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According to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster, Pa., their population has risen from about 5,000 in 1920 to almost 300,000 today.And much of that growth has occurred in the last three decades.Here are 10 things to know about the fascinating lives of these Americans, also known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.century schism in the Anabaptist church by followers of Jakob Amman, a Swiss minister who believed that adherents should "conform to the teachings of Christ and His apostles" and "forsake the world" in their daily lives. Language The Pennsylvania Dutch are not Dutch at all.The word Dutch is a corruption of "Deutsch" or German, of which they speak an ancient dialect.Instead, clothes are fastened by pins or hook-and-eye closures.Slightly smarter clothes, such as capes, are used for religious services.Their right to end school at age 14 was confirmed by a 1972 ruling of the United States Supreme Court.

The population explosion is due to a belief in large families, seen as a blessing from God.In addition, most Amish are not permitted to drive motor vehicles but are allowed to hire outsiders — known as "English" — to drive them.Schooling Amish children typically only attend school through eighth grade, mostly at private schools, but about 10% in public schools, according to the Young Center.In fact many of them pay school taxes twice — for both public and private Amish schools." They do not, however, pay — or collect — Social Security, having been exempted by Congress in 1965 because the Amish viewed it as a form of commercial insurance.Instead, they believe that members of the church should care for one another's physical and material needs.

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Where they live With farming at the center of their lives and their population rapidly expanding due to large families, the Amish, anxious not be influenced by modern ways, are always seeking out new land away from urban areas.