Thursday, June 21, 2012

Those who don't agree that our Service is in deep trouble over the long haul  counter those thoughts with the argument that our license totals have ALWAYS included Silent Keys (hams who have passsed on) and those who have become inactive for some reason.

All of which is absolutely true.

However, when you toss in the fact that, according to the ARRL, the average age of even our newly licensed hams is now over 50, and the average age of the rest of us was already pushing 60 the last time the FCC publicly released such statistics, it seems to me it's only a matter of time before our death rate outpaces our newcomer rate.

And it's THAT element that is present today in the statistics I'm citing that that wasn't in play when most of us were first licensed.

Unfortunately, nobody lives forever.  Not even me!

Some like to say that, "Despite my (your) dire predictions, our numbers keep on growing."

Which is also absolutely true.....for now.  

However, the latest overall stats I've been looking at (particularly those for newly licensed hams and "upgrades) indicate that even our aggregate "growth" rate may very well have peaked.  

As I've said before, I hope I'm absolutely, dead wrong on all of my "Chicken Little" predictions.

But, on the other hand, this myopic "all is well" attitude that sweeping regulatory changes to our arcane licensing structure in the USA are not needed so as to attract (and keep) many more youthful newcomers than we are now doing may very well prove to be our "Swan Song".

Only time will tell.

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