US Households Drop Landlines For Mobile

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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About 34 percent of all US adults now live in households with only mobile telephones, according to a study by the Centres for Disease Control

The number of American homes with only mobile telephones continues to grow, as more than one-third of American homes (35.8 percent) had only mobile phones during the first half of 2012, an increase of 1.8 percentage points since the second half of 2011, according to the Centres for Disease Control’s National Health Interview Study.

The report also found nearly one of every six American homes (15.9 percent) received all or almost all calls on mobile telephones despite also having a landline telephone.

Mobile-only on the rise

While the percentage of households that are mobile-only has been steadily increasing, the 1.8-percentage-point increase from the second half of 2011 through the first half of 2012 is the smallest increase observed for any six-month period dating back to January 2008.

4G, Mobile, Smartphone © Digital Storm Shutterstock 2012According to survey results, approximately 34 percent of all adults (about 80 million adults) lived in households with only mobile telephones, and 40.6 percent of all children (approximately 30 million children) lived in households with only mobile telephones.

For the period from January to June 2012, there are four demographic groups in which the majority live in households with only mobile telephones: adults aged 25 to 34, adults living only with unrelated adult roommates, adults renting their homes and adults living in poverty.

The report also found men (35.2 percent) were more likely than women (32.9 percent) to be living in households with only mobile telephones, while the proportion of women among all mobile-only adults increased from 47.6 percent to 50.2 percent.

Education a factor

Adults with college degrees (21 percent) were more likely to be living in mobile-mostly households than were high school graduates (15.5 percent) or adults with less education (11.9 percent).

In the first half of 2012, 29.9 percent of households with both landline and mobile telephones received all or almost all calls on mobile telephones.

These mobile-mostly households make up 15.9 percent of all households. Approximately 41 million adults (17.6 percent) lived in mobile-mostly households during the first half of this year.

The study included statistics on the health of households. Compared with adults living in landline households, mobile-only adults were more likely to engage in regular leisure-time physical activity and less likely to have ever been diagnosed with diabetes, the study found.

Mobile-only adults were also more likely to be current smokers than were adults living in landline households.

Finally, the percentage without health insurance coverage at the time of the interview among mobile-only adults under age 65 (27.9 percent) exceeded the percentage among adults in that age group living in landline households (15.1 percent).

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Originally published on eWeek.