Amish and Their Effect on Per Capita Incomes in Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania, with its sixty-seven counties has the highest concentration of Amish of any state in the nation.  The presence of the Amish theology of work, and their successful business enterprises as well as their frugality has contributed to civil society; moreover, this study reveals that their industry also impacts per capita income in Pennsylvania counties.  Because of the rich numerical data available through the U.S. Census and The Young Center at Elizabethtown College, a quantitative research methodology was utilized in this study in order to explore the relationship between the Amish presence and per capita income in Pennsylvania counties.  Using the above data, a multiple regression model was created revealing  five predictors (percent Amish Population squared, agricultural production, farmer occupation percentage, businesses 5 to 9 percent, percent rural municipalities) that significantly predict per capita by county.  Results indicate an overall significance of the model at p value < .001. Further analysis showed the percent Amish Population squared predictor was significant in predicting per capita income by county.  This finding brings attention to other self-marginalized groups’ impact on the economic health of the larger communities in which they reside.  Moreover, the findings of this research may serve as a point of departure for research on the economic contributions of other self-marginalized groups domestically and abroad.