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FCC Releases Year-End Station Totals

Total of full-power AM and FM stations is now 15,445

Below are the latest totals for the number of U.S. radio stations.

The Federal Communications Commission released its latest count of licensed stations as of Dec. 31, 2020.

We’ve added comparisons to one year ago and, out of interest in the longer-term trends, to 20 years ago.

Picking out a few data points, the total number of full-power stations is off slightly from last year but still well above where it was early in this millennium.

Also we see that the number of FM educational signals almost doubled in two decades. Meanwhile the number of FM translators and boosters far more than doubled in those 20 years (and grew by 238 just in the past year).

And the number of AM stations has continued to shrink, albeit slowly, a little bit each year.


AM, FM commercial and FM educational combined*

Dec. 2020: 15,445

Dec. 2019: 15,500

Late 2000: 12,717

*excludes LPFMs, boosters and translators, noted below.


AM only

Dec. 2020: 4,551

Dec. 2019: 4,593

Late 2000: 4,685

(In the 1990s, the number of AMs peaked at around 5,000)


FM commercial only

Dec. 2020: 6,699

Dec. 2019: 6,772

Late 2000: 5,892


FM educational only

Dec. 2020: 4,195

Dec. 2019: 4,135

Late 2000: 2,140


FM boosters and translators

Dec. 2020: 8,420

Dec. 2019: 8,182

Late 2000: 3,243


Low-power FM

Dec. 2020: 2,136

Dec. 2019: 2,169

Late 2000: n/a

(The LPFM services was created in 2000.)