Presenting the 2017 Merit Badge Rankings: Which were the most and least popular?

First Aid? First place.

Exactly 69,563 Scouts earned the Eagle-required First Aid merit badge in 2017. That’s good enough for a gold medal, and it marks three consecutive years of First Aid dominance.

The silver medal went to Swimming (62,057 earned), and Citizenship in the World (55,917) took bronze.

Not surprisingly, each merit badge in 2017’s top 10 is required for the Eagle Scout Award. Remove all the Eagle-required badges, though, and the evidence points to Fingerprinting as your 2017 champ.

The top 10 (with Eagle-required badges included)

Rank 2017 2016
1 First Aid First Aid
2 Swimming Swimming
3 Citizenship in the World Environmental Science
4 Environmental Science Citizenship in the World
5 Citizenship in the Nation Citizenship in the Nation
6 Cooking Cooking
7 Camping Camping
8 Communication Communication
9 Personal Fitness Personal Fitness
10 Personal Management Citizenship in the Community

No big surprises there, though we did see Personal Management knock Citizenship in the Community out of the top 10.

But many Scouters would shrug at this list. Of course the top 10 will be filled with Eagle-required badges, they’d say.

To those Scouters I say: Keep reading!

The top 10 (with Eagle-required badges excluded)

Rank 2017 2016
1 Fingerprinting Rifle Shooting
2 Rifle Shooting Fingerprinting
3 Leatherwork Archery
4 Archery Leatherwork
5 Wood Carving Wilderness Survival
6 Wilderness Survival Wood Carving
7 Kayaking Kayaking
8 Chess Canoeing
9 Canoeing Chess
10 Fishing Fishing

Ah, now things get interesting. This list of exclusively elective merit badges reveals two things:

  1. Interest. These are merit badges that Scouts themselves select. They could’ve chosen any from the list of 137, but they chose these.
  2. Opportunity. These are merit badges frequently offered at summer camp, meaning qualified merit badge counselors are readily available.

The bottom 10

Let’s not call these unpopular. Let’s call them rare.

If a Scout in your troop has earned one or more of these, he’s in rare company.

Note: You won’t see Computers or Cinematography on this list, though a couple-hundred Scouts earned each in 2017. The Computers phase-out began in 2014, and Cinematography was changed to Moviemaking in 2013. Scouts who started work before those badges’ official demise are allowed to finish that work.

Rank 2017 2016
137 Bugling Bugling
136 American Business American Business
135 Surveying Stamp Collecting
134 American Labor American Labor
133 Stamp Collecting Journalism
132 Drafting Surveying
131 Journalism Drafting
130 Composite Materials Gardening
129 Gardening Landscape Architecture
128 Landscape Architecture Composite Materials

The bulls and the bears

Which merit badges saw the biggest percentage gain in popularity from 2016 to 2017? Which saw their popularity fall?

I’m glad you asked.

Top 5 gains

Merit Badge 2016 2017 Diff.
Stamp Collecting  793  954 20.3%
Animation  4,637  5,462 17.8%
Inventing  2,834  3,296 16.3%
Journalism  970  1,127 16.2%
Genealogy  4,570  5,213 14.1%

Top 5 drops

Merit Badge 2016 2017 Diff.
Safety  4,267  3,280 -23.1%
Whitewater  3,476  2,832 -18.5%
Geocaching  15,210  12,604 -17.1%
Surveying  1,028  863 -16.1%
Painting  3,829  3,222 -15.9%

Once again, I did not include the discontinued Computers and Cinematography merit badges in these calculations.

The source

So where did these numbers originate? From Local Council Charter Applications. That means they’re based on the actual number earned, not on sales of the badges. Some troops purchase extra emblems in anticipation of future badge earnings, so sales numbers can mislead.

Special thanks to the BSA’s Lynn Adcock for compiling and providing these numbers each year.

The raw numbers (warning: for stats geeks only!)

Beyond this point are the full lists. This is raw data, and it’s only suitable for the geekiest of geeks like myself.

You’ve been warned.

