March 9 2007 License Numbers
On Mar 11, 12:21�pm, Steve Bonine wrote:
So if we remove the under-10
population from consideration, the median age of amateurs should be
somewhere around 50 years.
Is there any real data on the median age of amateurs? *Does a database
exist that contains date-of-birth so that the actual statistic could be
I don't know of any.
At various times, FCC has required date-of-birth information. But that
policy has changed over time, so the license database contains DOB
info on some, but not all, US hams, depending on when they were first
licensed. So the FCC license database is not a reliable sample or
My personal opinion, based on looking around at gatherings of amateur
radio operators and on-the-air contacts, is that the median age is
closer to 60, at least for US ops.
The problem with using such observations is that they
are not reliable samples either. For example, the hams
you see at gatherings are those who have the time,
interest and resources to go to them. The younger
amateur who is raising children, taking care of elders,
busy with a career or education, etc., is much less likely
to go to a hamfest or club meeting.
Similar concerns go with on-air observations. The younger
ham with a car full of children is less likely to be operating
mobile, for example. The ham with a 60-hour-per-week day job is not
likely to be on the air at 2 PM on a weekday. Etc.
*I wish we had real data.
The numbers I see published lack even the most
basic detail. For example, I've seen claims that
the "average age of US hams is xx years" -
without any info about how the number was
derived, whether it's the mean, median, or
some other number, nor how it compares to
the US population as a whole.
73 de Jim, N2EY