Recently, Bob VA3QV posted in his blog a very interesting analysis asking which prefixes would be most rare in Canada: https://va3qv.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/whats-rare-in-canadian-amateur-radio/. For this, he was able to extract the number of callsigns currently assigned by Industry Canada to each Province/Territory, and I got curious about what proportion of these callsigns would have been already captured in my logs.
At present, regardless of mode, band and power, my logs account for abt. 4,500 HF QSOs. Of those, 785 (17.4%) have been with VA/VE stations. However, only 331 (42.2%) have been first-time contacts with different VA/VE callsigns. These 331 callsigns are a surprisingly small fraction (0.45%) of the 73,666 callsigns assigned to VA/VE radio-amateurs. The results per province/territory are not too different: over 20 first-time QSOs were logged only in 4 provinces (ON(169), BC(39), QC(27) and AB(21) and percentage-wise, 1% or above of the callsigns were contacted only in NU(1/26 = 3.8%), PE(5/279 = 1.8%) and SK(19/1458 = 1.3%). These results are summarized in the following semilog bar graph:
Several factors may account for these seemingly meager results: a) many VA/VE stations do not operate HF, and among those that do many may not call or answer CQ calls, b) being QRP I may be favouring contacts with only powerful stations with larger antennas, c) only a fraction of the radio-amateurs operate in RAC contests (Canada Day and Winter Day), which is where I would have contacted most VA/VE stations, and d) many radio-amateurs who hold more than one callsign may not use all of them on the air or in HF.
Fully aware that in many cases a given radio-amateur holds more than one callsign, I nevertheless wanted to see how the number of callsigns assigned per province/territory related to their estimated total population. The overall ratio is close to 0.2%. This proportion does not differ much across the country with BC, NS, NL and YT being above, and ON, AB, MB, SK and NU below the overal national level:
Note: The data for the number of VA/VE callsigns per province were obtained from the blog of Bob VA3QV (https://va3qv.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/whats-rare-in-canadian-amateur-radio/) who had extracted them from the Industry Canada Amateur Database (http://apc-cap.ic.gc.ca/pls/apc_anon/query_amat_cs$.startup) on September 24 2015. The data for the population estimates in 2013 were obtained from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130926/dq130926a-eng.pdf.