Keep scrolling to find:

  • 2017 rankings
  • Merit badge popularity over the last five years
  • Lifetime rankings, 1911 to 2017
  • Every merit badge ranked by its percent change from 2016 to 2017

The raw numbers: 2017 rankings

What the colors mean:

  • Blue: merit badge is required for Eagle
  • Red: merit badge is considered “new” — released in 2013 or later
  • Purple: merit badge is required for Eagle and is considered “new”
Rank Merit Badge 2017 earned
1 First Aid  69,563
2 Swimming  62,057
3 Citizenship in the World  55,917
4 Environmental Science  55,703
5 Citizenship in the Nation  52,949
6 Cooking  51,004
7 Camping  50,871
8 Communication  50,503
9 Personal Fitness  50,428
10 Personal Management  49,287
11 Family Life  48,774
12 Citizenship in the Community  48,736
13 Emergency Preparedness  43,351
14 Fingerprinting  38,989
15 Rifle Shooting  37,796
16 Leatherwork  35,490
17 Archery  35,301
18 Wood Carving  32,943
19 Wilderness Survival  30,814
20 Kayaking  30,466
21 Chess  26,919
22 Canoeing  26,052
23 Fishing  24,343
24 Art  21,567
25 Lifesaving  20,748
26 Shotgun Shooting  19,703
27 Space Exploration  18,994
28 Mammal Study  18,715
29 Geology  18,674
30 Climbing  18,356
31 Indian Lore  17,003
32 Astronomy  15,702
33 Basketry  15,406
34 Robotics  15,031
35 Aviation  14,347
36 Small Boat Sailing  14,182
37 Pioneering  13,870
38 Game Design  13,810
39 Photography  13,550
40 Metalwork  12,990
41 Weather  12,690
42 Geocaching  12,604
43 Engineering  11,773
44 Fire Safety  11,746
45 Orienteering  11,742
46 Fish & Wildlife Management  11,615
47 Nature  11,586
48 Forestry  11,456
49 Welding  10,656
50 Music  10,592
51 Chemistry  10,248
52 Automotive Maintenance  10,205
53 Search and Rescue  10,107
54 Motor Boating  9,517
55 Soil and Water Conservation  9,484
56 Moviemaking  9,262
57 Electricity  9,245
58 Digital Technology  8,768
59 Sculpture  8,715
60 Horsemanship  8,641
61 Rowing  8,239
62 Pottery  7,940
63 Oceanography  7,763
64 Electronics  7,524
65 Signs, Signals and Codes  7,364
66 Sustainability  7,295
67 Snow Sports  7,267
68 Hiking  7,084
69 Public Speaking  7,035
70 Pulp and Paper  6,879
71 Archaeology  6,876
72 Crime Prevention  6,721
73 Nuclear Science  6,702
74 Railroading  6,663
75 Sports  6,556
76 Reptile and Amphibian Study  6,053
77 Scouting Heritage  5,916
78 Salesmanship  5,908
79 Radio  5,840
80 Cycling  5,742
81 Traffic Safety  5,689
82 American Heritage  5,496
83 Animation  5,462
84 Law  5,402
85 Disabilities Awareness  5,239
86 Genealogy  5,213
87 Woodwork  5,212
88 Bird Study  4,965
89 Mining in Society  4,673
90 Fly Fishing  4,597
91 Plumbing  4,398
92 Pets  4,289
93 Scholarship  4,171
94 Collections  4,140
95 Programming  4,138
96 Coin Collecting  3,930
97 Animal Science  3,848
98 Architecture  3,654
99 Medicine  3,561
100 Reading  3,524
101 Backpacking  3,498
102 Entrepreneurship  3,473
103 Home Repairs  3,432
104 Inventing  3,296
105 Safety  3,280
106 Golf  3,248
107 Painting  3,222
108 Dentistry  3,135
109 Graphic Arts  3,066
110 Water Sports  2,966
111 Whitewater  2,832
112 Athletics  2,754
113 Energy  2,749
114 Dog Care  2,661
115 Insect Study  2,644
116 Model Design and Building  2,564
117 Truck Transportation  2,466
118 Veterinary Medicine  2,451
119 Theater  2,332
120 Farm Mechanics  2,307
121 American Cultures  2,298
122 Textile  2,205
123 Plant Science  2,107
124 Exploration  2,090
125 Scuba Diving  1,842
126 Public Health  1,798
127 Skating  1,785
128 Landscape Architecture  1,483
129 Gardening  1,450
130 Composite Materials  1,407
131 Journalism  1,127
132 Drafting  1,119
133 Stamp Collecting  954
134 American Labor  901
135 Surveying  863
136 American Business  613
137 Bugling  454
138 Cinematography  231
139 Computers  207

The raw numbers: Merit badge popularity over the last five years

Sorted alphabetically.

