Amish Population Research Group; Fertility; Population studies; Holmes County, Ohio; Association of Religion Data Archives; Benjamin Allen McKune (1980-2014); Unobtrusive measures; Microdata; Elmer Lewis Smith; Amish settlement directories; Amish genealogies


The Amish exhibit distinctive demographic patterns, notably high fertility. While scholars have studied Amish population dynamics for more than a half century, recent research in this area is limited. We believe the time is ripe to reverse this trend. This article reviews data collection methods, points to a variety of accessible sources of new data, presents some preliminary results from the analysis of one such source (the McKune dataset for Holmes County, Ohio), introduces the research agenda and work of the newly formed Amish Population Research Group, and reviews past demographic findings to situate our agenda. An invitation is extended to demographers, social scientists, health researchers, and others to enter into collaborations with APRG.


We are grateful to the Association of Religion Data Archive at Pennsylvania State University for preparing, releasing, and working with us on the McKune dataset. Further, the section “What Do We Know?” was drafted while Anderson was under the support of a Kreider fellowship at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.



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