Feature Article

July 09, 2014

Half of U.S. Homes Could be Mobile-Only by 2020

Some 41 percent of U.S. households did not buy or use landline phone service in the second half of 2013, according to the latest study by the National Center for Health Statistics.

That represented an increase of 1.6 percentage points since the first half of 2013 and 2.8 percentage points since the second half of 2012. At those rates of abandonment, half of U.S. homes will be mobile-only for voice services by about 2020.

The rates of abandonment are higher in certain groups. Some 66 percent of adults aged 25 to 29 lived in households with mobile service only.

Among households of 18 to 24 year old adults, 53 percent were mobile only. Among households containing people 30 to 34, 60 percent were mobile-only.

The percentage of adults living in households with mobile service and no landline voice service decreased for those in households older than 35.

Mobile-only voice was characteristic of households 48 percent for those aged 35 to 44, 31 percent for those aged 45 to 64 and 14 percent for those aged 65 and over.

That pattern of faster adoption by younger households has been characteristic of many new technologies and services.

And that pattern seems to be true for adults living in mobile-only homes as well. Among all mobile-only adults, the proportion aged 35 and over has increased steadily, the National Center for Health Statistics says.

In the second half of 2013, more than half of mobile-only adults (55 percent) were aged 35 and over, up from 48 percent in the second half of 2010.

In households inhabited by non-related people, 76 percent are mobile-only.

About 47 of adults living alone used only mobile phones for voice. Adults living only with spouses or other adult family members were mobile-only at a 31 percent rate.

Some 62 percent of households occupied by adults in rented homes were mobile-only. In homes occupied by owners, about 29 percent were mobile-only.

Among all mobile-only adults, the proportion living in homes owned by a household member increased. In the second half of 2013, 49 percent of mobile-only adults were living in homes owned by a household member, up from 43 percent in the second half of 2010.





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