Merit Badge 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
American Business 805 650  587  627  613
American Cultures 2,649 2,174  2,233  2,218  2,298
American Heritage 6,195 5,333  5,599  4,952  5,496
American Labor 1,090 992  1,106  812  901
Animal Science 4,174 4,042  4,414  3,852  3,848
Animation 0 0  1,099  4,637  5,462
Archaeology 8,913 8,652  7,590  7,388  6,876
Archery 43,879 43,238  41,879  39,419  35,301
Architecture 3,956 4,019  3,362  3,230  3,654
Art 28,031 25,438  24,374  22,990  21,567
Astronomy 16,332 15,758  16,706  16,355  15,702
Athletics 3,709 3,241  3,604  3,125  2,754
Automotive Maintenance 10,084 9,763  9,961  10,748  10,205
Aviation 18,330 17,522  15,170  14,477  14,347
Backpacking 4,114 4,169  3,973  3,963  3,498
Basketry 19,364 17,531  17,158  15,282  15,406
Bird Study 6,405 5,641  5,587  5,199  4,965
Bugling 515 606  492  479  454
Camping* 58,982 54,265  54,342  53,534  50,871
Canoeing 33,409 31,833  29,461  28,288  26,052
Chemistry 10,731 10,594  10,560  10,865  10,248
Chess 27,315 25,266  27,235  27,416  26,919
Cinematography 8,465 4,026  1,260  841  231
Citizenship in the Community* 56,928 51,728  52,071  51,975  48,736
Citizenship in the Nation* 61,272 56,490  57,161  57,919  52,949
Citizenship in the World* 64,452 61,303  60,171  59,363  55,917
Climbing 22,861 23,200  21,574  21,171  18,356
Coin Collecting 5,667 5,303  4,715  4,135  3,930
Collections 4,966 4,295  4,004  3,753  4,140
Communication* 57,111 54,081  55,738  53,367  50,503
Composite Materials 1,817 1,614  2,183  1,597  1,407
Computers 15,149 12,973  1,686  354  207
Cooking* 44,903 99,908  67,691  55,841  51,004
Crime Prevention 7,274 6,917  6,581  6,178  6,721
Cycling** 6,551 6,268  6,626  6,334  5,742
Dentistry 4,213 3,416  3,485  2,910  3,135
Digital Technology 0 3,014  9,383  9,344  8,768
Disabilities Awareness 6,690 6,204  6,153  5,833  5,239
Dog Care 3,351 2,955  2,666  2,414  2,661
Drafting 1,440 1,318  1,339  1,168  1,119
Electricity 10,968 10,460  10,035  9,762  9,245
Electronics 8,753 8,860  8,352  7,814  7,524
Emergency Preparedness*** 50,153 46,069  47,879  47,004  43,351
Energy 3,989 3,669  3,190  2,955  2,749
Engineering 10,445 11,624  11,735  11,429  11,773
Entrepreneurship 1,900 2,496  2,927  3,365  3,473
Environmental Science**** 71,609 67,218  63,783  60,026  55,703
Exploration 0 0  –  –  2,090
Family Life* 55,080 49,516  51,008  50,177  48,774
Farm Mechanics 2,421 2,486  2,244  2,368  2,307
Fingerprinting 45,140 43,820  43,743  40,700  38,989
Fire Safety 12,988 12,395  12,782  12,257  11,746
First Aid* 87,477 80,917  80,716  75,256  69,563
Fish & Wildlife Management 13,411 13,749  13,164  12,647  11,615
Fishing 29,788 28,119  26,050  25,256  24,343
Fly Fishing 4,690 4,537  3,981  4,577  4,597
Forestry 14,874 14,465  12,905  12,519  11,456
Game Design 2,657 11,853  12,313  13,689  13,810
Gardening 1,972 1,641  1,582  1,375  1,450
Genealogy 5,740 5,474  5,316  4,570  5,213
Geocaching 17,031 16,785  15,582  15,210  12,604
Geology 22,103 21,282  22,180  18,516  18,674
Golf 4,921 3,955  3,826  3,605  3,248
Graphic Arts 3,140 3,189  3,356  3,251  3,066
Hiking** 7,856 7,344  6,967  7,485  7,084
Home Repairs 3,790 3,866  3,288  3,325  3,432
Horsemanship 10,977 11,905  10,878  9,457  8,641
Indian Lore 24,535 22,997  22,241  18,234  17,003
Insect Study 3,613 3,164  3,550  2,341  2,644
Inventing 2,704 2,902  3,369  2,834  3,296
Journalism 945 955  1,037  970  1,127
Kayaking 36,217 35,533  34,054  33,137  30,466
