Ham Radio growth in the US 2013

The ARRL reports the number of amateur radio licenses in the USA is continuing to grow. They note the situation in other countries and make  a misleading comment about the UK

The USA has three license exams Technician, General and Extra. These are equivalent to the UK Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced exams. It is worth noting that even holders of the US Foundation equivalent the Technician are allowed to run 1500 watts output in contrast to the 10 watts the UK Foundation holder is allowed.

The USA used to have a two other license classes the Novice and the Advanced license. The Novice license was designed to provide an introduction to the hobby and permitted 200 watts output on HF. The exam requirements were set at a level that enabled four year old children to pass. The Novice license stopped being issued in 2000, today slightly more than 13,000 people still have a Novice license.

The Advanced license required a Morse test of 13 WPM as against the 20 WPM of the Extra class. When the 13 WPM and 20 WPM Morse tests were scrapped in 2000 in favor of a single 5 WPM test Advanced licenses were no longer issued. Today there are 54,293 Advanced licenses remaining.

The number of USA amateur licenses are:

  • Extra and Advanced - 187,684
  • General - 167,257
  • Technician - 349,163
Significant number of Technician licensees were earned through large emergency communication and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes.
— ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM

The ARRL notes the dramatic slump in the number of Japanese amateur station licenses in recent years but the article gives a rather misleading impression of the situation in the UK.

Read the full ARRL article - http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-showing-steady-growth-in-the-us

Ofcom UK Amateur Radio Licence Statistics - http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/guidance-for-licensees/monthly-stats/