Year-End Figures

On the ARRL PR committe mailing list this morning, Allen G Pitts, W1AGP, the ARRL’s Media & PR Manager reported the following year-end statistics:

I hate to be a wet blanket, but the CIA estimates that the US population will grow by about 0.9% in 2008. If you assume that without any additional effort, the number of licensed hams would also go up by that amount, then the real increase is only about 0.3%. While that’s good, we need to do better.

Also, if the number of ARRL members increased by 1,100, then that is only a 0.7% increase (1100/153535) in the number of members, meaning that ARRL membership decreased as a percentage of licensed amateurs. In December 2007, that figure was 23.4% (153535/655842), while in December 2008 it is now 23.3% (154635/663564).

Finally, it would be interesting to know how many of those 28,066 new hams joined the League.


  1. That is not unusual or unexpected. The reason for it is that while there are many new hams, the highest percentages of ARRL members come from the General and Extra Class licensees. It seems that after you “get into it” more that folks come realize the importance of membership and all that the ARRL does for Amateur Radio.

    This is not a new phenominon – it’s been that way for many years. Meanwhile, the ARRL is and will continue to promote ALL of Amateur Radio, planting seeds even if it takes a while for people to grow in the hobby.

  2. Dan KB6NU says:

    It may not be unusual or unexpected, but this is why I keep saying over and over and over that the ARRL needs to come up with programs to get Techs more involved in the hobby. It’s great to say that there more than 28,000 got their licenses in 2008, but if the majority of them never join the ARRL or really do anything in amateur radio, then all the effort expended to get them into the hobby is just a waste of time.

    Any idea how many of those 28,000 joined the ARRL?

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