Landscape Architecture 1,872 1,496  1,434  1,494  1,483
Law 6,946 5,463  5,633  5,226  5,402
Leatherwork 44,344 42,565  40,805  37,920  35,490
Lifesaving*** 25,945 24,474  23,983  22,382  20,748
Mammal Study 24,064 24,060  23,427  21,303  18,715
Medicine 3,990 3,725  3,807  3,767  3,561
Metalwork 13,259 12,949  12,340  12,639  12,990
Mining in Society 0 3,519  4,613  4,224  4,673
Model Design and Building 3,628 2,612  2,795  2,770  2,564
Motor Boating 11,012 10,748  9,880  9,515  9,517
Moviemaking 0 6,195  10,064  10,851  9,262
Music 14,223 12,903  12,369  11,689  10,592
Nature 16,164 15,046  14,679  13,635  11,586
Nuclear Science 7,666 6,657  6,728  7,005  6,702
Oceanography 10,769 9,991  9,892  8,499  7,763
Orienteering 16,909 16,871  15,642  13,753  11,742
Painting 4,911 4,346  4,245  3,829  3,222
Personal Fitness* 56,295 50,693  52,499  52,079  50,428
Personal Management* 53,273 48,299  51,105  50,251  49,287
Pets 5,659 4,821  4,645  4,278  4,289
Photography 17,800 17,804  16,931  15,142  13,550
Pioneering 19,525 18,117  17,341  15,959  13,870
Plant Science 2,712 2,680  2,922  2,363  2,107
Plumbing 5,178 4,982  4,960  4,510  4,398
Pottery 9,869 9,050  8,384  8,230  7,940
Programming 480 2,970  3,577  4,085  4,138
Public Health 2,006 1,821  1,780  1,837  1,798
Public Speaking 7,289 7,091  7,793  7,497  7,035
Pulp and Paper 7,034 6,250  7,379  6,081  6,879
Radio 7,208 6,665  6,709  6,442  5,840
Railroading 7,191 6,694  7,651  6,599  6,663
Reading 5,216 4,712  4,179  3,574  3,524
Reptile and Amphibian Study 8,483 7,547  6,700  6,411  6,053
Rifle Shooting 47,054 45,839  43,196  41,444  37,796
Robotics 13,401 13,708  13,700  14,264  15,031
Rowing 10,944 10,557  9,995  9,408  8,239
Safety 4,349 3,778  3,937  4,267  3,280
Salesmanship 6,438 6,648  6,412  6,031  5,908
Scholarship 5,956 5,362  4,911  4,316  4,171
Scouting Heritage 5,660 5,572  5,558  5,266  5,916
Scuba Diving 2,370 1,989  2,135  1,792  1,842
Sculpture 11,493 9,887  10,042  8,900  8,715
Search and Rescue 10,552 12,359  11,725  10,361  10,107
Shotgun Shooting 24,603 23,970  21,895  20,912  19,703
Signs, Signals and Codes 0 0  3,453  8,025  7,364
Skating 2,406 2,010  1,972  1,953  1,785
Small Boat Sailing 16,857 16,511  15,092  14,108  14,182
Snow Sports 9,134 8,227  7,251  7,177  7,267
Soil and Water Conservation 11,697 11,296  10,437  10,341  9,484
Space Exploration 23,290 22,625  21,607  20,137  18,994
Sports 8,950 8,032  8,272  7,626  6,556
Stamp Collecting 1,131 863  996  793  954
Surveying 1,307 1,065  879  1,028  863
Sustainability **** 590 5,428  6,625  6,813  7,295
Swimming** 72,946 72,503  71,821  67,446  62,057
Textile 4,673 3,694  3,225  2,480  2,205
Theater 2,320 2,273  2,665  2,543  2,332
Traffic Safety 7,582 7,088  5,604  6,072  5,689
Truck Transportation 2,847 2,182  2,157  2,391  2,466
Veterinary Medicine 3,455 2,875  2,764  2,580  2,451
Water Sports 3,935 3,594  3,389  3,123  2,966
Weather 15,958 15,846  14,622  12,665  12,690
Welding 10,919 11,061  11,019  10,737  10,656
Whitewater 3,252 3,565  2,888  3,476  2,832
Wilderness Survival 43,158 40,395  37,581  35,221  30,814
Wood Carving 41,120 38,749  36,890  34,938  32,943
Woodwork 5,602 5,198  5,242  4,975  5,212
Total  2,110,848  2,077,550  2,011,860  1,919,912  1,813,834
  • * On required list for Eagle Rank
  • ** Required for Eagle (must complete Cycling, Hiking or Swimming)
  • *** Required for Eagle (must complete Emergency Preparedness or Lifesaving)
  • **** Required for Eagle (must complete Environmental Science or Sustainability)

