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HamRadioNow: That ARRL Entry Level License Survey

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KN4AQ, Mar 2, 2017.

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  1. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    US Amateur Radio Numbers Continue to Soar
    February 29, 2016

    Amateur Radio is alive and well! Growth in the US continued in 2015, with a record 735,405 licensees in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) database by the end of the year. That’s up 9130 over December 2014, a 1.2 percent rise, continuing a steady increase in the Amateur Radio population in every year since 2007. In 2014, the Amateur Radio ranks grew by a net 8149 licensees. The figures, compiled by Joe Speroni, AH0A, on his FCC Amateur Radio Statistics web pages, exclude expired licenses that are within the 2-year grace period, and club station licenses. Compared with the same month 10 years ago, the Amateur Radio population in the US has expanded by 72,805 licensees — or nearly 11 percent.

    As expected, the biggest growth by license class was in Technician licensees, which rose by 6570 in 2015. General ranks increased by 3079, and Amateur Extra numbers went up by 3496. The 2015 overall numbers faltered a little in April before rebounding in July. The introduction of a new General class question pool on July 1 appeared to have only a slight effect on month-to-month numbers in that license class. ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said 2015 was another banner year for ARRL VEC-sponsored test sessions.

    “For the second year in a row, we have conducted more than 7,000 Amateur Radio exam sessions in a year, an important milestone for the ARRL VEC,” she said. “A total of 7358 ARRL-sponsored exam sessions were administered in 2015, compared to 7216 in 2014. The number of exam applicants was down slightly in 2015, compared to the previous year, and the number of examination elements administered also dipped slightly, she noted.

    “Since 2014 was a record-setting year, the numbers of 2015 examinees didn’t drop so much as return to more typical levels,” she explained.

    Somma pointed out that the ARRL-VEC also processed and filed nearly 10,100 license renewals and address changes for members in 2015. This is a free service to ARRL members.

    Technician licensees still comprise a little less than one-half of the US Amateur Radio population. As of December 31, some 47,850 Advanced and 10,800 Novice licensees remained in the FCC database. The FCC no longer issues Advanced and Novice licenses, and their numbers continue to decline.

    Once again, California far and away was home to the largest number of licensees among the 50 states, with 103,938 at the end of 2015, up from 102,735 at the end of 2014. North Dakota remained the state with the fewest number of Amateur Radio licensees, with 1510, up very slightly over the previous 12 months. Club station licenses in the US number 11,599, according to Speroni’s web pages.

    — Thanks to Joe Speroni, AH0A; FCC ULS licensing statistics
    N5IPA likes this.
  2. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I ask again; where is the data indicating that there is any problem, whatsoever, with the current license regime, which would necessitate the creation of an easier license, a new class, or a class with greater privileges?

    1. What is/are the issue(s)? Please provide objective evidence.
    2. What is/are the solution(s)? Please provide a clear nexus between the evidence and solution(s) data sets.

    Month-------Extra-------Adv------Gen---------Tech--------Nov--------Total ARS

    Jun-1997----73,737----107,024--116,629 ----314,532-----66,551-----678,473

    By Joe Speroni
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  3. N5IPA

    N5IPA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now there is some data!!
  4. KL7LT

    KL7LT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look at that ARRL
  5. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's more data, relative to observations regarding on-air activity.

    ARRL says ham radio is healthier than ever, and based on published license numbers that appears to be true. Others say there is less activity on the bands. Based strictly on published and objective data, can anyone tell me why there seems to be less activity?


    Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

    The Solar Cycle is Crashing -

    Solar Activity

    24 hr Summary... Solar activity was very low and no active regions with sunspots were observed

    Solar Forecast Discussion



    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  6. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem with the current licensing regime is the same problem that has plagued the ARS since 1976-- the decline and fall of young ham demographics.

    Specifically, the problem with the regime is the volumetric bloat of the question pool for the present entry exam . This bloat is a huge turn off to young people and is in opposition to the process of 50 years ago, when young hams joined the ranks in relatively healthy numbers, producing the present elderly but mostly experienced ham population.

    The entry exam of 1966 was the Novice, which had 44 study questions.


    Not an EXAM or 'dumb down' issue...its a question pool BLOAT issue.
    WB9VPG likes this.
  7. W4HM

    W4HM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly the same thing , if you run away from a bloated Technician class question pool you are dumb/dumbed down, "and" lazy. We are never going to get large numbers of young people interested in hamateur radio ever again and we don't need them either. They are not interested in our hobby anymore.

    We need mature men and women in their 40's and 50's that are not lazy and are near or at retirement age that own their home and have disposable income to join the hamateur radio ranks. I always vote for quality over quantity.

    And I'm a very active ham that works SSB, CW and virtually all current digital modes. Every single day I make many contacts and never go for wanting a contact on any band that is open propagation wise. I don't see the empty bands that you people talk about and the 40-160 meters bands will just get more crowded not less as solar cycle 24 wanes and solar cycle 25 sputters. That happens at the bottom of very solar cycle.

    Once again the few of you are looking for a problem to apply your solution too.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  8. KB1PA

    KB1PA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    What we need to see is a breakdown of number of hams vs the general population, if possible by age. I suspect the percentages have stayed the same. I think the US population is getting older. There are probably fewer young people (normal population cycles). The schools now just teach to the test. They probably don't teach calculus or trigonometry anymore, and algebra gives students hives. They don't teach civics or geography in a lot of places. Some areas are trying to teach STEAM but they are few and far between. This has reduced the potential ham radio pool (the "nerdy" subjects were prime classes to recruit new hams).

    We need to take what we have and teach new hams how to become participants in the hobby. This is whats not being done.

    We need to find out from those recently licensed why they became licensed. We need to find out from groups like "makers" why they are not getting licensed. Once we have that info we can analyze it and
    see 1) if there is a problem and 2) what can be done to solve it.

    Throwing material at a wall and seeing what sticks does nothing.
  9. WF9Q

    WF9Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    The main problem is ham radio lacks violence, satanic rituals, drama, all the crap that is popular on TV. Then it is out in the open, ability to be "sneaky" drives user engagement, as in snap chat, facebook, texting and more...... So how do you teach or drive participation of something that lacks appeal relative to modern culture?
  10. W4HM

    W4HM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't know man I hear allot of what you just described on 7200 kHz around the clock. ;):eek:
    WF9Q likes this.

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