Songs & Rhymes In Pennsylvania Dutch

About the Amish People

The Amish are a group of highly religious Christians originally from Germany, Switzerland and the Alsace region of France. They immigrated to the US in the 18th century. The Amish originally settled in Pennsylvania. Over time they migrated to many other states in the US and to parts of Canada.

Today more than half of the Amish live in 5 US states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan (as shown with the * on the map below).

Here's a list of the states and province where the Amish live, by order of greatest to lowest population:

Ohio
Pennsylvania
Indiana
Wisconsin
Michigan
Missouri
New York
Kentucky
Iowa
Illinois
Ontario (Canada)
Minnesota
Tennessee
Delaware
Kansas
Maryland
Oklahoma
Montana
Virginia
Florida
North Carolina
Texas
Washington
West Virginia
Mississippi

This list is based on The Riddle of Amish Culture by Donald B. Kraybill. He bases his numbers on Raber's Almanac, an Amish almanac which lists information about Amish church districts by state. The figures Kraybill uses are guesstimates. He estimates there were about 180,000 Amish people living in North America as of 2001.

The Amish still speak the German dialect that many of their ancestors from Europe spoke. It's alternatively called Pennsylvania German, Pennsylvania Dutch or Deitsch. They also speak English.

The Amish believe in being separate from the society around them. They don't use electricity, automobiles or other modern conveniences. They have religious services every other Sunday. The alternate Sunday is for spending time with the community.

The Amish way of life largely revolves around working and socializing together as a family and community.

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