18 Aug 2018

ARRL numbers falling

There is a gradual downward trend in ARRL membership. This does not surprise me. However, it is worrying.

Around the world, generally, the amateur radio population is getting progressively older and it is getting harder to attract and keep younger people. We come over as an old man's hobby. I know this is not so, but we have to "connect".

As the demographic gets generally older, membership of national societies and radio clubs is likely to suffer. When I was fitter, I gave quite a few talks at radio clubs in East Anglia, UK.  By and large, the audiences were male and older men with very few women and young people. Unless we attract and keep younger people our hobby will die.


Todd Dugdale said...

The ARRL case is amusing. They are actually *bragging* about the decline in membership. They increased dues and projected *more* of a decline, so they are spinning this smaller drop as some kind of victory. Only about one in five licensed American amateurs now belong to the ARRL.

Here in the U.S, we have lost 7 licensed operators for every ten we bring in over the past year. The ARRL estimates that only about *one-half* of these new licensees ever even *get on the air*.

This means that we are actually *declining* in terms of *active* operators. Also, a significant number of licensees are no longer among the living, but remain on the books until their licence term expires.

The problem is not technical or regulatory in nature, but rather social and generational.

We don't have ten years for this situation to sort itself out.

G1KQH said...

I am not surprised the ARRL is flagging it is not helped by QST which gives one nothing to bite on.

It needs rapidly improving with technical instead of waffle, and projects that are simple for one to build on a few Sunday afternoons.

It should look at Radcom and how that is done, even though the RSGB has had it's problems their flagship magazine is not bad.

I am minded not to renew my ARRL membership next time if I don't see some improvement, they have got 2 years left!

73 Steve