If you need more evidence that ham radio is becoming an old man’s hobby, you need look no further than the latest WorldRadio Subscriber Survey. The magazine polled 1,600 readers; 1,237 replied.
The first thing that jumps out at me is that less than 5% (4.5%, to be exact) of the respondents are less than 45 years old, and more than half (52.8%) are more than 65 years old! No wonder a friend of mine always seems to confuse the ARRL with AARP.
The problem, of course, is not that there are so many seniors in ham radio. I think that’s a good thing. The problem is that there are so few kids.
Why is this a problem? Well, I’m not sure of the demographics of the ARRL membership, but I’d bet it’s pretty much the same as in this survey. Being a membership organization, they do have to provide services to their members, BUT this shouldn’t be at the expense of looking out for the future of amateur radio. And it’s my opinion that this is exactly what’s happening.
I’m not sure what the answer is, but we really do need to start working on this. Ham radio has a lot to offer. We have to get it in front of kids again and make it an option for them.