The raw numbers: Lifetime rankings

Note: This list includes only merit badges that could be earned in 2017.

Also, the rankings are interesting but don’t tell the whole story. A merit badge released more recently will rank lower than one of the original 1911 merit badges.

For example, Home Repairs is No. 17 lifetime, but it was released in 1943. Kayaking is nearly nine times more popular today, but its 2012 release hurts its overall popularity.

Rank Merit Badge  1911 to 2017 
1 First Aid*  7,207,435
2 Swimming**  6,516,091
3 Camping*  4,821,459
4 Cooking*  4,512,897
5 Citizenship in the Community*  3,614,538
6 Citizenship in the Nation*  3,372,766
7 Canoeing  3,107,435
8 Lifesaving***  3,104,521
9 Safety  2,946,498
10 Environmental Science****  2,892,099
11 Personal Fitness*  2,654,233
12 Fire Safety  2,644,437
13 Leatherwork  2,561,294
14 Basketry  2,487,721
15 Pioneering  2,460,378
16 Citizenship in the World*  2,444,210
17 Home Repairs  2,425,215
18 Wood Carving  2,392,429
19 Communication*  2,215,736
20 Fishing  2,064,598
21 Emergency Preparedness***  1,975,563
22 Personal Management*  1,962,629
23 Fingerprinting  1,797,830
24 Rowing  1,745,480
25 Wilderness Survival  1,738,944
26 Archery  1,720,443
27 Nature  1,705,342
28 Public Health  1,523,060
29 Reading  1,494,321
30 Rifle Shooting  1,450,415
31 Art  1,377,741
32 Music  1,353,407
33 Hiking**  1,351,753
34 Family Life*  1,310,304
35 Scholarship  1,290,112
36 Mammal Study  1,258,793
37 Indian Lore  1,255,346
38 Forestry  1,187,825
39 Metalwork  1,172,608
40 Sports  1,167,843
41 Soil and Water Conservation  1,152,507
42 Athletics  1,074,488
43 Woodwork  987,355
44 Orienteering  858,278
45 Electricity  833,847
46 Geology  706,492
47 Small Boat Sailing  695,691
48 Fish & Wildlife Management  690,634
49 Astronomy  688,017
50 Pets  671,875
51 Horsemanship  670,695
52 Reptile and Amphibian Study  667,266
53 Public Speaking  664,828
54 Aviation  648,491
55 Space Exploration  620,609
56 Weather  617,935
57 Motor Boating  615,250
58 Bird Study  597,936
59 Cycling**  593,880
60 Shotgun Shooting  582,790
61 Painting  573,420
62 Photography  551,132
63 Computers  521,055
64 Coin Collecting  509,924
65 Climbing  477,611
66 Snow Sports  472,913
67 Dog Care  439,203
68 Pottery  408,505
69 Plumbing  405,246
70 Stamp Collecting  392,250
71 Gardening  391,920
72 Chemistry  382,136
73 Salesmanship  343,181
74 Sculpture  330,065
75 Oceanography  314,500
76 Water Sports  259,532
77 Railroading  258,268
78 Genealogy  246,737
79 Electronics  240,195
80 Model Design and Building  228,305
81 Drafting  228,284
82 Farm Mechanics  227,721
83 Architecture  226,691
84 Backpacking  225,710
85 Law  201,026
86 Automotive Maintenance  197,999
87 Nuclear Science  194,171
88 Radio  191,473
89 Kayaking  191,172
90 Engineering  181,473
91 Skating  179,070
92 Archaeology  177,844
93 Golf  177,449
94 Traffic Safety  174,936
95 American Heritage  174,868
96 Insect Study  173,618
97 Bugling  171,499
98 Chess  169,451
99 Crime Prevention  156,148
100 Surveying  154,418
101 Collections  153,755
102 Textile  150,920
103 Dentistry  144,914
104 Truck Transportation  144,591
105 Disabilities Awareness  138,701
106 Pulp and Paper  134,946
107 Geocaching  119,875
108 Journalism  109,516
109 Cinematography  106,447
110 Whitewater  97,648
111 Theater  91,202
112 Energy  89,287
113 Robotics  88,773
114 Landscape Architecture  86,122
115 Veterinary Medicine  83,880
116 Medicine  83,683
117 American Cultures  74,518
118 Animal Science  73,191
119 Graphic Arts  60,616
120 Welding  58,414
121 Search and Rescue  55,829
122 American Business  54,967
123 Game Design  54,322
124 Plant Science  52,193
125 Scouting Heritage  43,587
126 Fly Fishing  40,334
127 Moviemaking  36,372
128 Entrepreneurship  32,207
129 Digital Technology  30,509
130 Sustainability ****  26,751
131 American Labor  25,627
132 Inventing  20,592
133 Signs, Signals and Codes  18,842
134 Scuba Diving  18,829
135 Composite Materials  18,432
136 Mining in Society  17,029
137 Programming  15,250
138 Animation  11,198
139 Exploration  2,090
Total  125,111,691

