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Главная » 2021 » Апрель » 10 » Traditional amateur radio contesting faces a demographic cliff
Traditional amateur radio contesting faces a demographic cliff

Frank Howell, K4FMH, followed up his two-part National Contest Journal (NCJ) series, 'The Demographics of Contesting,' with a post to his Social Circuits blog, called 'Lemmings over a Demographic Cliff?' (His original articles appeared in the July/August and September/October 2020 issues of NCJ.) Howell points to data showing that radio contesters are older than the average ARRL member. Taking into account information from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics on Leisure Time Use, Howell opines that this should be expected.

"Leisure pursuits are highest during youth and young adulthood but dramatically taper off about ages 25 – 34 until age 55 and over,” Howell said. "This hollowing out of leisure and sport time is a predictable outcome of competing and more important activities.” According to Howell, the main competitor to radio amateurs engaging in on-the-air or workshop activities is television (now more broadly referred to as "screen time”). No surprise there.

A Brookings Institution study on the topic using the 2005 – 2015 Time Use Survey documents how "free time became screen time.” About 2007, screen time (not just TV) surpassed other active leisure activities in average time spent. By 2015, the gap favoring screen time was more than 1 hour, reflecting an average of some 11 hours per week of activity. Howell argues that formats of major radio contests may serve the leisure interests of established contesters — those on the far end of the demographic spectrum — but may not offer the best experience for contesting newcomers.



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