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Lancaster County Amish population thrives despite sprawl

Amish Barn Raising Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Codorus Township. Amanda J. Cain photo

LANCASTER – The Amish population in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County is continuing to grow each year, despite the encroachment of urban sprawl on their communities.

The U.S. Census Bureau says the county added about 2,500 people in 2018. LNP reports that about 1,000 of them were Amish.

Elizabethtown College researchers say Lancaster County’s Amish population reached 33,143 in 2018, up 3.2%, from the previous year.

The Amish accounted for an estimated 41% of the county’s overall population growth last year.

Some experts are concerned that a planned 75-acre housing and commercial project will make it more difficult for the county to accommodate the Amish population.

Donald Kraybill, an authority on Amish culture, told Manheim Township commissioners this week that some in the Amish community are worried about the development and the increased traffic it would bring.