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Thread: FCC Amateur Radio License Totals

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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD8GFC View Post
    I often ask everyone I can about getting a ham license and almost always the reply is why would I do that. With all the new tech now ham radio will continue to decline in license holders its just the way it is. I bet in 10 to 15 years it will go the way side like the sony Walkman. I hope not.
    Your theory is intuitive but simply wrong. The numbers have been generally going up for 100 years, both in raw numbers and in terms of the percentage of the population. It defies all logic...but here are the numbers (STOLEN FROM JIM, N2EY. I OWE HIM A BEER NOW....)

    Year Population #Hams Hams as % of US Population
    1913 97,225,000 2,000 0.002%
    1914 99,111,000 5,000 0.005%
    1916 101,961,000 6,000 0.006%
    1921 108,538,000 10,809 0.010%
    1922 110,049,000 14,179 0.013%
    1930 123,202,624 19,000 0.015%
    1940 132,164,569 56,000 0.042%
    1950 151,325,798 87,000 0.057%
    1960 179,323,175 230,000 0.128%
    1970 203,211,926 263,918 0.130%
    1980 226,545,805 393,353 0.174%
    1990 248,709,873 502,677 0.202%
    1997 267,783,607 678,733 0.253%
    2000 281,421,906 682,240 0.242%
    2005 296,410,404 662,600 0.224%
    2006 299,291,772 657,814 0.220%
    2008 303,000,000 658,648 0.217%
    2010 310,425,814 694,313 0.224%

    I went QRT from about 1988 to 2008 and expected to come back to a decimated hobby, for exactly the same reason you say (why would I?) - but to my surprise, it was not only still alive, but thriving.

    The numbers don't lie. I believe there are some explanations for this - but the conclusion is not that the ham population is decreasing.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by KA3JLW View Post
    Your theory is intuitive but simply wrong. The numbers have been generally going up for 100 years, both in raw numbers and in terms of the percentage of the population. It defies all logic...but here are the numbers (STOLEN FROM JIM, N2EY. I OWE HIM A BEER NOW....)

    Year Population #Hams Hams as % of US Population
    1913 97,225,000 2,000 0.002%
    1914 99,111,000 5,000 0.005%
    1916 101,961,000 6,000 0.006%
    1921 108,538,000 10,809 0.010%
    1922 110,049,000 14,179 0.013%
    1930 123,202,624 19,000 0.015%
    1940 132,164,569 56,000 0.042%
    1950 151,325,798 87,000 0.057%
    1960 179,323,175 230,000 0.128%
    1970 203,211,926 263,918 0.130%
    1980 226,545,805 393,353 0.174%
    1990 248,709,873 502,677 0.202%
    1997 267,783,607 678,733 0.253%
    2000 281,421,906 682,240 0.242%
    2005 296,410,404 662,600 0.224%
    2006 299,291,772 657,814 0.220%
    2008 303,000,000 658,648 0.217%
    2010 310,425,814 694,313 0.224%
    2012 314,000,000 710,000 0.226% (approx).

    Quote Originally Posted by KA3JLW View Post
    I went QRT from about 1988 to 2008 and expected to come back to a decimated hobby, for exactly the same reason you say (why would I?) - but to my surprise, it was not only still alive, but thriving.

    The numbers don't lie. I believe there are some explanations for this - but the conclusion is not that the ham population is decreasing.
    IMHO what has changed most is that a lot of hams today are less "visible" than they were in years gone by. For example:

    - Family and job responsibilities reduce participation in clubs and other organizations
    - Antenna restrictions cause the use of stealth and less-visible antennas
    - Cell phones and modern vehicles reduce mobile installations

    73 de Jim, N2EY

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD8GFC View Post
    I often ask everyone I can about getting a ham license and almost always the reply is why would I do that. With all the new tech now ham radio will continue to decline in license holders its just the way it is. I bet in 10 to 15 years it will go the way side like the sony Walkman. I hope not.
    The first mistake is to ask everyone or nearly everyone. If someone approached me about stamp collecting I'd give the same answer others give you. When you're approached gauge their interest in radio and radio alone! No comparisons to cell phones or the Internet or high def TV or such. Does the person find radio interesting for its own sake? If so, then and only then encourage their interest.

    I think the mistake we make is to try and describe amateur radio as a technology hobby. That is wrong! I think we need to describe it as a radio hobby that happens to include various forms of tech. Radio is in the name of our service. Radio is what we use every time we get on the air. Radio is the one thing that binds us all together! Emphasize the radio in amateur radio!
    [URL="http://www.n0nb.us/blog/"]Nate, Marysville, KS[/URL]

    "Amateur radio--a real time social network using radio waves"

    Learn Morse Code: [URL="http://lcwo.net/"]http://lcwo.net[/URL]

    [URL="http://www.kadiddlehoppers.com"]Kadiddlehopper 7253.5 kc[/URL] # 11378; [URL="http://www.skccgroup.com/"]SKCC[/URL] # 6225; ROWH Natl Conv class of 1990

    [URL="http://www.debian.org/"]Debian, the universal Operating System[/URL]. Linux, a QRO OS on a QRP budget!

  4. #44

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KD8GFC View Post
    I often ask everyone I can about getting a ham license and almost always the reply is why would I do that.
    It has always been that way. Here's why:

    What amateur radio is all about is "radio for its own sake". Radio as an end in itself, rather than as a means to another end. The journey rather than the destination; the experience more than the result.

    This makes no sense to most people. To most people, "radio" is just a means to an end. The TV viewer doesn't care how the program gets to his/her screen; only that it does so at the least possible cost and with the highest possible quality. Whether it is radio, copper, fiber or something else doesn't matter.

    There are, however, a small percentage of folks who understand "radio for its own sake". Those are the ones who may become hams. They're the ones we have to find.

    73 de Jim, N2EY

  5. #45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by N2EY View Post
    There are, however, a small percentage of folks who understand "radio for its own sake".
    Absolutely!

    Those are the ones who may become hams. They're the ones we have to find.
    Or, at least be visible enough and approachable so that when they're ready, they will find us.

    Perhaps the one thing that held me back in my early years was an assumption that the local licensed ops wouldn't be interested in helping a newcomer so I fought through things on my own. After getting licensed and meeting them, my assumption could not have been more wrong!
    [URL="http://www.n0nb.us/blog/"]Nate, Marysville, KS[/URL]

    "Amateur radio--a real time social network using radio waves"

    Learn Morse Code: [URL="http://lcwo.net/"]http://lcwo.net[/URL]

    [URL="http://www.kadiddlehoppers.com"]Kadiddlehopper 7253.5 kc[/URL] # 11378; [URL="http://www.skccgroup.com/"]SKCC[/URL] # 6225; ROWH Natl Conv class of 1990

    [URL="http://www.debian.org/"]Debian, the universal Operating System[/URL]. Linux, a QRO OS on a QRP budget!

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