Hispanic population surpasses Amish in Lancaster County, U.S. Census data show

Lancaster’s rolling hills are steeped in the traditions of the Amish — their plain dress and humility as much a tourist lure as their quilts and pies.

But, as an iconic symbol, this Lancaster image could need a revision. Instead of Zerbe’s potato chips, think chicharrones. Egg casserole? How about chilaquiles. Pulled pork? Did someone say lechón asado?

Increasingly, the flavors of this south-central Pennsylvania region — famous for its mud sales and outlets — bears a marked Latin accent that goes beyond language and cuisine.

Latinos have forged a foothold in Lancaster County. In recent years, their population numbers have quietly surpassed that of the Amish.

About 45,000 Latinos live in Lancaster County, according to the 2010 census. The census does not track the Amish or plain communities in Lancaster County. But in 2010, the Elizabethtown College center that studies the Amish estimated about 30,000 living in Lancaster County.

The Latino population in Lancaster County has grown by 68 percent in the last 10 years, the fifth-largest gain in Latinos statewide.

In the city of Lancaster, nearly two out of every five city residents identify their ethnicity to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba and other Latin American countries.

About half of the county’s Latinos live in the city. The city’s Latino population grew to 23,329 in the last census, an increase of 35 percent. READ MORE

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