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Wireless Only Homes Now Outnumber Wireline for Younger Adults

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The number of American homes without a landline continues to grow, according to preliminary results from the January June 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). More than one of every four USA households (26.6%) had only wireless telephones during the first half of 2010 an increase of 2.1 percentage points since the second half of 2009. In addition, nearly one of every six American homes (15.9%) received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones despite having a landline.

According to the study, carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 24.9% of all adults (approximately 57 million adults) lived in households with only wireless telephones; while 29% of all children (more than 21 million children) lived in households with only wireless telephones.

The percentage of households that are wireless-only has been steadily increasing. The 2.1-percentage-point increase from the last 6 months of 2009 through the first 6 months of 2010 is similar to the 1.8-percentage-point increase observed from the first 6 months of 2009 through the last 6 months of 2009 and to the 2.5-percentage-point increase observed from the last 6 months of 2008 through the first 6 months of 2009.

The percentage of children living in wireless-only households is also growing. The 3.1-percentage-point increase from the last 6 months of 2009 is not as large as the 4.6-percentage-point increase from the first 6 months of 2009 to the last 6 months of 2009. However, these increases represent the two largest 6-month increases observed since 2003, when NHIS began collecting data on wireless-only households.

The percentages of adults and children living without any telephone service have remained relatively unchanged over the past 3 years. Approximately 2.0% of households had no telephone service (neither wireless nor landline). Nearly 4 million adults (1.7%) and 1.2 million children (1.7%) lived in these households.

Methodology

From January through June 2010, information on household telephone status was obtained for 17,619 households that included at least one civilian adult or child. These households included 33,780 civilian adults aged 18 years and over and 12,234 children under age 18.


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