Isn't ham radio a dying hobby?  My grandfather did it, but with the Internet it just doesn't seem relevant.

Look at the numbers! 

 

At the end of 2012 there were 709, 500 Amateur Radio licensees in the USA.  This is an all-time high and it continues to climb!  One major driver of the growing number of licensees is Emergency Preparedness.  People understand that when everything else fails, radio still works.  Another major driver of this growth is the dropping of the Morse Code requirement to get a license.  The written exam is all that's required now, and our team teaches several weekend-long courses throughout the year to go from no license to license in one weekend.

 

Here are the past totals for the USA:

2012 - 709,500

2011 - 702,056

2010 – 696,041

2009 -  682,497

2008  - 663,564

2007  - 655,842

2006  - 656,068

2005  - 662,600

 

Also important...

Higher percentages of Amateur Radio licensees are going far beyond the initial Technician Class license and earning General or even Amateur Extra Class licenses.

 

There are approximately 2.5 million Amateur Radio operators in the world.  The numbers, while believed accurate, can vary somewhat because different countries use different systems to count licensees.