One in four US homes has mobile phone, no landline: study

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The Independent Online

One in four US households had only mobile phones and no landline at the end of last year, as the number of "wireless families" in the United States continues to rise, data released Wednesday showed.

Just under 25 percent of US households - 24.5 percent - reported having only a mobile phone in the last six months of 2009, preliminary data released by the National Health Interview Survey showed.

In number terms, that means some 52 million adults and 19 million children lived in homes with no landline telephone, the data showed.

The percentage of households that are wireless-only has been steadily increasing, the report said.

The percentage of US households without a landline but with at least one mobile phone in the last six months of 2009 increased by 4.3 percentage points from the same period the previous year, and by nearly 12 percentage points since July-December 2006.

Living conditions, age and gender all influenced whether or not households were wireless-only.

Nearly two-thirds of adults who shared a flat or house with unrelated roommates reported having only mobile phones, making that group the most likely to be completely wireless.

Renters were around three times more likely than home-owners to live in wireless-only homes: 43 percent of people who rented their home were wireless-only compared to 14 percent of those who owned their home.

The age-group most likely to live in a wireless-only home was 25- to 29-year-olds, nearly half of whom reported having no landline but at least one mobile phone in their household.

The least likely to be totally wireless were adults aged 65 and over; a mere 5.2 percent had only a mobile phone.

Men were more likely than women to be living wirelessly - 24.5 percent versus 21.3 percent.

And adults living in poverty were nearly twice as likely as higher income adults to depend solely on a mobile phone.

More than a third of poor adults (36.3 percent) lived in wireless-only homes compared to one in five better-off adults.

Data for the report were gathered from 21,375 households representing more than 40,000 adults and nearly 15,000 children younger than 18.

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