The Amish are one of the fast-growing religious groups in North America though you would be hard pressed to notice, according to a study released by Ohio State University on July 27.
The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Rural Sociological Society.
North America's Amish population is expected to balloon from its current figure of 250,000 to 1 million by 2050. The Amish double their population about every 22 years, said Joseph Donnermeyer, the Ohio State professor who led the census project, according to the Washington Post.
The boom has occurred along a belt that stretches from Ohio, which has the largest Amish population of any state at 60,000, westward. Pennsylvania, which is known for its Dutch haven in Lancaster County, ranks second with 59,000 and Indiana comes in third.
Those three states happen to be the prime choice for many Amish due to a mix of geographic and economic factors. The combination of fertile land and nearby civilization allows for a healthy mix of home-grown veggies and a possible stop at Walmart, according to the study.
Though the growth is substantial enough to generate a new community every three and a half weeks, it'd be hard for most to notice, according to the study. The boom has occurred within the Amish population, as the average family has multiple children.
Their growth may also be attributed to a surprising immunity to the real estate woes the rest of us face, Donnermeyer said.
"They are often purchasing land at good market prices," he said. "They are buying land that no one else wanted to buy. Generally speaking, the Amish are a good economic value for the rural communities. They have business startups and they are more likely to buy local."
Their closed-in communities also beget a sustainability that forsakes the need for government help. And yes, the Amish do pay taxes.
The idea that the Amish don't pay taxes is the biggest mythology about the Amish," Donnermeyer said.