More than 30,000 New Ham Licensees

For the fourth year in a row, more than 30,000 new licensees joined the Amateur Radio ranks, and the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) conducted more than 7,000 Amateur Radio exam sessions, serving some 35,350 candidates for a new or upgraded license. At the end of December 2017, the US Amateur Radio population stood at 748,136.

Sounds too good to be true. So where’s the problem?

Despite the optimistic influx of 32,196 newcomers last year, the net growth of 5,349 — about 0.72% over December 2016 — reflects some 27,000 expired or cancelled licenses in the FCC database over the past year.

Oh. Now I get it…