Philatelic Demograhics

As a young stamp dealer I left every APS convention amazed at how old the average attendee was. I felt as if I had been working in a geriatric ward. It’s nice to report that the membership doesn’t seem to be getting any older. Most people now seem to be about my age.

Cynics have always pointed to the demise of philately because of the age of its devotees. The question of where the next generation of collectors were coming from has been a mainstay of philatelic disaster writing for as long as there has been philatelic publications. But, the age of the average member of the APS has always been above 60 and its hasn’t gone up appreciably. Serious philately has always been a hobby of older men. It attracts some women and some younger people and certainly we should direct recruitment efforts in that direction. But the bulk of serious collectors are men, 60-80 years old. It always was that way and it still is. As the baby boomers enter the prime collecting age, it would be a pity if we can’t attract them to organized philately. Certainly there are factors that make philately less compelling now than it once was. But the aging boomers all collected stamps as children and a good percentage of them will come back.

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