Most Americans Now Part of ‘Cellphone-Only’ Households

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No matter what type of phone you use, there may be room to lower the bill you pay.

It’s official: Most of us now live in cellphone-only households.

In other words, 52 percent of U.S. adults are part of households that have cellphones but not traditional landline phones, according to the latest GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer. That number has doubled since 2010.

The share of Americans age 65 and older in cellphone-only households has quadrupled over the past six years, to 23 percent.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, GfK MRI’s survey of about 24,000 U.S. adults found that millennials are most likely to live in cellphone-only households. Those who are now part of cellphone-only households include:

  • 71 percent of millennials (defined as people born from 1977 to 1994)
  • 55 percent of members of Generation X (people born from 1965 to 1976)
  • 40 percent of baby boomers (people born from 1946 to 1964)

Looking at ethnic and racial groups, the survey found that at least half of every group lives in a cellphone-only household:

  • 67 percent of people of Hispanic or Latino origin or descent are now part of cellphone-only households
  • 54 percent of Asian-Americans
  • 51 percent of whites
  • 50 percent of African-Americans

Geographically, the share of cellphone-only households is as high as 57 percent in the South and as low as 39 percent in the Northeast.

Risa Becker, senior vice president of research operations at GfK MRI, explains:

“The Northeast’s lower incidence of cell-only households is likely related to its high levels of bundled television, Internet, landline, and cellphone services. In other regions, we see a stronger trend toward cutting the telephone cord.”

But regardless of whether you bundle telecommunications services or are among the majority of Americans now living in cellphone-only households, there may be room for you to lower your phone bill.

To learn more, visit our “Compare Cell Phones & Plans” page, where you can get comparisons customized to your household’s number of lines and usage statistics, among other factors.

Then check out “4 Steps to Cut Your Cellphone Bill in Half.”

Have you cut the traditional telephone cord? Let us know why or why not by commenting below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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