania and Ohio as an Amish center?

People in the Indianapolis area don’t see many Amish, but a new study by the Indiana Business Research Center shows Indiana already has a higher concentration than Pennsylvania or any other state.

Pennsylvania and Ohio each have more than 24,000 members of the denomination, and Indiana has 19,000, says the IBRC, which is part of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. But Amish make up 0.32 percent of Indiana’s population. That’s way more than the 0.22 percent in Ohio and the 0.21 percent in Pennsylvania.

In Indiana, most are in traditional northeastern and north-central strongholds, but pockets exist in other areas, too. The county with the third-largest Amish population, Daviess, adjoins Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center between Bloomington and Evansville.

More Amish have been moving to the state as developers bid up land prices in states farther east. Not only is land cheaper here, but the climate is suitable—not too hot, not too cold—for the dairies Amish farmers often operate.

The research organization cautions that its numbers only count the denomination of Old Order Amish Mennonites due to availability of data. If other branches of the group that came to America from Switzerland in the 1700s were included, the picture might look different.

What are your thoughts about the Amish? Any trips planned to Shipshewana or points nearby?

  • Amish
    I used to live and work in Rochester, Indiana. There were many hitching posts around town at business (Banks, WalMart, etc.) to accomodate their buggies.
  • We need more of them
    These fine Americans embody the truest meaning of being American. They are honest, hard working, and truthful and caring. I would much rather have them as neighbors than anyone I have known. It would be something the media and other Americans could take a lesson from. Enough of this hate, fear, and panic making we are plagued with currently. You won't find an Amish man wanting to burn the Koran. These men, women and children reflect the truest meaning of being a Christian. I guess there is something about not having Church buildings and preachers and ministers all work for a living rather than begging money from their congregations.
  • Long American Tradition
    These Americans were here in America nearly 100 years before the Revolution. I think they have a lot of things to teach Americans about being American.
  • Materialism NOT
    A lot of Americans think that they are against anything modern or all technology. That is not so. They just don't feel it is important for their lives, so they do without. There is no keeping up with the Jones, Look I have a bigger car than you, etc. We sure could use some good ole Amish values in our society
  • Indiana is a bigger Amish state than you think

    I agree, enough with this hate, and enough with Affirmative action. How can we as a nation get over racism when racism is ingrained in law, taught in school, and reminded every time a certain anniversary or holiday re-appears.

    Koran burning by a mediocre pastor is the least of America's hate problems. The media is so supportive of the 9 million Muslims in America, yet, it has not created the same kind of firestorm to everyday racism that can effect 200 million, and much more severe racism in America, such as murders or "beat a white day".

    Amish have peace, they have no need to hate, because the Amish as a community have segregated themselves from what creates hate. And, what creates so much hate today is a growing diverse population, where people find somebody new to hate, and victims of racism find some new form of racism to complain about.
  • Interesting Observation
    Good to know these stats on the Amish. This could be an interesting vehicle for increased tourism in the heavily Amish areas, which the communities don't seem to mind and is an effective means of selling high quality Amish goods. I'd agree that the Amish culture in general seems commendable, though their association with puppy mills is a bit problematic. I'm sure that's just a few bad apples though and hardly characteristic of the majority.

    "Stop racism" comment is puzzling. Is he/she advocating for the re-introduction of segregation?
  • Huh?
    What in the world is "Stop Racism" comment all about? I'm not quite sure what any of that has to do with the story at hand. Besides that, it just didn't make much sense.

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