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Wireless-only Households Increase

by MarketingCharts staff
Wireless-only Households Increase
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Wireless-only Households Increase
One of every four American homes (24.5%) had only wireless telephones during the last half of 2009-an increase of 1.8 percentage points since the first half of 2009. In addition, one of every seven American homes (14.9%) had a landline yet received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones.

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Two in Nine Adults Live in Wireless-only Household
Approximately 22.9% of all adults (approximately 52 million adults) lived in households with only wireless telephones; 25.9% of all children (more than 19 million children) lived in households with only wireless telephones.

The percentage of households that are wireless-only has been steadily increasing. The 4.3-percentage-point increase from the last six months of 2008 through the last six months of 2009 is nearly equivalent to the 4.4-percentage-point increase observed from the last six months of 2007 through the last six months of 2008.

The percentage of adults living in wireless-only households has also been increasing steadily. During the last 6 months of 2009, more than two of every nine adults lived in wireless-only households. One year before that (i.e., during the last six months of 2008), two of every 11 adults lived in wireless-only households. And two years before that (i.e., during the last six months of 2006), only two of every 17 adults lived in wireless-only households.

The percentage of children living in wireless-only households is also growing. In fact, for this population, the 4.6-percentage-point increase from the first 6 months of 2009 is the largest six-month increase observed since 2003, when the NHIS began collecting data on children living in wireless-only households.

Two Percent of Households Lack Phone Service
The percentages of adults and children living without any telephone service have remained relatively unchanged over the past three years. Approximately 2% of households had no telephone service (neither wireless nor landline). Nearly 4 million adults (1.7%) and 1.4 million children (1.9%) lived in these households.

Wireless-only Demographic Differences
Among wireless-only households for the period July – December 2009:

  • More than three in five adults living only with unrelated adult roommates (62.9%) were in households with only wireless telephones. This is the highest prevalence rate among the population subgroups examined.
  • More than two in five adults renting their home (43.1%) had only wireless telephones. Adults renting their home were more likely than adults owning their home (14.0%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • Nearly half of adults aged 25-29 years (48.6%) lived in households with only wireless telephones. More than one-third of adults aged 18-24 or 30-34 (37.8% and 37.2%, respectively) lived in households with only wireless telephones.
  • As age increased from 35 years, the percentage of adults living in households with only wireless telephones decreased: 23.9% for adults aged 35-44; 14.9% for adults aged 45-64; and 5.2% for adults aged 65 and over. However, the percentage of wireless-only adults within each age group has increased over time.
  • Men (24.5%) were more likely than women (21.3%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • Adults living in poverty (36.3%) and adults living near poverty (29%) were more likely than higher income adults (19.6%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • Adults living in the Midwest (25.6%), South (25.4%), and West (22.2%) were more likely than adults living in the Northeast (15.1%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • Hispanic adults (30.4%) were more likely than non-Hispanic white adults (21%) or non-Hispanic black adults (25%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.

Jan-June ’09 Figures Show High Incidence of Wireless-only
More than one of every five US homes (22.7%) had no landline and only wireless phone service during the first half of 2009, an increase of 2.5 percentage points since the second half of 2008, according to preliminary results from the NHIS.

The study also found that approximately 21.1% of all US adults (about 48 million) lived in households with only wireless telephones; 21.3% of all children (nearly 16 million) lived in households with only wireless telephones.

About the Data: From July through December 2009, information on household telephone status was obtained for 21,375 households that included at least one civilian adult or child. These households included 40,619 civilian adults aged 18 years and over and 14,984 children under age 18.