Amateur Radio License Statistics

                           
Joe Speroni (AH0A) has an excellent web page (linked below) that lists US amateur license statistics from 1997 to the      
present, derived from the FCC's Universal Licensing System web site. Unfortunately, data from the pre-ULS era is not       
generally available. It was recently pointed out to me that the old callbooks had some of this data, and it didn't require       
me to actually count each of the listings. So I have reproduced below some of the data that is available from the old books.     
The actual data available changed over the years as follows:                
                           
- Starting with the Winter 1960-61 issue, the cover of the callbooks listed the total number of US amateur licenses.      
- Starting with the Fall 1967 issue, there was a "census" page that listed amateur licenses broken down by both      
  license class and by state. I have listed below only the totals by license class (similar to Speroni's data).      
  Note that this census page did not always include all 50 states and all US possessions. This means that      
  the totals of the license classes listed understate the actual number of US amateurs in those classes,       
  by excluding AK and HI (1967 to 1969), PR (1967 to 1976) and the other possessions (1967 to 1979).      
  Starting with Winter 79-80 the census data included all licensees.              
- Starting with the Summer 66 issue, a "world census" page was included, showing licenses by country. That data      
  is not included here.                      
- Starting with the Winter 87-88 issue, a second US "census" page was included, showing US licenses by state and      
  (three-digit) zip code. That data is also not included here.              
                           
P.S. Please forgive the ugly presentation of this web page. Given the nature of the data, it seemed that Excel would      
  be a natural format for the raw information, and I just used Excel itself to save this as HTML. Note that      
  the raw .xls version of this page is available from the links section below.            
                           
Callbook Issue Total US                      
Winter 1960-1 225,000                      
Spring 1961 225,000                      
Summer 1961 225,000                      
Fall 1961 231,000                      
Winter 1961-2 237,000                      
Spring 1962 239,000                      
Summer 1962 244,000                      
Fall 1962 249,000                      
Winter 1962-3 252,000                      
Spring 1963 255,517                      
Summer 1963 258,347                      
Fall 1963 263,370                      
Winter 1963-4 266,202                      
Spring 1964 268,113                      
Summer 1964 264,804                      
Fall 1964 265,858                      
Winter 1964-5 264,810                      
Spring 1965 265,067                      
Summer 1965 269,402                      
Fall 1965 270,878                      
Winter 1965-6 271,422                      
Spring 1966 270,567                      
Summer 1966 275,414                      
Fall 1966 277,604                      
Winter 1966-7 280,306                      
Spring 1967 280,016                      
Summer 1967 283,400                      
                           
