Minors Text 90 Times as Much as Seniors

August 24, 2010

The number of messages juveniles younger than 18 text in an average month is about 90 times the total of seniors 65 and up, according to new data from The Nielsen Company.

Under 18 Text 2,800 Minutes per Month
In an average month, an under-18 American will send 2,779 text messages. This dwarfs even the average total of those 18-24 (1,299). It is also 86.7 times the monthly total of 32 text messages the average American 65 and older sends in the same period. The number of text messages sent in an average month steadily declines with each successive age bracket.


18-24 Leads in Voice Minutes
When it comes to average monthly voice minutes, 18-to-24-year-olds use the most (981), closely followed by 25-to-34-year-olds (952). The dwindling of average monthly voice minutes by age is less drastic in voice minutes than in text messages, and also contains an aberration. Minors younger than 18 average 631 voice minutes per month, placing them between 45-to-54-year-olds (757 minutes) and 55-to-64-year-olds (587 minutes).

Southerners Talk Most
Looking at average monthly voice minute usage by state, eight Southern states all have the highest average of more than 800 minutes per month. Interestingly, the New England state of Rhode Island is the only other state in the US with an average this high.


The other clear regional usage patterns are a lower monthly average in the three West Coast states (California, Oregon and Washington all average 600-700 minutes per month) and five New England states besides Rhode Island (New Hampshire and Vermont average less than 600 minutes per month, while Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts average 600-700 minutes per month).

New Englanders Don’t Text
Regional text patterns are even less clear-cut than regional voice patterns. The one clear pattern that stands out is a reluctance by traditional New Englanders to send text messages (the whole region averages 400-500 messages per month except Vermont, which averages less than 400).


Hispanics, African-Americans Text More
Hispanics send and receive around 767 text messages a month, while African-Americans send and receive around 780. These figures are significantly more than Asians/Pacific Islanders (384 texts a month) and Whites (566 texts a month).

Women Talk, Text More
On average, women talk 22% more than men (856.3 minutes a month compared to men’s 666.7). They text more, too, sending or receiving an average of 601 text messages a month compared to the 447 monthly text messages sent or received by the average American male.

Texting Top Teen Communication Link
Cell-phone texting has become the preferred channel of basic communication among US teens and their friends, with cell calling a close second, according to findings from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Seventy-five percent of 12-17-year-olds now own cell phones, up from 45% in 2004. Those phones have become indispensable tools in teen communication patterns. Fully 72% of all teens, or 88% of teen cell phone users, are text-messagers. That is a sharp rise from the 51% of teens who were texters in 2006. More than half of teens (54%) are daily texters.

About the Data: The voice and text results are compiled from one year (April 2009-March 2010) of mobile usage data gathered by the The Nielsen Company, which analyzes the cell phone bills of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers each month in the US.


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