The raw numbers: Percent change rankings

Merit Badge 2016 2017 Rise/Fall
Stamp Collecting  793  954 20.3%
Animation  4,637  5,462 17.8%
Inventing  2,834  3,296 16.3%
Journalism  970  1,127 16.2%
Genealogy  4,570  5,213 14.1%
Architecture  3,230  3,654 13.1%
Pulp and Paper  6,081  6,879 13.1%
Insect Study  2,341  2,644 12.9%
Scouting Heritage  5,266  5,916 12.3%
American Heritage  4,952  5,496 11.0%
American Labor  812  901 11.0%
Mining in Society  4,224  4,673 10.6%
Collections  3,753  4,140 10.3%
Dog Care  2,414  2,661 10.2%
Crime Prevention  6,178  6,721 8.8%
Dentistry  2,910  3,135 7.7%
Sustainability ****  6,813  7,295 7.1%
Gardening  1,375  1,450 5.5%
Robotics  14,264  15,031 5.4%
Woodwork  4,975  5,212 4.8%
American Cultures  2,218  2,298 3.6%
Law  5,226  5,402 3.4%
Home Repairs  3,325  3,432 3.2%
Entrepreneurship  3,365  3,473 3.2%
Truck Transportation  2,391  2,466 3.1%
Engineering  11,429  11,773 3.0%
Scuba Diving  1,792  1,842 2.8%
Metalwork  12,639  12,990 2.8%
Programming  4,085  4,138 1.3%
Snow Sports  7,177  7,267 1.3%
Railroading  6,599  6,663 1.0%
Game Design  13,689  13,810 0.9%
Geology  18,516  18,674 0.9%
Basketry  15,282  15,406 0.8%
Small Boat Sailing  14,108  14,182 0.5%
Fly Fishing  4,577  4,597 0.4%
Pets  4,278  4,289 0.3%
Weather  12,665  12,690 0.2%
Motor Boating  9,515  9,517 0.0%
Animal Science  3,852  3,848 -0.1%
Landscape Architecture  1,494  1,483 -0.7%
Welding  10,737  10,656 -0.8%
Aviation  14,477  14,347 -0.9%
Reading  3,574  3,524 -1.4%
Chess  27,416  26,919 -1.8%
Personal Management*  50,251  49,287 -1.9%
Salesmanship  6,031  5,908 -2.0%
Sculpture  8,900  8,715 -2.1%
Public Health  1,837  1,798 -2.1%
American Business  627  613 -2.2%
Search and Rescue  10,361  10,107 -2.5%
Plumbing  4,510  4,398 -2.5%
Farm Mechanics  2,368  2,307 -2.6%
Family Life*  50,177  48,774 -2.8%
Personal Fitness*  52,079  50,428 -3.2%
Scholarship  4,316  4,171 -3.4%
Pottery  8,230  7,940 -3.5%
Fishing  25,256  24,343 -3.6%
Electronics  7,814  7,524 -3.7%
Astronomy  16,355  15,702 -4.0%
Fire Safety  12,257  11,746 -4.2%
Drafting  1,168  1,119 -4.2%
Fingerprinting  40,700  38,989 -4.2%
Nuclear Science  7,005  6,702 -4.3%
Bird Study  5,199  4,965 -4.5%
Coin Collecting  4,135  3,930 -5.0%
Camping*  53,534  50,871 -5.0%
Veterinary Medicine  2,580  2,451 -5.0%
Water Sports  3,123  2,966 -5.0%
Automotive Maintenance  10,748  10,205 -5.1%
Bugling  479  454 -5.2%
