Ham Census

Don, KB9UMT, moderator and owner of the HamRadioHelpGroup mailing list came up with the following chart:

Year___ %Ham__US Population___# US Hams
1925___0.01%___115,829,000_____16,500
1930___0.02%___123,076,741_____19,000
1935___0.04%___127,250,232_____45,000
1940___0.04%___132,122,446_____55,788
1945___0.04%___139,928,165_____62,250
1950___0.05%___152,271,417_____81,450
1955___0.09%___165,931,202_____144,168
1960___0.13%___180,671,158_____227,500
1965___0.14%___194,302,963_____265,862
1966___0.14%___196,560,338_____268,129
1967___0.14%___198,712,056_____278,543
1968___0.14%___200,706,052_____275,628
1969___0.14%___202,676,946_____277,209
1970___0.14%___205,052,174_____279,658
1971___0.13%___207,660,677_____278,808
1972___0.13%___209,896,021_____274,389
1973___0.13%___211,908,788_____268,657
1974___0.13%___213,853,928_____271,373
1975___0.12%___215,973,199_____268,002
1976___0.13%___218,035,164_____283,473
1977___0.14%___220,239,425_____311,328
1978___0.16%___222,584,545_____350,780
1979___0.17%___225,055,487_____374,015
1980___0.17%___227,224,681_____393,353
1981___0.17%___229,465,714_____398,829
1982___0.18%___231,664,458_____408,361
1983___0.18%___233,791,994_____416,084
1984___0.18%___235,824,902_____433,921
1985___0.18%___237,923,795_____438,007
1986___0.18%___240,132,887_____433,921
1987___0.18%___242,288,918_____442,136
1988___0.19%___244,498,982_____455,642
1989___0.19%___246,819,230_____459,635
1990___0.19%___249,464,396_____466,511
1991___0.20%___252,153,092_____494,260
1992___0.21%___255,029,699_____524,782
1993___0.22%___257,782,608_____575,146
1994___0.24%___260,327,021_____614,398
1995___0.25%___262,803,276_____656,726
1996___0.25%___265,228,572_____661,775
1997___0.25%___267,783,607_____677,514
1998___0.25%___270,248,003_____676,809
1999___0.25%___272,690,813_____677,392
2000___0.25%___275,133,623_____682,240
2001___0.25%___275,279,000_____684,359
2002___0.25%___276,709,000_____685,308
2003___0.25%___278,112,000_____687,860
2004 672,622
2005 662,600
2006 654,291

Sources:

  • http://www.hamdata.com/fccinfo.html
  • http://www.ah0a.org/AH0A.html
  • http://www.ah0a.org/FCC/Licenses.html
  • http://hamcall.net/divisions_by_callsign.html
  • http://www.speroni.com/FCC/index.html
  • http://www.qrz.com/i/census.html?
  • http://www.jarl.or.jp/English/1_Amateur/A-1-9.htm

Don notes that the number of licensed amateurs has declined since 2003, and that the population of the U.S. has increased. If we use a figure of 300 million for the population of the U.S., then the percentage of the population that are hams in 2006 is 0.22%.

Should we be disturbed by this? I’m not sure. I don’t think we should go out and recruit new hams just to pump up our numbers. I think that we’ll find that if we recruit new hams for good reasons, such as increasing the number of hams capable of providing emergency communications or to just share the fun of ham radio, then we’ll be more successful and draw more active, interesting people into the hobby.

Comments

  1. Dan,
    I was playing around with some of the statistics on the ham population in the US and posted something on my blog at http://www.k0nr.com/blog/2005/11/some-amateur-radio-statistics.html

    “Bird watching is 22 times more popular than ham radio”

    73 Bob K0NR

  2. That certainly puts things in perspective. Thanks, Bob.

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