According to the eham article that referenced the ARRL posting, the all-time attendance record for a Dayton Hamvention was in 1993 with 33,669 attendees. This clearly shows that this hobby is not as popular as it once was, but does this slight increase in attendance for Dayton 2005 signal an upswing?

FCC Amateur Radio statistics available at suggest that things aren’t as bad as we’ve heard. While more attention needs to be paid to the recruitment, education and licensing of new young Hams, the charts provided here suggest that overall, the total number of licensed hams has remained relatively constant since 1997 and the raw numbers show that this hobby is growing in popularity again despite the downswing since the early 90’s.

Quite possibly this author has errored on the side of optimism, but given the state of our economy and possible decline to our standard of living over the past 15 years, I think Ham radio is doing quite well. Its up to us to keep the ball rolling though! ;-)