Landline Phone Ownership Drops in US; 10.5% Households Go Wireless Only: Survey

The number of households with only wireless telephones continues to increase. Approximately 10.5% of US households do not have a traditional landline telephone, but do have at least one wireless telephone, according preliminary results from the January-June 2006 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).  

During the first 6 months of 2006, 1 in 8 American homes did not have a landline telephone. Of those homes without a landline telephone, 84% had at least one working wireless telephone. 

Other Key Findings on the Move from Landline to Wireless only Households:

  • 9.6% of all adults (or 21 million) live in households with only wireless telephones; 
  • 8.6% of all children (more than 6 million) live in households with only wireless telephones.
  • 2% of households do not have any telephone service (wireless or landline). Approximately 4 million adults (1.8 percent) and 1.4 million children (1.9 percent) live in these households.
  • The results also reveal that:
  • 44.2% of all adults living with unrelated roommates live in households with only wireless telephones. 
  • Adults renting their home (22.5 percent) are more likely than adults owning their home (5.1 percent) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • Nearly one in four adults aged 18-24 years live in households with only wireless telephones (22.6 percent).
  • Adults living in the South (11.4 percent) are more likely than adults living in the Northeast (7.2 percent), Midwest (10.2 percent), or West (7.8 percent) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.

The estimates are based on in-person interviews completed as part of the NHIS. From January through June 2006, interviews were completed in 16,009 households. These households included 29,842 adults aged 18 years and over and 11,670 children aged 17 years or younger.

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