The Amish

I’ve always respected many of the ethical and environmental practices of the Amish (and find it strange that their nutritional practices don’t seem to follow their other environmental ethic).

A recent Chicago Tribune article finds they are expanding:

The Amish are expanding their presence in states far beyond Pennsylvania Dutch country as they search for affordable farmland to accommodate a population that has nearly doubled in the past 16 years, a new study found.

States such as Missouri, Kentucky and Minnesota have seen increases of more than 130 percent in their Amish populations. The Amish now number an estimated 227,000 nationwide, up from 123,000 in 1992, according to Elizabethtown College researchers.

“When we think they might be dying out or merely surviving, they are actually thriving,” said professor Don Kraybill, who shared data from an upcoming book with The Associated Press.

The Amish are Christians who reject most modern conveniences. They began arriving in Pennsylvania around 1730. Amish couples typically have five or more children. With more than four out of every five deciding in young adulthood to remain in the church, their population has grown. More than half the population is younger than 21. A small portion of the increase is also due to conversions to the faith.