Callbook Issue Total US Novice Tech Tech Plus3 Cond2 General Advanced Extra Club Military Multiple4 Rptr5
Fall 1967 288,892 13,860 61,797   42,732 113,371 38,980 5,080 3,435 1,529 3,655  
Winter 1967-8 294,191 15,894 62,974   42,896 115,049 39,084 5,201 3,520 1,539 3,445  
Spring 1968 292,914 12,467 63,693   42,825 116,005 39,040 5,875 3,583 1,543 3,229  
Summer 1968 295,111 11,820 64,870   42,963 116,822 39,406 6,104 3,703 1,562 3,179  
Fall 1968 290,460 13,124 63,505   41,626 116,513 39,638 6,436 3,554 1,267    
Winter 1968-9 284,674 10,882 61,157   40,159 110,915 44,595 7,747 3,455 1,040    
Spring 1969 282,330 12,142 59,357   38,920 107,388 46,859 8,538 3,384 927    
Summer 1969 287,063 14,591 59,948   38,949 106,976 48,180 9,047 3,480 933    
Fall 1969 286,026 17,467 57,958   37,668 105,182 48,873 9,520 3,452 880    
Winter 1969-70 287,214 19,855 56,764   36,773 104,325 50,116 9,953 3,443 839    
Spring 1970 287,105 21,582 56,476   36,873 103,096 52,149 10,497 3,540 923    
Summer 1970 7                        
Fall 1970 289,879 22,747 56,256   36,013 100,322 55,029 11,206 3,574 904    
Winter 1970-1 289,004 22,613 56,364   35,579 99,076 56,447 11,600 3,586 889    
Spring 1971 289,942 23,217 56,304   35,257 98,493 57,113 11,780 3,631 874    
Summer 1971 291,782 25,322 56,247   34,654 97,933 57,800 11,999 3,666 836    
Fall 1971 287,655 23,650 55,796   33,882 97,039 58,604 12,195 3,644 796    
Winter 1971-2 286,444 22,503 55,780   33,661 96,280 59,316 12,391 3,640 772    
Winter 1972-3 286,684 22,607 55,570   32,214 93,448 61,572 13,063 3,664 712    
Winter 1973-4 283,957 21,684 54,631   30,927 91,308 63,600 13,754 3,705 653    
Winter 1974-5 277,593 20,453 53,074   29,352 89,769 64,942 14,278 3,458 586    
Winter 1975-6 280,919 21,518 54,239   27,975 85,140 69,194 15,200 3,475 534   1,975
Winter 1976-7 305,590 31,282 62,218   26,207 84,697 73,144 16,483 3,948 489   3,279
Winter 1977-8 348,679 58,794 67,248   19,311 94,452 78,577 19,794 4,232 472   4,446
Winter 1978-9 374,487 64,526 70,977   13,394 107,493 84,709 23,602 4,208 441   4,429
Winter 1979-80 393,353 75,036 71,833     125,559 87,127 25,506 3,855 386   4,051
Winter 1980-1 398,829 6 76,161 72,075     126,115 90,165 27,063 3,589 345   3,283
Winter 1981-2 406,417 78,586 75,915     123,692 92,577 29,594 3,351 302   2,400
Winter 1982-3 421,732 87,479 79,620     123,161 95,509 31,782 2,627 253   1,301
Winter 1983-4 433,921 95,785 80,084     122,231 96,799 34,072 3,379 276   1,295
Winter 1984-5 438,007 97,316 82,979     120,544 97,903 35,550 3,384 279   52
Winter 1985-6 436,793 89,297 86,028     120,836 99,110 37,848 3,384 290    
Winter 1986-7 442,136 87,943 89,835     120,307 99,881 40,486 3,394 290    
Winter 1987-8 455,642 91,830 96,503     119,953 100,505 43,171 3,390 290    
Winter 1988-9 459,635 88,459 103,642     117,330 100,200 46,493 3,221 290    
Winter 1989-90 466,511 86,333 112,344     115,979 100,418 48,948 2,280 209    
Winter 1990-1 494,260 93,634 124,600     118,368 102,949 52,166 2,313 230    
  1992 1 524,782 96,914 146,893     120,165 103,332 55,008 2,307 163    
  1993 575,146 99,193 184,392     122,735 106,964 59,382 2,315 165    
  1994 614,398 101,934 214,076     124,432 108,887 62,601 2,316 152    
  1995 656,726 99,720 244,824 5,039   126,611 111,735 66,343 2,315 139    
  1996 691,775 98,305 237,868 40,559   127,856 113,963 69,781 3,293 150    
  1997 715,462 90,173 235,640 71,681   126,978 113,240 73,064 4,534 152    
                           
                           
                           
Notes: 1 Up through 1991, callbooks were listed as the "Winter" edition for the following year. Starting in 1992,      
    the Winter designation was eliminated.                
  2 All Conditional licenses were merged into General by the end of 1979.          
  3 Tech Plus licenses were first listed separately in 1995.               
  4 I'm not sure, but this could have been referring to secondary station licenses.          
  5 Repeater stations were separately licensed beginning in 1975, but weren't renewed after 1980.      
  6 I can't explain the 33 license discrepancy between the total listed and the sum of the license classes. The data on this  
    callbook's census page is obviously defective, but I can not figure out exactly what the error is. This data is exactly as  
    given in the callbook's summary line.                
  7 Unfortunately I don't (yet) have a Summer 1970 callbook. (Contact me if you have one to sell!)      
                           
Color Code   Data includes only the lower 48 states and D.C.              
    Data includes only the 50 states and D.C.                
    Data includes all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico              
    Data includes all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and all other U.S. possessions          
                           
Links:   AH0A Web Page                    
    FCC ULS                      
    Excel version of this page                  
    Return to W3HF home page                  
                           
Date:   3 August 2007                    
Contact:   W3HF                      
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