Outside of Canada and the USA.
I've always found it interesting that the Canadian system bases privileges on technical proficiency and legal privileges rather than the American incentive licensing system. Was the Canadian system similar to the American system at one time? I didn't upgrade in Canada since I "long-term guest operated" an Canadian Advanced licensed station until very recently. There was no incentive to upgrade if you get all HF frequencies and all modes barefoot. Someone else watched over the care and feeding of the gear.
What I have said was quite arrogant. Still, as a teenager "passing the 20" was a very big deal and took quite a few Novice QSOs to achieve. I should get over it. It's a personal milestone but an archaic milestone. In the future I'll keep it to myself.
As a result, and after a decade or more of stagnation, I think we are finally beginning to see an uptick in our ranks in the USA. I'm told that the average age of our newcomers in the USA is dropping (it's now around "40ish"). What's more, the amateur radio dealers I've been talking to lately (on both sides of the border) report brisk sales of amateur radio equipment. They also report that, even with the elimination of the Morse test, their sales of Morse keys, Morse practice CDs and Morse keyers are now at an all-time high
I opposed the elimination of the CW requirements, but I don't anymore. I know hams that couldn't get above Technician in the "old days" because they couldn't pass General code for personal reasons. They were skilled ops and very gifted with electronics. I'm sure many people had the same experience and now are excellent HF operators.
I studied radio theory on my own but had "CW Elmers". It was extremely helpful to learn CW with experienced operators. Certainly that can be done today even without the CW requirement. Still, I wonder how many CW learners today do not have Elmers. My childhood club had a CW course and a support network. That support network was formed partly out of a love for CW but also because of necessity. The reduction in code requirements led to a gradual elimination of code courses. I'd be glad to step forward and teach people basic Morse. I just don't see a demand anymore where I am in Canada.
I've tried to informally teach Canadian operators CW, but many are afraid of the mode. I tried to tell them that people make mistakes all the time, go as slow as you have to, stay above the bottom 30 kHz of a band, etc. Still, few want to try it. They'll happily run PSK but not touch even keyboard generated CW. That does not mean that many hams want to try CW (you noted an uptick in paddle and keyer sales, for instance), but I have had little success with "converting" others to CW. Maybe I'm taking the wrong approach. :-(
I don't make statements like "CW is real ham radio" or "all hams must know CW." I don't try to present CW as some arcane gnostic cult. I offer it as a fun alternative. At least I think it's very fun. Must be the lead chips I ate as a kid.
73 Jordan AB2T/VA3AIT