settlement; community; migration; fertility; Amish; Iowa


This article describes the demographic foundations of the Amish in Iowa. We note that since the publication of “A Peculiar People” by Elmer and Dorothy Schwieder in 1975, the demographic dynamics of the Amish have changed little. They remain a high fertility group; and when coupled with increases in their retention of daughters and sons in the Amish faith, the Amish are currently experiencing rapid population increase and settlement growth. In turn, the occupational base of the Iowa Amish has become more diverse and less reliant on agriculture. We observe that the first or founding families for new settlements in Iowa come equally from outside of Iowa and older settlements within the Hawkeye state.



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