The Origins of the SOTH (State of the Hobby)
While browsing Reddit on the amateur radio subreddit I began to notice several users posting surveys for highly specialized topics. I completed the surveys and began to wonder what the results were. I then decided to host my own survey, to collect the opinions from the community on topics that I cared about. I wanted to make sure I made the results widely available for anyone to consume for whatever reason. Again, this is not meant to be an exhausting study of the hobby, but about the nagging questions I had about the community as a whole.
I hear time and time again things like "the hobby is growing, just look at the licenses being issued!", which is but one figure that can indicate the growth of amateur radio. It's not the only factor however, and I wanted to know more about that. I also wanted to know about new, emerging facets of an already diverse hobby. Lastly I wondered about perceptions of operators, which can indicate trends both now and down the pipeline. I wanted to do this in a way that was tangible over a decade or more.
I've been into ham radio for about 5 years now. I've taken some time off here and there due to life, but always really enjoyed the hobby. I'm not a professional pollster, but I do operate within the capacity of organizational analytics. I've learned over the years about polling and demographics, along with data modeling and light statistical analysis. I am a analyst by trade so turning data into something meaningful is what I do for a living. This survey is by no means follows rigid survey methodology, although it borrows from best practices. I will say this, the only thing rigid about it was my curiosity about certain topics.