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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 7:52 EDT

More US Homes Going Mobile Only

May 13, 2010

The use of mobile phones as an only source of telecommunications in the United States is on the rise, with one in four households reporting they had only mobile phones and no landlines at the end of 2009, according to data released on Wednesday.

24.5 percent of US households reported having only a mobile phone plan in the last six months of the year, preliminary data released by the National Health Interview Survey showed.

The percentages translate to about 52 million adults and 19 million children living in homes with no landline telephone service. The data showed that households that have wireless-only plans are steadily increasing.

Percentages of US households with at least one mobile phone, but no landline phone, in the last six months of 2009 increased 4.3 percent from the same time a year earlier, and by 12 percent since the end of 2006.

Some factors influenced whether or not households were wireless-only. Age, race and living conditions were the main influences.

About two-thirds of adults who shared an apartment or house with unrelated persons reported having only mobile phones, accounting for the most likely candidates to be completely wireless.

Renters were three times more likely than homeowners to be wireless-only. The data showed that 43 percent of renters were wireless-only compared to 14 percent of homeowners who had only mobile phones.

Young adults between the ages of 25 and 29 were the most likely age group to be wireless-only. Nearly half reported having no landline phone but at least one mobile phone in their household. Those 65 and over were the least likely to have only mobile phones.

24.5 percent of men compared to 21.3 percent of women reported living wirelessly.

Adults living in poverty were nearly twice as likely as higher income adults to depend solely on mobile phones. Roughly 36.3 percent of poverty level adults lived in wireless-only homes compared to 20 percent of those with higher incomes.

The data was compiled from 21,375 households representing more than 40,000 adults and 15,000 children under the age of 18.

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