Majority of US Adults Live in Cell-Only Households

January 20, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Asian-American | Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Hispanic | Mobile Phone | Telecom | Youth & Gen X

A slight majority (52%) of US adults now live in households with cellphones but lacking landlines, reports GfK, with this being twice the proportion from 2010 (26%). Not surprisingly, it’s Millennials leading the way in this transition, with 71% living in cell-only households.

The data comes from GfK MRI’s Fall 2016 Survey of the American Consumer®, which is based on surveys with roughly 24,000 US adults. The results align with similar figures from the US government’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which last reported [pdf] that almost half (49.3%) of US homes had only cellphones during the first half of 2016. That release indicated that 49% of US adults lived in households with only wireless service, as did 59.4% of children. Older Millennials (25-29) were found to have a substantially higher incidence of living in cell-only households than their younger counterparts (18-24), at 72.1% and 62.7%, respectively.

Returning to the GfK study, the results suggest that adults of Hispanic or Latino origin are easily the most likely to be in cell-only households when sorting by race/ethnicity, with about two-thirds reporting this status. By contrast, only around half of the other groups reported being cell-only, with the highest rate of those recorded by Asian-Americans (54%).

On a regional basis, the South has the highest incidence of homes lacking landlines (57%), while the Northeast has the lowest concentration of such homes (37%). This could owe to more bundled services in Northeast homes, where 57% have bundled data and TV services (a combination of at least 2 of the following: TV; internet; and telephone service) compared to 49% in the South.


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