March 11, 2009

Wireless-only U.S. phone use increasing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says wireless-only telephone use continues to increase across the United States.

The CDC said Oklahoma leads the nation in the percentage of households with cell phones only at 26.2 percent, with Vermont having the fewest wireless-only households at 5.1 percent.

These findings are important to CDC because many of our largest surveys are done on calls to landline phone numbers, said Stephen Blumberg, a CDC health scientist and lead author of the study. All of those adults with only cell phones are being missed in these surveys.

In addition to Oklahoma, states with the highest percentage of wireless-only households are Utah (25.5 percent), Nebraska (23.2 percent), Arkansas (22.6 percent) and Idaho (22.1 percent). States with the lowest percentages, following Vermont, are Connecticut (5.6 percent), Delaware (5.7 percent), South Dakota (6.4 percent) and Rhode Island (7.9 percent).

Results from previous CDC reports on wireless substitution show wireless-only phone use continues to grow on a national level. A recent report found 17.5 percent of U.S. homes had only wireless telephones during the first half of 2008 -- nearly 3 percentage points greater than the estimate for 2007.

The full report is available at