The Amish are a Christian church that traces its roots to the Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe. Amish people accept basic Christian beliefs but also have some special interpretations and emphases that have emerged throughout their history.

The Amish migrated from Europe to North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today they live in 607 geographical settlements in 31 states, four Canadian provinces, and the South American countries of Argentina and Bolivia. (None remain in Europe.) Their population (adults and children) totals approximately 361,685. Their unique practices make the Amish one of North America’s most interesting and colorful religious subcultures.

Although all Amish people share certain common beliefs and practices, they are not one homogeneous group. Some forty different Amish affiliations, or tribes, have different names, different types of dress, colors of buggies, rules about technology, and restrictions on participating in American society. Regulations are approved and interpreted by local congregations. This means that there are hundreds of different ways of being Amish.

About the site

Amish Studies is an academic website developed by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College to provide reliable information on Amish life and culture. Designed to assist scholars, students and the general public, the site was developed with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Amish population statistics are updated annually in the summer. Other information is updated periodically.

For more in-depth discussion about the Amish:
The Amish book cover

Authors: Donald Kraybill, Karen Johnson-Weiner, and Steven Nolt (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013; paperback, 2018)

Recent books

In partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Press, the Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies publishes innovative and creative scholarship. The latest volume in the series explores the roles and experiences of Amish women:
The Lives of Amish Women book cover
Author: Karen Johnson-Weiner (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020)