Electricity  9,762  9,245 -5.3%
Hiking**  7,485  7,084 -5.4%
Communication*  53,367  50,503 -5.4%
Medicine  3,767  3,561 -5.5%
Reptile and Amphibian Study  6,411  6,053 -5.6%
Space Exploration  20,137  18,994 -5.7%
Chemistry  10,865  10,248 -5.7%
Graphic Arts  3,251  3,066 -5.7%
Wood Carving  34,938  32,943 -5.7%
Shotgun Shooting  20,912  19,703 -5.8%
Citizenship in the World*  59,363  55,917 -5.8%
Public Speaking  7,497  7,035 -6.2%
Digital Technology  9,344  8,768 -6.2%
Art  22,990  21,567 -6.2%
Citizenship in the Community*  51,975  48,736 -6.2%
Traffic Safety  6,072  5,689 -6.3%
Leatherwork  37,920  35,490 -6.4%
Indian Lore  18,234  17,003 -6.8%
Archaeology  7,388  6,876 -6.9%
Energy  2,955  2,749 -7.0%
Environmental Science****  60,026  55,703 -7.2%
Lifesaving***  22,382  20,748 -7.3%
Model Design and Building  2,770  2,564 -7.4%
First Aid*  75,256  69,563 -7.6%
Emergency Preparedness***  47,004  43,351 -7.8%
Canoeing  28,288  26,052 -7.9%
Swimming**  67,446  62,057 -8.0%
Kayaking  33,137  30,466 -8.1%
Fish & Wildlife Management  12,647  11,615 -8.2%
Signs, Signals and Codes  8,025  7,364 -8.2%
Soil and Water Conservation  10,341  9,484 -8.3%
Theater  2,543  2,332 -8.3%
Forestry  12,519  11,456 -8.5%
Citizenship in the Nation*  57,919  52,949 -8.6%
Skating  1,953  1,785 -8.6%
Horsemanship  9,457  8,641 -8.6%
Oceanography  8,499  7,763 -8.7%
Cooking*  55,841  51,004 -8.7%
Rifle Shooting  41,444  37,796 -8.8%
Radio  6,442  5,840 -9.3%
Cycling**  6,334  5,742 -9.3%
Music  11,689  10,592 -9.4%
Golf  3,605  3,248 -9.9%
Disabilities Awareness  5,833  5,239 -10.2%
Archery  39,419  35,301 -10.4%
Photography  15,142  13,550 -10.5%
Plant Science  2,363  2,107 -10.8%
Textile  2,480  2,205 -11.1%
Backpacking  3,963  3,498 -11.7%
Athletics  3,125  2,754 -11.9%
Composite Materials  1,597  1,407 -11.9%
Mammal Study  21,303  18,715 -12.1%
Rowing  9,408  8,239 -12.4%
Wilderness Survival  35,221  30,814 -12.5%
Pioneering  15,959  13,870 -13.1%
Climbing  21,171  18,356 -13.3%
Sports  7,626  6,556 -14.0%
Orienteering  13,753  11,742 -14.6%
Moviemaking  10,851  9,262 -14.6%
Nature  13,635  11,586 -15.0%
Painting  3,829  3,222 -15.9%
Surveying  1,028  863 -16.1%
Geocaching  15,210  12,604 -17.1%
Whitewater  3,476  2,832 -18.5%
Safety  4,267  3,280 -23.1%
Exploration  n/a  2,090  n/a

This is the end of the blog post.

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