Wireless Only Households Now In The Majority

By: Mike Sachoff - May 11, 2009

More than one of every five American homes (20.2%) had only wireless phones during the second half of 2008, according to a new National Health Interview Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of households that have ditched traditional landline phones and have become wireless only has been steadily increasing. In fact, the 2.7 percentage point increase from the first 6 months of 2008 is the largest 6-month increase since the NHIS began collecting data on wireless-only households in 2003.

This marks the first time that the number of U.S. households with only cell phones has surpassed those with traditional landline phones.

More than three in five adults living only with unrelated adult roommates (60.6%) were in households with only wireless telephones.

Nearly two in five adults renting their home (39.2%) had only wireless telephones. Adults renting their home were more likely than adults owning their home (9.9%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.

Percentages of adults and children

As age increased from 30 years, the percentage of adults living in households with only wireless telephones decreased: 21.6 percent for adults 30-44 years; 11.6 percent for adults aged 45-64 years; and 3.3 percent for adults 65 years and over.

Among houses with both landline and cellular telephones, 24.4 percent received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones. These wireless mostly households make up 14.5 percent of all households.

Mike Sachoff

About the Author

Mike SachoffMike is a staff writer for WebProNews.

View all posts by Mike Sachoff
  • http://www.freewordsearchpuzzlegames.blogspot.com Word Seach Puzzles

    I am all wireless here. I can’t even get cable tv where I live. I got rid of my landline telephone because I just didn’t need it anymore.

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    Still Wired at home, trying to get most of my wired out of the way. Unfortunately, I still have old hardware, and works just fine. Not rdy for upgrade yet.

  • Guest

    How is 20.2% a majority?

  • Guest

    How on earth do you go from 20.2% to “majority”? The only factoid you list that could even begin to approach that is for adults living with roommates, such as college students, who are usually not even full-time residents and therefore not households. Your credibility is 0.

    • Mike Sachoff

      The 20 percent of homes with cell phones only compares to 17 percent of homes with only landlines. Hope this clears things up.
      Thanks for reading.

      • Guest

        That would be a plurality, not a majority.

  • Guest

    Despite the rationalizations, from the title
    Wireless Only Households Now In The Majority
    infers that households with wireless only are more prevalent than any other combination, landlines only and landline and wireless households, they artificially limited the categories in order to get a headline that would entice users to read the article, another example of bad journalism, we have so many it’s almost pointless to mention.
    obviously the latter is the most prominent and truthfully the majority.
    As great as cell-phones are, I don’t always get the best reception and after my triple play deal my unlimited cable voip is only $15/month.
    Which saves me tons instead of having to always use my cell phone, cells are convenient but for anyone who uses the phone a lot, landlines, especially voip is still the way to go.

  • GuestMary

    I would like to go wireless with my new laptop computer but don’t know how, who, or what to do it. I live in rural area and don’t get cable but do get satellite. I don’t really want to use my computer hooked up to satellite though. Dial up is just so slow. I would like to do something different but don’t know where or who to start with..

  • Cheap Chick

    I’m not surprised!

    I dumped my land line last year and now have only a cell phone. But I went a step further and got a Tracfone and pay upfront for use. It

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    As people getting older, the chances for them to be expose in high tech gadgets decreases. Personally, I’m into wireless phones than landline because it offers much cheaper rates as well as its accessibility.

  • Guest

    I think the landline is on its way out of U.S. households, for good. Wrote about that here, http://bit.ly/ndvmp.

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    US is lacking behind of Korea in terms of the Household Penetration for Internet Access. Wimax is a technology that not many countries has adopted fully yet.

    • http://www.slimkwik.com SlimQuick

      I think everyone is still lagging behind korea. Korea is the only country I know about where you can get internet connection in hours rather than days.

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    More opportunities will arise from this. Many more people will be working from home using the internet as their platform to sell their products and services.

    Retail & Office Space will decline in demand.

  • Nelis James

    I agree, more people are working from home and the current economic shift is forcing people to be entrepreneurs and start their own small company’s which is why it is so important to have a cell phone and be in contact all the time. I have a small business from home and I only have a prepaid cell phone because it’s the cheapest option. I have just discovered the new Straight Talk package that gives 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts/mms and 30mb of data for only $30. Now why would I want to pay for a land line when I can get such a good package.