Where Do Amish People Live?
The Amish have been a part of the fabric of American life since the 18th century. Much has changed in the ensuing years, and both the American landscape and societal norms have evolved. Yet the Amish lifestyle has remained virtually unchanged over time.
Where do the Amish people live, and what sets an Amish community and their homes apart from other American cultural groups? Is it purely a matter of religious seclusion, or is there more to it than that?
We examine the answers to these questions. And in the process, we get a glimpse into a slice of old-world Europe thriving in the heart of the new world.
Where the Amish Live
The states with the highest Amish populations are Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. But why are they so popular among the Amish? To understand this, one has to look back at their very beginnings on American soil. When the first contingent of Amish settlers arrived, they settled in Pennsylvania.
Finding it suitable for their rural lifestyle, with ample farmland and a place to build, more soon followed. Over time, Amish communities sprung up in other places, most notably Ohio and Indiana, thanks to the suitability of conditions there, too. However, Pennsylvania remains an Amish stronghold to this day.
The Amish population in the U.S. has since grown a lot, due to their tendency towards large families. In fact, the Amish are now one of the fastest-growing population groups in America. At last estimates, more than 350 000 Amish live in the country’s more rural areas.
And this number is set to keep rising at a rapid pace. There are different types of Amish settlements - from simple villages to sprawling farms. Amish communities can now even be found in Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Delaware.
But you won’t come across a black Amish person too often, and you’ll have a hard time finding Amish Jews, too. The reason is simple. Since the arrival of their Swiss German forebears, there has been very limited intermarrying with outsiders. And this homogeneity extends to their homes, too.
How the Amish Live: Characteristics of Amish Homes
Can you join the Amish? You can, but you’ll be in for quite a culture shock. Most traditional Amish homes lack electricity, indoor plumbing, and other conveniences. This is true even of larger Amish villages and farming communities.
An Amish home is, in every sense, a humble home. And this is evident from the lack of modern amenities we take for granted. You won’t find modern kitchen appliances. There’s no television. And smart-connected devices are nowhere to be found. But why is this the case?
Humility is a very central theme in Amish communities. It’s closely tied to their religious doctrine and carries over into all spheres of Amish life. Houses are comfortable and practical, not a measure of wealth or status. By living in seclusion from secular society, they keep the influence of modern trends to a minimum.
The average Amish home follows a basic template, no matter where it is built. It’s practical, functional, and modestly furnished. But don’t let that fool you. Amish people are highly skilled woodworkers and seamstresses. And they put these skills, passed down through each successive generation, to good use in the home.
Amish Baskets - Turning any Modest House into a Beautiful Home
Amish homes have something else in common besides beautifully crafted wooden furniture and expertly sewn quilts. They’re also furnished with the wonderful wicker creations of the community’s basket-weaving groups. Here, the women of the community get together to socialize and work in harmony.
Chattering away cheerfully in their home language of Pennsylvania Dutch, these women work tirelessly to produce these treasured items. Yes, that’s right, there’s no difference between Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish. It’s just the name ‘outsiders’ gave to their language when they first arrived, and it stuck!
The authentic rattan bread baskets, sturdy wicker laundry baskets, and woven storage baskets for shelves that grace their homes can be yours, too. By purchasing one of these fine hand-crafted products, you’ll be showing support for a time-honored tradition and rich cultural heritage.
The Amish have three important themes that run through their daily lives. Their faith in and devotion to God are of the highest priority. This is followed closely by their devotion to the family unit and to community life.
It is this that has allowed them to live and prosper in the far reaches of rural America. Where do Amish people live? They live close to their God, close to their kin, and close to nature. And this is how it will always be.
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