License statistics and exam information provided by Gerrit Herzig, DH8GHH, show that Amateur Radio numbers in Germany have been declining since peaking 2002. Herzig presented the statistics at Ham Radio 2016, during the fifth International Youth Meeting.
The ham radio population in Germany topped out in 2002 at about 80,000 licensees. In 2015, the number had dropped to 67,349.
To combat the decline the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) began offering a free online training course and has become more active in education and youth work. More clubs also are offering Amateur Radio licensing courses, he said. Herzig noted that inactive operators often turn in their licenses rather than pay the required renewal fee.
The figures for 2015 show an upswing in the number of candidates taking Amateur Radio license examinations. A new entry level license is under consideration in Germany.