Amateur population trends - 2013

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VK2OMD
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Amateur population trends - 2013

Post by VK2OMD » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:55 am

An interesting report has been published on amateur licence examination results in the UK, see http://www.commsfoundation.org/rce/pdf/ ... t_2013.pdf .

The report is interesting as it shows slightly different trends than can be derived from the ACMA's published data.

The last ACMA annual report (to June 2013) showed the number of certificates of profiency issued to be down, -21% YoY Advanced, -19% YoY Intermediate and -12% YoY Foundation.

That is only a one year comparison (IIRC ACMA did not publish those numbers in its previous reports), but the growth apparent in earlier years may have turned around.

On the surface, readers might conclude we are dumbing down because the reduction in certificate issue is greater for the higher grade licences, but that is probably an unsafe conclusion... we really need a breakup of the licences held each year by grade and the people who know that (ACMA, WIA) don't publish it now.

The report also gives total licences at 30 June 2013.
Clip 005.png
Adding those to my running summary, the turnaroud forecast from data over recent years appears to be coming to fruition. The early signs of this turnaround were evident over recent years, but have become more convincing as the turnaround is realised.

(The forecast line is simply a second order fit to the data which is total amateur licences issued (inc repeater and beacons) since the Foundation Licence was introduced. The second order polynomical permits the projection to have a turning point, which it has.)

Owen

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Re: Amateur population trends - 2013

Post by VK4GHZ » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:16 am

Owen, the numbers from the ACMA in your graph, is this overall license numbers (including repeaters, beacons, club calls etc), or unique license holders?
ie discounting repeaters, beacons, club calls, multiple calls held by one licensee, etc.
That being the true number.

A quick search of the VKL beacon and repeater databases, (which realistically may not include everything out there), indicates 501 beacons and repeaters to begin with.
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Re: Amateur population trends - 2013

Post by VK2OMD » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:25 am

VK4GHZ wrote:Owen, the numbers from the ACMA in your graph, is this overall license numbers (including repeaters, beacons, club calls etc), or unique license holders?
ie discounting repeaters, beacons, club calls, multiple calls held by one licensee, etc.
That being the true number.

A quick search of the VKL beacon and repeater databases, (which realistically may not include everything out there), indicates 501 beacons and repeaters to begin with.
Hi Adam,

I updated my post with the info you asked, it is total licences held at 30 June.

Sure, it would be good to know the breakup by grade at least over the last 10 years, unique licencees might be interesting.

You can take the view that the data isn't what you would like and ignore it, or draw some conclusions from it and seek to get better info.

I expect that the WIA knows the detail as part of its process of production of the call book, but for some reason, they no longer make the profile public.

Note that I do not for a moment think that the amatuer population size is a valid indicator of the health or future of the hobby... but some do. I remember a hobby that was in better health IMHO when the population was half what it is today.

Owen

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Re: Amateur population trends - 2013

Post by VK3HZ » Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:12 am

I wonder who it really was who first said "Lies, damned lies and statistics"?

I'm surprised any conclusions can be reached based on the data presented:
- the last point on the graph totally influences the outcome. Take that point away and there's quite a different (rising) trend line.
- Is this final point influenced by some other effects (e.g. changes or delays in license processing ...)?
- why should a second-order polonomial be used to model number of licenses vs. time? Why does it have to have a turning point?
- the vertical axis is greatly expanded, over-emphasising visually any noise on the data
- if the same analysis had been done after the 2007 data had been released, the trend would be even more disastrous. However, reality was much different.

So, I don't (yet) believe the sky is falling.

Regards,
Dave
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