Hutterite communes, called "colonies", are all rural; many depend largely on farming or ranching, depending on their locale for their income.More and more colonies are getting into manufacturing as it gets harder to make a living on farming alone.Originating in the Austrian province of Tyrol in the 16th century, the forerunners of the Hutterites migrated to Moravia to escape persecution.
Today, most Hutterites live in Western Canada and the upper Great Plains of the United States.
The Hutterite community responded by abandoning Dakota and moving 17 of the 18 existing American colonies to the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
With the passage of laws protecting conscientious objectors, however, some of the Schmiedeleut ultimately returned to the Dakotas beginning in the 1930s, where they built and inhabited new colonies.
They embarked on a series of migrations through central and eastern Europe.
Nearly extinct by the 18th and 19th centuries, the Hutterites found a new home in North America.For a few years in the early 1950s, and in 1974–1990, the Arnoldleut (or Bruderhof Communities) were recognized as Hutterites.