As someone who got into the format in the mid-1970's when the CMA published an annual station tally that numbered in the hundreds not the thousands and all of the attendees at the annual CRS thirty years ago could easily fit into one rather small Airport Hilton banquet room, I have never taken this annual format census for granted.
In 1998, M Street Publications took over the job, tallying 2,368 country stations. Last year, the number was 2,028 - out of a total of 10,843 licensed radio stations - after peaking in 2003 (2,088) and 2004 (2.047).
They now report that there are 2,024 American Country stations as of the end of November, 74% of which are on FM. Country is on more HD side channels than any other format today (84 HD2, 1 HD3).
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