Report: Amateur Radio Population Shrinking in Australia
Ham radio numbers in Australia are declining, Phil Wait, VK2ASD, reports in WIA News for February 5. Statistics show a slow-but-steady drop in Australian Amateur Radio licenses.
Marc Hillman, VK3OHM, analyzed licensing trends between 2005 and 2016 and identified a decline in overall numbers over the past 5 years. In 2016, there were 14,619 licenses — down by about 100 or 0.7% from a year earlier.
The numbers for the Australian entry-level Foundation license and the Standard license both bucked the trend, however, with Foundation license ranks growing by 18 to 2,476.
Similar very slight growth occurred in the Standard license ranks, largely due to upgrading. The overall decline in numbers is due to a drop in the number of Australian Advanced licenses each year between 2005 and 2016, some of that due to attrition through death and other factors.
The data show that 485 people became licensed in 2016, fewer than in previous years. The WIA has advocated modernizing and improving Amateur Radio through changes that it maintains will make ham radio more attractive to existing, lapsed, and future Amateur Radio licensees.