A report from April 2011 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the growing rate at which U.S. households are cutting ties with their landlines.
The three-and-a-half-year survey found that nearly 24% of adults and 27.5% of children were living in wireless-only households from January 2007 to June 2010.
“The prevalence and use of wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) has changed substantially over the past decade. Today, an ever-increasing number of adults have chosen to use wireless telephones rather than landline telephones to make and receive calls,” the report’s authors wrote. “As of the first half of 2010, more than one in four American households (26.6%) had only wireless telephones—an eightfold increase over just 6 years. The prevalence of such ‘wireless-only’ households now markedly exceeds the prevalence of households with only landline telephones (12.9%), and this difference is expected to grow.”
The number of adults living in wireless-only households is highest in Arkansas at 35.2% and lowest in Rhode Island at 12.8%. Other states with comparatively high wireless-only adults (more than 30%) included Mississippi, Texas, North Dakota, Idaho, and Kentucky. Other states with low prevalence of wireless-only adults (below 17%) include New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts and South Dakota.
The CDC also noted some of the challenges that come forward as people cut out their landlines. “The increasing prevalence of wireless-only households has implications for telephone surveys. Many health surveys, political polls, and other research studies are conducted using random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone surveys. Until recently, these surveys did not include wireless telephone numbers in their samples. Now, despite operational challenges, most major survey research organizations include wireless telephone numbers when conducting RDD telephone surveys,” the CDC wrote.