Efforts to count the number of “Colony Mennonites” in Mexico this year have produced surprising results. The number was believed to be around 100,000, but the actual tally is closer to 74,122 people.
Two couples from the villages of Silberfeld and Neu-Reinland drove door to door from January to March in Manitoba and Swift Current colonies. It was thought Manitoba Colony numbered 20,000, but the number is 17,212. Swift Current’s total is 3,480, rather than over 5,000. Populations of other colonies were collected by phone.
Despite high birth rates, the totals are lower due to migration to Colombia, Argentina, the United States, Canada, Paraguay and Bolivia. It is often difficult to know how many people live in a colony due to constant migration and because a colony may have dozens of villages, with hundreds of families living between the villages.
Manitoba Colony’s census also included data on ages. About 62% of the population is 20 years old or younger. Of the 17,212 residents, 6,063 are 10 or younger, and 4,627 are between 11 and 20.