Amish population growing exponentially - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Amish population growing exponentially

Posted: Updated:
SHARON, Pa -

There are nearly 300,000 people who are Amish in the U.S. and that number is expected to double faster than any other group in 20 years.

Locally we have a mix of New and Old Order Amish with different beliefs on technology. This diversity especially with less strict orders, is part of the reason one professor said that so many kids are choosing to stay Amish.

The number of people living this slow paced lifestyle is growing exponentially faster than any other ethnic population in the world.

"They have large families and they see it as part of their faith to have as many children as possible," explained Dr. William McGuigan, an associate professor of human development and family studies at Penn State Shenango.

McGuigan presented his research on the Amish Wednesday night during a community lecture on campus.
 
A Mennonite himself, he said that 90 percent of the children are choosing to stay Amish. One reason is that there are so many diverse groups within the Old and New orders.

According to McGuigan, the Old Order resists technology with no electricity at home, no tractors and machinery and holds on to the horse and buggy. New Order families have a horse and buggy but embrace technology with electricity on the property.

Locally he said that New Wilmington has one of the most conservative Old Order groups in the U.S. There are New Order groups in Greenville, Kinsman and Conneautville. In Conneautville, they use cars but use their horse and buggy for church.

He said that the population growth has forced the Amish to change. There is not enough affordable farmland to keep up, so they're exposed more to the world through these new professions.

"The Amish are no longer reliant on farming as a sole source of income. A lot of them are working in home businesses but a lot of them are also working away and working for English contractors and hiring vans to take them to work," he said.

They have access to radios and video players on these rides. He said that some boys who go out before they're baptized as adults are also getting their hands on cell phones and the internet. 

People in the audience got to ask McGuigan about some of the myths about their neighbors. One question was regarding why they don't like to have their pictures taken. McGuigan said that it's not because of the rumor that it could capture their souls. He said that the Amish don't like to have their photo taken because they find it too prideful and they don't want to idolize images. He also talked to 21 News about another common myth.

"People ask why they have a blue door and there were rumors that the blue door represented a daughter of marrying age and that's not true.  I asked my Amish friends why they have a blue door and they said because we had blue paint."

  • More NewsMore>>

  • The Latest: Trump disbands business panel as fallout spreads

    The Latest: Trump disbands business panel as fallout spreads

    Thursday, August 17 2017 5:41 AM EDT2017-08-17 09:41:05 GMT
    A White House official says Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump's longtime aide, will serve temporarily as White House communications director.More >>
    A White House official says Hope Hicks, President Donald Trump's longtime aide, will serve temporarily as White House communications director.More >>
  • One juvenile was thrown from a GMC

    Two adults, five children injured in Goshen Township crash

    Two adults, five children injured in Goshen Township crash

    Thursday, August 17 2017 5:28 AM EDT2017-08-17 09:28:13 GMT

    Seven people, five of them juveniles, were rushed to the hospital Wednesday night following a two-vehicle crash along Route 45 in Goshen Township. One of the children was transported by helicopter. Troopers say the crash occurred just north of West Calla Road shortly before 11 pm. According to the patrol, a Saturn driven by 22-year-old Hannah Koontz of Newton Falls ran into a GMC that had stopped along Route 45. The GMC, driven by Christina Brown, 34, of Leavittsburg, went off the ...

    More >>

    Seven people, five of them juveniles, were rushed to the hospital Wednesday night following a two-vehicle crash along Route 45 in Goshen Township. One of the children was transported by helicopter. Troopers say the crash occurred just north of West Calla Road shortly before 11 pm. According to the patrol, a Saturn driven by 22-year-old Hannah Koontz of Newton Falls ran into a GMC that had stopped along Route 45. The GMC, driven by Christina Brown, 34, of Leavittsburg, went off the ...

    More >>
  • Boardman business selling eclipse glasses this morning

    Boardman business selling eclipse glasses this morning

    Thursday, August 17 2017 5:28 AM EDT2017-08-17 09:28:03 GMT
    While many Valley businesses have sold out of those solar eclipse viewing glasses, a Boardman business has a few to sell this morning. The YM Camera store at 755 Boardman Canfield Road will be selling solar glasses beginning Thursday morning on a first come, first served basis. The store will have 85 pairs available at $15 apiece and are limited to two per customer. A YM Camera spokesperson says the $15 price is mostly to cover the expense of overnight shipping. YM Camer...More >>
    While many Valley businesses have sold out of those solar eclipse viewing glasses, a Boardman business has a few to sell this morning. The YM Camera store at 755 Boardman Canfield Road will be selling solar glasses beginning Thursday morning on a first come, first served basis. The store will have 85 pairs available at $15 apiece and are limited to two per customer. A YM Camera spokesperson says the $15 price is mostly to cover the expense of overnight shipping. YM Camer...More >>
  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Stuff the Bus!

    Stuff the Bus!

    Sunday, August 13 2017 7:52 PM EDT2017-08-13 23:52:49 GMT

    21 WFMJ, Great Clips, Cocca’s Pizza and Huntington Bank have teamed up with the United Way to “Stuff the Bus,” now through September 3rd.   

    More >>

    21 WFMJ, Great Clips, Cocca’s Pizza and Huntington Bank have teamed up with the United Way to “Stuff the Bus,” now through September 3rd.   

    More >>
  • Panerathon 2017 Team Peacock Registration

    Panerathon 2017 Team Peacock Registration

    Sunday, July 30 2017 8:13 PM EDT2017-07-31 00:13:49 GMT

    Join 21 WFMJ this year for Panerathon 2017!  We want to have the biggest team at Panerathon this year and we need your help. 

    More >>

    Join 21 WFMJ this year for Panerathon 2017!  We want to have the biggest team at Panerathon this year and we need your help. 

    More >>
  • Weather Pics

    Weather Pics

    Check out weather related pics from our viewers!  Please send your pics to weatherpics@wfmj.com.

    More >>

    Check out weather related pics from our viewers!  Please send your pics to weatherpics@wfmj.com.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms