By Kevin Williams
The Amish population in the USA doubles every generation, roughly. That's not tough to envision when you think that most Amish families still include 7, 8, 0r 9 children. But that raises the question of: Where do you put all those people and buggies? Already, Holmes County, Ohio - followed soon by Lagrange County, Indiana - will become the first "majority Amish" counties in the USA by 2020.
These are only my predictions and educated guesses, but these are some places where I think you'll see new Amish communities taking root within the next two years. I'll be fun to come back to this post two years from now to see whether I was correct on any!
NORTH DAKOTA: This one is a no-brainer. The Amish have recently established a settlement in South Dakota and Amish communities are thriving in central and NW Minnesota, so you can bet North Dakota will be next. Especially with a collapsing oil industry there, there will be plenty of low-priced properties on the market that the Amish will snap up.
NEW BRUNSWICK: The Amish have recently moved to Prince Edward Island in Canada, so I think a community in New Brunswick is inevitable at some point soon. Probably not so much in the western part of the province.
PREBLE COUNTY, OHIO: This is the next county over from me. There's plenty of rural land, lots of acreage available and neighboring Wayne County, Indiana's Amish settlement has gotten so large that expansion is inevitable. This is exciting for me, because this would put an Amish settlement within a half hour from my house! The closest Amish to me are currently about an hour away in Wayne County, Indiana.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: With the Amish just recently in Vermont for the first time, a New Hampshire community seems inevitable within the next couple of years.
WASHINGTON STATE: With the growth of Amish settlements in western Montana and the Idaho panhandle, I think it's only a matter of time before roads in rural Washington State see the peaceful silhouettes of horses and buggies plying the roads.
Stay tuned soon for my predictions of where the Amish will NOT head next.