While searching for a "duplicate" question, the only post I found worth mentioning was this one: Decline in activity which shows a "peak" in 2017 followed by a decline until 2019 (which is when the post was written). What I have noticed is something slightly different, since I was looking at questions/day as archived sporadically in the months of August (or the closest snapshot to August) each year on the WayBackMachine. I actually see a rise in activity from 2018 to 2019 and even 2020, but then a rapid decline from 2020 to now.
|Site||Questions/Day||Year and hyperlink for proof|
Using the same archived pages as above, it might be useful to compare to SO and other science SE sites, so I will do that below.
|Site||Questions/Day in 2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2022|
When looking at earlier months of 2020, it is apparent that there was an increase in SE activity overall during the first few months of strict COVID-19 related lockdowns (e.g. in March to July 2020), if we remove that factor which might have inflated the 2020 number, what we're seeing is a decline in activity from a "peak" of 23 questions/day in August 2019 to a trough of 11 questions/day in August 2022 (somewhat ironically since the only related post I found, which is the one to which I provided a link at the beginning of this post, observed a "peak" in 2017 and a "trough" in 2019). I'm aware that SE got in a legal dispute with a diamond moderator later in 2019 which caused many diamond moderators to resign, but I'm asking if anyone might have alternative theories or supplementary or complementary theories regarding the decline in activity here from 2019 to now.
The second table suggests that other sites have experienced this too. Maybe people left scientific and technical jobs during the pandemic? That doesn't explain why fewer questions from students would be asked though.