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As a part od my diploma, I'm doing a research on Scuba diving development during the last 10 or so years. The problem is, I'm having a hard time finding any reliable data about the trends of the recreational scuba diving.
Im looking for information regarding general scuba trends, like:
How many scuba divers are there in the USA and Europe
How many people start scubadiving every year in USA and Europe
Are these nubers growing or falling (I need actual numbers)
If anyone has any information, or knows any website, that deals with statistic of scuba diving, please post it here.
You may want to contact Divers Alert Network (DAN). I know they have accident statistics, but I would guess that they collect information about general diver demographics. Be sure to pick up some DAN insurance (if you haven't already) while you are at it
There is not really any reliable data for recreational diving as a whole other than perhaps what you may be able to squeeze out of various certification agecnies regarding certifications per year at vaious levels. But even if you get good new cert data, it is not clear how may of these ever dive again or how long the average diver actually persists in the sport. Persistence trends might be vaugely and broadly represented by the rates of advanced certifications, technical diving certifications, etc. However you cannot assume that if x number of divers have been certified in x number of years, that anything close to that number still dive.
Estimates of the number of divers who leave the sport vary widely and there is no real operational agreemewnt of what a diver really is. For example is a person a diver if he is certified but has not gotten wet in the last 2-3 years? The last 10?. Personally, I don't regard someone as a diver if they do not dive enough to keep their skills current and maintained at a level where they can comfortably do a recreational dive with no hand holding, which would eliminate a lot of recently certified divers. The point being is that there is no agreement on an operational definition of a diver and even if you find data, data from different sources may not be comparable due to different operationalization of the term "diver".
Also, in terms of the last 10 to 15 years I think recreational diving as an industry has been pretty stagnant so the effects you observe will at best be subtle and hard to tease out of what is already very poor and unreliable data. On the other hand there has I think been extensive growth in technical diving and I think the majority of equipment innovations or improvements have been focused in that area.
In line with this, and as a former college prof who taught reasearch methods and evaluation classes, I'd suggest that if you need a good grade on this project, you narrow the scope of your research and focus on a much smaller segment of diving.
Pick something smaller like technical diving, or even better cave diving, where you have a small number of certification agencies, a smaller and more dynamic population of divers to study that has a better chance of showing some clear trends. You will also benefit from much easier research due to a smaller number of people heading and/or administratively involved in the cave diving community - a community where for the most part all the movers and shakers know each other and are much more familiar with and aware of recent growth and trends.
In the US you also have the advantage of cave diving and training being centralized in north Florida and as such you can probably also access and use data from the state agencies in Florida that may have already collected data on use rates and the growth of cave diving due to it's impact on the management of publicly managed springs and recreation areas. If you are a cave diver in the US, the odds are good that you have been to cave country in Florida.
Anyone taking offence at anything in my posts - tough. It's only an internet forum. Stop being over-sensitive. The real world isn't as warm and fuzzy.
Remember, underwater only YOU are responsible for YOUR own safety. Nobody else is.
I've read varying statistics from different agencies and media sources and feel comfortable in saying that there are currently anywhere from one to seven quadrillion registered divers in the U.S. today.
Yeah, like everyone else says, no one really knows.
Shame on you Walter! The Horror of it all.....
The original Skin diver Magazine, which was established in December 1951 did conduct a professionally prepared and analyzed four reader survey spaced every five years beginning some time in the 1970s or possibly the 1980s. The document had a very narrow distribution to a select a select number of industry leaders and advisors.
It may or may not be of value to you, but worth investigating if you can locate a copy (s) I have all 4 copies "some where" but locating them at this juncture in my life would be only by pure chance.
I would suggest that you might want to contact the last editorial staff, Bonnie Cardone, etc and/or the last editor Paul Tzimoulis 's widow who published under the name of Gerry Murphy
There the possibility of alternate sources of examining the number of speciality magazines devoted to recreational diving. It began with the American published Skin Diver Magazine, but today just about every aquatic oriented county has a dive magazine, some have multi dive magazines. This and the distribution figures would by extrapolation possibly provide some insight for your research.
Bob Finch is the recognized expert on the world's dive publications but he like so many are feeling the call of the running tide
Data are plural, Walter. "There ARE no reliable data."
The singular for data is datum. :no
However, in common English, "data" can be used in the singular, and it is much more common than "datum." As the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says, "Data leads a life of its own quite independent of datum."
Examples from Dictionary.com: plural use--"These data are described more fully elsewhere"; singular use--"Not much data is available on flood control in Brazil." The site also states, "It is almost always treated as a plural in scientific and academic writing. In other types of writing it is either singular or plural. The singular datum meaning “a piece of information” is now rare in all types of writing."
Have no fear, PADI I am sure will soon offer a Data Specialty course and resolve the issue of whether scuba data is singular or plural. And I an equally sure that GUE will then adopt an opposing postion requiring use of the other form in Technical Data situations and will then go further by adopting standards for the use of long hose data rather than a short hose.