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Amish community leaders also say they see growing clusters of farms and settlements, with newly married couples tending to stick closer to the parental family farm.

“You want to keep a community together,” Fannie Erb-Miller, editor of the Amish newspaper the Budget, recently told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. “But you have to go where there’s enough land to hold you. That’s more of a challenge these days.”

The migration of Amish families to these counties can mean significant changes for those communities, according to the study, despite the principle of Amish communities of keeping to themselves. Despite the potential for conflict with existing communities, Mr. Donnermeyer said, the impacts of the Amish have been seen as generally positive.

Amish migration “slows down the population decrease and could even turn it around. The Amish have very low unemployment and [are] good entrepreneurs. They have positive economic benefits to counties,” Mr. Donnermeyer said.

Many Amish families no longer consider farming as their sole occupation because they often cannot find and maintain enough land to sustain themselves. In response, many families have turned to other crafts, such as carpentry and construction, to earn income. The emphasis on being close to family remains, however.

“The preference is to be self-employed,” Mr. Donnermeyer said. “It’s an imperative among the Amish that they seek to find economic activity that does not weaken their sense of community. It’s only in the biggest communities where the Amish can be seen working in factories.”