07 July 2009

The Plain Truth

What do New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and twenty-three other states have that New Jersey doesn't?

That's right. According to the most recent survey by the Young Center for Anabaptist [Amish] and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, there isn't one Amish settlement in the Garden State.

The greatest number of Amish communities are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, with lesser numbers spread throughout the Midwest and South - and there are even a few settlements in Colorado, Washington, and Maine! The Mid-Atlantic region is also well-represented by the previously mentioned states. In fact, New York has the sixth largest Amish population in the U.S.

Why no Amish in New Jersey? It would appear that our state, particularly right here in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties, would be a good fit for the Amish. Plenty of farmland, moderate weather, and sizable markets for produce and other Amish produced goods.

There seems to be only one major factor keeping the Amish from New Jersey. According to the Young Center, the number one enticement for Amish families to migrate to a new state is "fertile farmland at reasonable prices". Reasonable prices. Who would have guessed?

I suppose there is no COAH for the Amish.

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