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Households Dumping Their Home Phones

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By Author: Mark Walters
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According to the National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, about 3 in 10 households either only use mobile phones or rarely take calls on their landlines.

The federal figures, released Wednesday, showed that reliance on cells is continuing to rise at the expense of wired telephones. In the second half of last year, 16 percent of households only had cell phones, while 13 percent also had landlines but got all or nearly all their calls on their cells.

The number of wireless-only households grew by 2 percent since the first half of last year. Underscoring the rapid growth, in early 2004 just 5 percent had only cell phones.

During the second half of last year, 16% of households only had mobiles, while 13% had mobiles and landlines but took nearly all calls on their mobiles. Wireless-only houses grew 2% between the first and second half of 2007. In early 2004, only 5% of households only had mobile phones.

We've written about the decline in landline use before, and these numbers are not surprising at all. I have been pushing hard with my wife to give up our landline ...
... but haven't broken through yet. My guess is that it'll happen in the next 12-18 months in our household.

The survey had other interesting data including:

-Low-income people are likelier than the more affluent to have only cell phones.

-Those with only cells tend to be living with unrelated roommates, renters rather than homeowners, and Hispanics and blacks rather than whites.

-About a third of those under age 30 only have cell phones.

-Households with both cell and landline phones who rarely or never get calls on their landlines tend to be better educated and have higher incomes.

-About 2% of households reported having no telephones.

The National Health Interview Survey, conducted by the CDC, involved in-person interviews with people in 13,083 households done from July through December of last year.

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